The thrill I felt was barely controllable at the thought of meeting three-time Grand Prix World Champion Freddie Spencer. Much of my wasted youth was spent hunting in England, where I experienced close encounters on various trails. Back then pit access was easy – everything was so relaxed. You might bump into runners queuing for a cup of tea. Freddie Spencer was racing in the Transatlantic Trophy series, although in all those years I had never met Fast Freddie.
Comments from some of our approximately 60,000 weekly listeners to Ultimate motorcycling The Motos and Friends podcast tells us you’d like to hear more than the usual racing news – you want behind-the-scenes info. As Chairman of the FIM MotoGP Stewards Panel, Freddie Spencer is a busy man. Luckily, our mutual realtor, Joe LaCroix, arranged a lunch with Freddie and his wife, Alexandra, for us. Shed in bustling Shoreditch in London. The summer break from the MotoGP season allowed us to talk about some facts gleaned directly from Freddie as a MotoGP industry insider.
The action begins in the adjoining parking lot with bikers and banter. After a hair-raising drive down the motorway, Coram Publishing President Arthur Coldwells pulled into the large free car park next to the venue. the entire side wall of the building. The building was originally a pie factory, then a warehouse in the Arts District. Many industrial buildings in this area were built a century ago around the railway. The Los Angeles Arts District was a new discovery for me. Here, as you would expect, artists are housed with architects, green tech and entertainment companies. The area has a ramshackle, almost shabby look due to aging buildings, upcoming growth, renovations and new construction. Soon, the whole of the aptly named Industrial Street, where the 30,000 square foot Bike Shed is located, will be tree lined and generally revamped.Inside a friendly smile greeted us and we left our headsets in a reception area except for me. I had mine on my MV Agusta – after all, there was a rogue-looking guy at the entrance to the parking lot watching things. It’s not London, so why not? We were introduced to Bike Shed owners Dutch and Vikki von Someren, both motorcycle enthusiasts. We discussed the Bike Shed itself. It is not a private club, although there is a membership option. While not just for motorcyclists, motorcycles are a common ground. Dutch describes the Bike Shed as a motorcycle destination, even though most Bike Shed customers don’t ride. You could gladly bring your grandmother here for a breakfast or a tea party. The Bike Shed saga started with an international motorcycle show in 2013. van Somerens’ idea was to have a big pop-up club with bikes, people, food and good hospitality. . The Bike Shed incorporates culture, film, art and photography, making it friendly to kids and dogs, husbands and wives. The idea is to be better for more than the bikers, even if the “one percenter” is off the welcome mat.We headed across the bustling central bar to the dining room. We were shown a booth and noticed the eclectic mix of young, old, rough and smooth diners. the menu! The music is not so loud that you cannot hold a conversation. If you want to check it, the huge kitchen is fully visible. There is also a private dining room for 18 people with sliding doors and curtains for more privacy. As we settled into our seats, I blurted out that I had named my dog after Freddie. The Freddie Spencer chuckled and smiled. I don’t know if he was really amused by this treat or if he was being very polite.The service was quick and very friendly. I had the wild mushroom salad, like most of us – the meat eater was weird – and we all commented on the top notch tasty dishes. I also had a great draft beer. After lunch, Dutch gave us a good overview through a little tour, pointing out that the Bike Shed Los Angeles is a place where you can just swing and hang out. . However, table reservations are bookable, although the general vibe is the easy-going rotational mode. If you are alone, you will chat easily. Entering through the main door, you are surrounded by cafe tables that open to the sunny exterior. This goes through the vast relaxation area, which exudes comfort with leather armchairs and Chesterfield sofas.As you go deeper it’s about alcohol and atmosphere. The Bike Shed made me feel like I was on a set of Peaky Blinders! There is a selection of beers on tap including Guinness and cocktails freshly made for you on site. A group of people are sitting drinking whiskey and telling stories. Breathe in the ambience – rugged brick