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The biking culture is synonymous with a particular blue-collar schtick. However, if you were to spend some time in a biker bar, you might find hedge fund managers sitting next to web designers or construction workers.
The biking culture has an essence that breaks down social and economic barriers that are rare in society. It doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are. So long as you have a passion for riding motorcycles, you have a common uniting bond.
A lifetime motorcycle enthusiast, Dutch Van Someren gravitated to the biking culture for its ability to bring unique people together. Armed with his passion for motorcycles and an inspiration for its culture, he is redefining the modern-day biker bar.
From Online Blog to Global Community
In 2011 Dutch ran a blog all about his love for biking. On it, he wrote about his journey into the new wave of cafe racers, brat-style scramblers, and more. He focused on new bikes and builders on the scene in UK and Europe.
Over the course of two years, the blog would become one of the most popular blogs in the genre, forming a global following of bike enthusiasts. As the site grew, Dutch had the idea of creating a pop-up motorcycle event. With the help of his wife and some friends, it became a reality in May of 2013.
Hosting Motorcycle Club-Styled Events
With the popularity of the blog, the goal to create a motorcycle club-styled event was born. Dutch says, “We decided we should have a show because bike shows were boring. They’re trade fairs. They run by the industry, and they’re not run for the people.”
The goal was to design something completely unique, “We said, well, wouldn’t it be cool if we did a show.every bike would be curated. It’ll be there for a reason, and there’ll be no ropes. You could take photos. Every bike could be on a pedestal.”
Then he thought about how he could incorporate the family into the event, “We realized it was also about hospitality and food, good coffee, somewhere to sit somewhere. A place where you could take your wife and your kids. And they wouldn’t get really pissed off after about half an hour.”
Dutch posted the event on his Facebook page, and to his surprise, over 3,000 people showed up. The event had custom bikes curated from all over the world alongside displays of art and photography and vendor stands for food and hospitality. There were also tents for a barbershop and tattoo parlor.
The success of the first event prompted them to create a second event a few months later. It would pull in 5,000 spectators to the event.
Making the Jump From Employee to Business Owner
With the success of the events and demand from others in the community, Dutch raised enough money from outside investors to open the very first Bike Shed Motorcycle Club in London. It incorporated all the elements of the events but was a place for families to go anytime.
So, he created a biker’s oasis that even the family could love, complete with lounge spaces, art and motorcycle galleries, indoor/outdoor seating, a cafe, a bar, a barbershop, and a shop for apparel.
Dutch discusses his feelings about making the leap from top marketing executive to a business owner, “I think the thing I learned about the media business was how fragile it is.” He goes on to say, “You’re only as good as the last job you’ve done. It’s a very disloyal business.”
When commenting on his feelings of becoming a business owner, he had this to say, “What I realized was that security is something that’s better when you control it.”
Bike Shed Motorcycle Club Is Coming to Los Angeles!
Due to the success of Bike Shed Motorcycle Club London, the brand has set its sights on Los Angeles. The new Bike Shed Motorcycle Club Los Angeles will open in May or June of 2021.
If you enjoyed this article, be sure to check out the podcast where we talk even more about biker culture, Brad Pitt and Simon Cowell, and more. Head on over to The Art of Making Things Happen page to listen now, and while you’re there, check out the rest of our interviews.