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biker-friendly pubs and cafes aroundthe country
What makes it even better for us lot is the fact that the place is so biker-friendly. Most pubs, even the most olde-worlde chocolate box ones, don't bat an eyelid at you turning up dressed in leather (although you'd perhaps better leave the gimp mask at home), and even the twee-est tea-shops will happily sell you Earl Grey and big slices of crumbly coffee cake ... as long as you don't bite the heads off their chickens that're wandering around outside. There's Beaulieu Motor Museum full of stunning classic cars and bikes, and the Sammy Miller Museum run by the great trials ace, and in Burley near Ringwood you can feed wild deer by hand and even buy wine made from Silver Birch sap.
'Course, if you get sick of all this tourist)' pap (they call 'em 'innits' down there - 'oo, innit nice? Innit luwerly?') and want to get back into the real world, then you can do that too. Just head for Southampton, aim for the river near the toll bridge and make your way down to Hazel Road and you'll not only find Attitude Customs on one side of the road, but Chevy's café on t'other.
Chevy's is run by Fern and, of course, Chevy and staff Paula, Jo and Taylor and is a proper old-skool bike café. There are pictures of bikes all over the walls, bike mags everywhere and, occasionally, even the odd bike or two in there as well. It's not a big place, but it is a cool one and the atmosphere is always good too. They even do a Bike Night on Thursday nights from 6pm to 9pm.
And the food's pretty damn good too. They do a mean range of cooked breakfasts that'll fill your stomach and harden your arteries, and their apple turnovers are to die for (and as I'm diabetic, possibly quite literally), and they won't even snigger if you go in and ask for a latte (well, not much anyway).
And then, suitably replete, you can wander across the road and check out the chops and bobbers at Attitude Customs and, as you're now full of food and feeling warm and fluff)', put down a deposit on a rigid Sportster with springers or a drop-seat Ultima with ten inch overs.
Top day out really!
Chevy's Cafe Merlin Quay Hazel Road Woolston Southampton SO197GB 07726 848471
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