walls, vast ceiling, industrial lighting, leather, tattoos and a pleasant buzz of conversation. My eye was caught by one, then the other, of one of the unique motorbikes placed among the rest areas. They’re old and new, made by some interesting people – Bob Seeley, Seaman, Roland Sands – some for sale, some not. Bagger Racing League’s Carey Hart race bike nestles among the casual seats. II enjoyed the eye candy and moto-culture vibe the most, which includes cool tattoos and a hair salon. The different elements brought together at the Bike Shed form a kind of motorcycle ecosystem. We walked around the shop, keeping that old-school vibe flowing. The Bike Shed offers a selection of tempting fashion products as well as plenty of gear for motorcycling. Dutch explains that by working with safety specialists, such as UK fabric developer Covec, the Bike Shed can deliver biker clothing that looks great and offers protection.It’s not just the Bike Shed. There are stores within stores, currently represented by ranges from Belstaff, Royal Enfield, Ducati and Indian. Adults and children alike will enjoy easy access to it all, including the Super73 pedal-assist e-bikes. I was drawn to the corner occupied by Bremont’s award-winning luxury chronometers, handcrafted in the UK. Bremont is the official monitoring and timing partner of the Isle of Man TT and is heavily involved in the automotive, military and aviation markets. Stand back and you are close to a Keanu motorbike Reeves Arch. It is not always easy to access bikes of this ilk, and you have the opportunity to take the opportunity to look at them closely.Then there’s the most bling-bling of cafe racers, from Roland Sands to Ogle. With musical beats playing in the background, the nods of approval and the conversation flowed. It was a nice walk after lunch. For those who are private members, there is, wait for it, a secret door leading to a speakeasy. This magnificent room features a fascinating selection of paintings and framed old photographs of Tommy’s Bar. Here you can sit comfortably around a crackling fire in a real fireplace. I asked Gene, the guy you need to know to become a member, “Why Tommy’s?” Again I thought of Peaky Blinders’ main character Tommy Shelby. Gene responds casually to Tom Hardy, who is (understandably) closely associated, shall we say.Currently the membership is 287. To become a member you must be a rider – it’s about track days, events, travel and whatever like-minded members choose to do for celebrate motoculture. Night—a lively evening where motorcyclists can meet and exchange ideas and stories. It’s the super-members who set the tone. They are responsible for the basic mindset and spirit of the Bike Shed. Being a biker is what matters. We’ve all looked at whiskey racks, a great way to keep your own bottle on hand. Interestingly, the Bike Shed London has over 600 private members, although there is no hidden members room. The key is the motorcycle-community.Freddie and his wife live in London and enjoy being members of Bike Shed London. They absolutely want their members to come through here – that’s a recommendation. Next on our list of things to snoop around was event space. Porsche worked here. Ducati recently launched the new Desert-X and other new models here. It is specially designed for marquee events, with good thoughtful access. There is a large flexible space with high-end staging, lighting and sound equipment. Stepping through another door we found ourselves in another comfortable, leather British style room with eclectic furnishings and a grandfather clock. Dutch says it’s for later use by private members, or to rent out for birthdays and other celebrations. It also serves as a private space for the event space, much like a Green Room. We were shown upstairs to a similarly furnished long room that overlooks the event space to allow more guests to view.The Bike Shed Los Angeles will soon feature British Afternoon Tea and Sunday Roast, including vegan choices. In keeping with Bike Shed London, MotoGP races will be streamed, making it an ideal location for shared viewers. I started talking about Freddie Spencer and spent more time on The Bike Shed because it blew my mind. You can hear Arthur Coldwells and Freddie Spencer on Motos and Friends from August 3. The podcast player runs at the bottom of every page on the Ultimate Motorcycling website. Listen to Motos and Friends for a chance to win a copy of Feel: my story signed by Freddie Spencer.Photography by John Ryan Hebert, Dan Jones, Frank Lee Wonho et al
Bike Shed Los Angeles Review Photo Gallery