I went to the London Bike Show yesterday which was held at the Excel Center. It was a beautiful sunny day, but very cold. Getting there was very easy and the Excel center is huge and quite impressive. Before booking my tickets I did have a look at the list of exhibitors and there was only 1 that I wanted to see based on my specific search parameters, namely touring, and that was Alpkit. I already have some of their kit, a bivvy bag, a sleeping mat and a dry bag and they are excellent, quality products.
I quickly found Alpkit when I arrived and they were a big attraction, a lot of people were in the stand and around the stand looking at their exhibit – a mountain bike, front wheel removed, standing upside down on it’s seat. tied to the front forks and back wheel was a tarp which then stretched over a sleeping mat and sleeping bag secured to the front wheel on the other side, creating a little camp. they had a big log and some wood chips to complete the look and it looked cool, with another mountain bike on the log, kitted out for an adventure and so annoyingly, I couldn’t take pictures – my phone camera has stopped working!
Unfortunately, their stand was pretty small and they didn’t have much to look at – they had their mug and cooking sets which were nice to feel and they were really light. I wanted to ask if they could sponsor me a tarp but didn’t muster the cojones to ask.
As for the rest of the show – there was nothing to do with touring specifically. Kona were there, but the closest they had on show was their city version – which looked nice, but it’s not what I’m after. Here it seems it’s all road bike, mountain bike and cyclo-cross. One side of the exhibition was for electric bikes and there were some interesting bikes there. It would be interesting to compare a European bike show with this one – I think that touring would feature more in a continental show…?