This weekend, I rolled out of work Friday and headed up I-95 with my colleague Roger (the guy with all the Pegoretti pumps – See episode 1 of the Gift Guide if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Around 1:30am we rolled into Hartford, cracked a couple of beers, and turned on the Olympics.
The next morning, after a run on the world’s most claustrophobic treadmill and watching the U.S. Men’s Hockey Team get destroyed by the Russians, we rolled downstairs to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show.
When Roger asked me to go a couple of weeks prior, I wasn’t sure how big the show would be or what exactly would be on display. To say I was surprised by what I saw is a bit of an understatement. But I was not disappointed.
I expected a lot of gravel and mountain bikes and not a ton of sleek TT Bikes. What I encountered was more or less every form of bicycle I could imagine – with the exception of a BMX (there were none of those to be had) and a few that I would never have thought existed.
What I did encounter in every single booth was a cadre of people with the same maniacal love of bikes – in all their forms – that I have. It was thousands of people who live by the immortal words of Freddy Mercury, “I want to ride my bicycle. I want to ride my bike.”
While some of the bikes seemed ill-considered (see the plywood and carbon bike from Juliet Designs), others like the 36er from Black Sheep Bikes were just amazing.
I also got to spend some time with Josh from Silca and buy more of his awesome tools. Roger bought another pump and the world’s sweetest set of allen wrenches.
Almost none of the bikes I saw were built for triathlon or time trials, but none of that mattered. Have a look. This is just a smattering of what was in the hundreds of booths.