For all the shots I take of bicycles, and as much as I love bicycles, I need to be honest and say my favorite part of NAHBS is the people. Between exhibitors and attendees, I see plenty of friends each year. And this year was tough not having Jeff Archer. Mark DiNucci was a last minute addition to the show; I think he secured the last available 10×10 booth space. At Don Walker’s request, DiNucci agreed to give a frame building seminar, and to make it as engaging as possible, I offered to lead the conversation. It was a small gathering and it would have been pretty tame if I hadn’t drawn him out about so much of his past experience. He was happy to talk nuts and bolts. I’m sorry we didn’t get a recording of it.
Easily one of my favorite moments of the entire show was walking by Mark’s booth only to see him talking to Chris Bishop. These two have a mutual admiration society going. I really dig that.
Eric Baar of Ground Up Speedwork was back with some of the most visually noisy bikes I saw. But better than his metal flake paintwork is his pinstriping.
That he was doing pinstriping live at the show was beyond cool. I mean, I’m not sure I’d want to write with an audience, despite that great Monty Python skit about Thomas Hardy writing his new novel in front of a bank holiday crowd.
I had the unusual fortune to join Don Walker, Mark DiNucci, Doriano DeRosa (center) and Shin-Ichi Konno (left) and Keigo Hirota (right) for dinner on Saturday night. What a treat. The amount of frame building knowledge in that restaurant wasn’t an event I’m likely to repeat. And there was dishing. Whew. On which I’m sworn to secrecy. What can be said is that builders know the work of other great builders, no matter how much paint is on top.
Want to rivet your own saddle? Rivet Cycle Works, which produces old-style leather saddles much like those from Brooks was on hand with a riveter to show just how they make their creations.
Curtis Inglis of Inglis Cycles and Retrotec is a constant, sunny face at NAHBS. He’s easily one of the friendliest, most engaging builders on hand.
Max Kullaway (left) of 333Fab, stopped in to Jeremy SyCip’s booth to hang out and talk about the cool bikes they’d seen.
Tim O’Donnell of Shamrock Cycles is another builder who is easy to engage.
One of my favorite features of NAHBS is seeing builders hanging out together and talking. The affinity between Steve Potts and Kent Eriksen is genuine.
Sam Pickman and Tony Karklins of Allied Cycle Works, arguably one of the most interesting new brain trusts in the bike world.
The crew from Triton bikes: that’s boss man Dimitry Nachaev on the right. These Russian makers of titanium bikes maintain their icy exterior. (These guys are complete jokers, in fact.)
Don Walker congratulates Rudi Jung of Black Magic Paint. Rudi has had a tough time of it, but he was all smiles after winning the award for Best Finish.
This shot of Anna Schwinn with Erik Noren remains my favorite people shot from the show. It says so much about how deep our feelings go for the craftspeople who make our bikes.
Until next year.
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