Oh yeah, did I mention that I was at NAHBS?

Well, I seem to be going against the very core value of our internet based society by posting about an event that happened nearly a month ago.  In a frame builders’ concept of time, I am only about a week late. Everyone has already seen all of the bike pics, lusted over all the “dream” bikes, felt their own bike was highly inadequate, and by now hopefully forgiven and once again enjoying their not as “dreamy” bike. Though I couldn’t put my finger on 1,2 or even 3 things that impressed me, the overall magnitude of the show highly motivated me and I have been busy trying to get things going in the shop, on the bike, and life in general.

My booth

This was my first time to show at NAHBS and I was chuffed for it to happen in my home state. The turn out was great, both the caliber of the frame builders and the amount of visitors. Things were so busy that on Friday and Saturday I did not even sit down or leave my booth. On Sunday, things were a little quieter, and I was able to get out of the booth to check out a few bikes, but there is so much to take in, I probably missed the majority of it. Though its bit exhausting, a big turn out is exactly what you want from a show.

Since I have had the chance to exhibit at a few other shows in the last couple years, I have gotten to know a few other frame builders so it is always fun running into your friends again. I went out for dinner with the fine folks from Bilenky after the set up on Thursday at was previously my favorite Mexican restaurant in Austin. On our visit, the service was sub par, food mediocre, and the broken margarita machine didn’t help the experience. I was highly embarrassed as it was my recommendation, though the Bilenky folks didn’t seem to mind. On other evenings there was a lot of events going on and as it wasn’t too far from home a lot of folks from here and there that I would run into. However, the daily exhaustion of the show curtailed my evening  activities, probably for the better so I would be fresh and ready to meet new people at the show.

Bilenky City Bike

In the 30 minutes that I had to walk around on the Sunday, there were a few bikes that I really liked. Apparently a lot of other people liked the same ones I did, because 4 of my favorites won awards; the Bilenky “Horton” City bike, Dinucci bikes, Bishop track bike, Naked bikes.  Other bikes that caught my attention  were the ANT bikes, Herbie Helm’s highly intricate lugged bikes, True Fab, Legor Cicli and Della Santa.

A very early Tom Ritchey Road Bike

With only 30 minutes to wander around I didn’t really get a chance to meet any builders that I had not previously met. Its always a little hard to meet other builders during the show since you know exactly what position they are in; we are there to meet the visitors and show them our bikes. It takes a lot of energy to do that to thousands of people all weekend long, so as a fellow builder you don’t really want to use up someone’s time or energy that they need to talk to the visitors. I did get to know the folks from the neighboring booths from Bronto bikes, Cyfac, Mountain Flyer Magazine and Jeff Gjersten.  Once I was back in Fort Worth I ran into Mike Flannigan from ANT bikes on the Trinity Trails. Mike is originally from Fort Worth and was visiting his family on his way back to Boston. Unfortunately he was sick after the show, so didn’t get to make much of his down time in Fort Worth. It was nice having a chance to chat with him outside the mayhem of the show.

Now, a few weeks after the show, I’ve got a few projects nearly done, some cool ones in the works  and had a fun(well at least in hindsight it was fun) 400km brevet over the weekend that I will also post about in the next week(or month).

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