Salt Lake City, UT, 7 June 2014 – While walking back to my car after having left the Utah Pride Festival tonight I passed a gaggle of girls who were out for a little post-festival fun by renting GREENBikes from the Salt Lake City Bike Share program. Granted it was 10 p.m. so I assumed they were a bit tipsy after perhaps enjoying the libations being served at the festival.
Who would ever think you could purchase alcohol at a festival in Utah of all places? Believe it or not this desert city is not dry after all. Utah knows how to paaarty.
As the girls started to ride past me I quickly whipped out my phone and took a few shots wishing I could take a better group shot to post here.
Luck was on my side when they stopped near the next corner to take an obligatory selfie. So as I walked up I asked if they wanted me to take the picture for them. They were thrilled and so was I.
In fifteen short minutes I learned they were all in high school and would be seniors in the fall. I learned a little about each one and how we share some very personal connections. As Disney says, “It’s a small world after all.” And during our short conversation on this night when Utah celebrates its alternative side I was reminded how much we are connected as a community and how close we are as a collective family.
Ride safe Girls.
23 March 2014, Charlotte, NC – NAHBS is certainly the place to experience the most stunning custom and handmade bicycle innovations you’re not likely to see at your local bike shop. And it’s a great place to meet some of the giants of the industry like Tom Ritchey and Chris King who manned their booths during the recent show in Charlotte.
But the handmade bicycle business is about more than just the bikes. The annual NAHBS show recently ended its tenth edition gathering custom bike aficionados from across the globe for three days of bicycle bling. As much as each of the builders at the show is an artist with a unique and different perspective on bicycle building aesthetic they are also very much alike. If you took a moment to pause on the show floor this past week you would have hear the unmistakable clamor of community.
Although the bikes are the main focus of the show something more important happens in this tight knit community of artisans; new friendships are made and old friendships are rekindled both on the show floor and at the parties after day’s end.
NAHBS sponsors team up to put on some of the best parties in town during the show weekend. This year’s NAHBS fell on Saint Patrick’s day weekend, a fitting backdrop to Shamrock Cycles green clover-draped cross disc show bike, in Charlotte where the worlds largest pub crawl highlights the Luck o’ the Irish festivities.
And not far from the uptown Charlotte St. Patty’s crowds NAHBS attendees put on a hoedown of their own sponsored by Oskar Blues Brewery and a local fiddle band.
This year Greg ran the photo studio where a show bike was set up and photographed every six minutes. This is a daunting task for the best photographers but with the help of an army of dedicated volunteers the bikes were photographed and sent back to their booths unscathed in record time. Seasoned bicycle race Photographer Weldon Weaver worked closely with his volunteer crew to create the official photoset of award entries.
If you love bicycles and are even remotely interested having a chance to be around some of the best custom bicycle handwork in the world we encourage you to head Louisville in 2015. If you go, remember to take a moment to meet the builders as well as ogle their bikes. You’ll quickly learn this is a gathering of artists and a community of people who’ve come together for ten straight years to share their visions. In the end NAHBS is as much about the people and having fun as it is about bicycle innovation.
Its a place where friendship and community come together to share bicycle dreams.
18 March 2014, Salt Lake City, UT – Home for two days and recovering from NAHBS. We enjoyed living a different life for a week and we are grateful to our NAHBS family for their hospitality but it’s nice to be home.
A crazy week of bikes and people. Said hello to Mike DeSalvo though I didn’t photograph his latest bikes. I have one and can tell you the guy knows how to work metal.
We took a ton of images that we’ll post once we get back into the groove. Until then the picture here is the tear down and load out of NAHBS Charlotte.
And finally to illustrate how small the world is we made a surreal connection when we stopped at the local supermarket on the way home to restock the fridge. Looking like two feral cats, she asked us how our day was going. We told her we just landed from Charlotte and were exhausted after the world’s biggest pub crawl. She said the next time we go we should stop into Connolly’s Bar because her grandfather was the proprietor years ago…
15 March 2014, Charlotte, NC – NAHBS Charlotte is partying it up at the worlds largest pub crawl tonight for a bit of Irish fun as day two of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show moved from the the convention center floor to the pubs for a welcome bit of Irish cheer.
First stop was Mert’s Heart and Soul food on College Street for a plate of deep fried catfish, collard greens and black-eye peas. Sufficiently satiated and hydrated we moved the party to Connolly’s Irish Pub where nobody seemed to care what our names were; this isn’t Boston after all. And the bartender didn’t bother with our ID’s because we really do look older than most of the crowd.
The streets and the pubs were overflowing with people of all ages celebrating Patrick’s special day. But since we have another day of bike show to attend to our evening ended earlier than most partiers’ will. And we’ll most likely not wake up with a hangover which will be a welcome treat after this morning’s head pounding start. St. Patty’s day is a perfect backdrop for the special bond the builders and attendees of NAHBS have forged over ten years of handmade bicycle show history and there’s no where we’d rather be than Charlotte.
“Charlotte, NC, 13 March 2014 – NAHBS Charlotte load in has begun. Exhibitors are arriving, checking in and setting up their booth displays. This should be one awesome gathering of bike builders, component manufacturers and apparel companies including our new friends at AllOneWord Fine Cycling Caps.
12 March 2014, Charlotte, NC – NABHS is a day away here in Charlotte, central city for the commercial banking industry. Bank of America and Wells Fargo have multiple towers here with employees managing commercial bank interests for these powerhouse companies. According to the Wells Fargo Bank Museum staff Charlotte is the second biggest banking center in the U.S. next to New York City. We spoke to the Westin staff who told us Charlotte is a work town with this area of the city busy during work hours and quiet at other times.
We also noticed there are few bicycle paths and marked lanes for cyclists on the roads here. But Charlotte does have a Bike Share program sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield.
Last night we stayed up until 1am stuffing attendee envelopes and preparing exhibitor badges for NABHS. This show is a perfect venue to meet some big names in the custom bicycle and the component industry in one place. If you’re thinking about buying a bicycle NABHS is the place to see some beautiful bikes you many never have considered. NAHBS Denver is where I met Mike DeSalvo and decided he was the guy I wanted to build my titanium disc road bike.