Prior to this weekend’s NAHBS in Richmond, VA my bike appreciation only went as far as brands that sponsor a professional team and a handful of custom shops such as Moot, Seven and Serotta. My ignorance was not due to lack of trying however; I subscribe to 3 different bicycle related magazines and keep up with a handful more bike news and blog sites on a daily basis. Yet I have never heard of the likes of YIPsan, Sylvan, or ANT and 100’s of others until now. These folks are pure artists who use steel, aluminum, titanium, wood, even bamboo as their canvas and a welding torch as their brush. Their two-wheel (and sometimes 3 or more) master pieces are perfectly at home under the spotlights and traveling at the speed of light on our terrain of choice.
The National American Hand built Bicycle Show has truly opened my eyes. The show this past weekend was my first and absolutely will not be my last. Buying my next bike just got a whole lot more difficult! Do I go to my local bike store or do I call up a Picasso of bicycle? Regardless, the NAHBS is a life transforming experience for anyone with a passion for bicycles.
Thanks NAHBS. See you in Austin, Texas in 2011.
This morning before the masses descended upon the Shimano North American Handmade Bicycle Show, I caught up with several inspiring and inspired frame designers / builders cum change agents. I’ll post the interviews as soon as I can get them transcribed, likely this evening. Ed Ip is already working on a photo dump. For now, here are the names so you know what to look forward to:
Steve Bilenky of Bilenky Cycle Works
Mike Flanigan of Alternative Needs Transportation (ANT)
John Fabel of Sylvan
Ahren Rogers of Banjo Cycles
Renold Yip of Yipsan
Nate Meschke & Matt Cardinal of Signal Cycles
Marty Walsh of Geekhouse Bikes
Ed & I are hangin at Perly’s (111 E. Grace btwn 1st & 2nd Streets) anticipating 2 big breakfast plates. Afterwards, we will head back for another hour on the show floor to take some portraits of exhibitors and attendees. Facial hair will figure prominently!