Harleys to Hondas - the 10th international Motocykl festival
Now, when you think of sport in the Czech Republic, the first that come to mind are the winter variety, with ice hockey and skiing most popular among Czechs during the cold season. But once the snow has melted, we find other sports coming to the forefront. One of these is motor sport, something that is rapidly gaining popularity here. As the biking season gets underway, Thursday saw the opening of the 10th Motocykl international motorcycle and accessories exhibition, and I went along to find out how this sport is really moving up a gear in the Czech Republic.
"It was based for such purposes as to present our population in the Czech Republic with motorcycles of course and also with the importers and producers of our own Czech territory. That was the reason why the exhibition was established."
Now the festival has seen significant growth since then, why do you think that motorsport is so popular here?
Indeed the Motocykl festival has seen a great increase in popularity in the past ten years, in spite of the unfortunate decline of the motorcycle manufacturing industry in the Czech Republic. Whereas in its first year, the expo attracted 25 firms, today's figure of 191 has seen the festival expand in size by over 7 times. Last year over 53,000 visitors came to see the thousands of gleaming motorcycles and quad bikes on display, showing just how popular the sport is in the country. I asked a few of the fans at this year's exhibition what they thought of it:
Middle aged man: "I think that this kind of exhibition is popular in the Czech Republic for the market because the season is starting and everybody likes to see new models and new kinds of motorcycle and equipment so I think that it is a good idea for the Czech Republic to exhibit motorcycles in this kind of exhibition."
Young man 2: "I think that the exhibition is more fun, more interesting than last year. There are more new models and new people."
And so it seems that this year's show has once again exceeded expectations for both visitors and exhibitors and many hope that the boost in popularity of motorsports here will give the Czech motorcycle manufacturing industry a much needed kick start. But with bike imports still on the rise, for most of the 60,000 Czech fans expected at this years festival, 2 wheels are always better than 4.
The Motocykl festival will be on display at the Prague Exhibition Centre until Sunday 12th March.