Motorcycle dreams: from Stoke Newington on a Czech bike to a brewery in pilsner’s homeland

AndrewAlmond©DA0418: Bolt bike restoration and fashion store owner Andrew Almond at his Stoke Newington N16 0AH store on a restored motorcycle 130418©
Let’s roll: Andrew Almond on one of the classic bikes at his North London bolthole

STOKE NEWINGTON biker businessman Andrew Almond is doing what the worst in-midlife-crisis Londoner can but dream of: riding a classic motorcycle across Europe.

And at the end is not just a good drink-up, at the end is a brewery that makes some of the world’s finest lager.

The tall, bearded Almond runs Bolt, a store just off Church Street N16 0AH that is variously home to famous-name motorbikes of the likes of Harley-Davidson, Indian, Enfield, and Norton.

More than a workshop, garage, it also sells biker-clothing designed by Almond, and très branché it is.

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Budvar Dark: the retro beer is a favourite of rider Almond

The shop, with its unusual mix of fashion and grease, has become the  centre of all things two-wheel, a revived  culture with a great heritage. So someone able and able willing to ride a 1980s Czech bike, a Jawa CZ, the 1,600km (1,000 miles) back to its spiritual home of Budweis (Ceske Budejovice), 150km from Prague, makes a symmetrical marketing fit with Budweiser
 (the Czech pilsner, that is — a beer of a quality no true beer fan could confuse with that of Budweiser, the pervasive American offshoot).

Restoring the bike has taken Almond and his mechanic, custom builder Simone Fiore, months. And then there’s the vintage-style artwork and “Budvar Bike” branding. Well, the beer company wants its value from Budweis Or Bust, or True Bohemians, as the beer-makers call the project.

Setting off in late August 2018, Almond will be avoiding the Continent’s major roads and motorways “as the bike will not be able to cope with the high speeds”. For him, it will, he adds, be “the road less travelled”.

David Altheer 310518

* Bolt, 1a Bouverie Road, Stoke Newington N16 0AH (07963 747389)

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