Life is starting to get back to normal after the whirlwind that is NAHBS. Just getting to the show is an adventure in itself. This year was no different. Though I was trying my best to avoid short comings of years before, I was still putting bikes together the night before leaving.
One would think that the drive from DFW to Denver would be a breeze compared to the cross country jaunts I have made to the West Coast for previous bike shows. Unfortunately things were not that breezy, but luckily my friend Priya came along for the drive, and helped me stay calm while we slugged through a snow storm in Kansas, averaging about 35 mph for about 250 miles, and not that much faster for the 200 or so miles. This turned a 12 hour drive into 17. We saw more cars on the side of the road than on the road, but Black Thunder, our mini van rental, provided us a safe passage during this treacherous voyage.
I was pretty exhausted from the drive, but the show turned out great. The first 2 days saw a good amount of attendance, there was another snow storm on the last day so it was a little quieter. It was great seeing a lot of my frame builder friends that I have met at previous shows, and I made quite a few new friends too. For me this is the best part of going to the shows, you get to talk shop and it really takes a fellow builder to understand what it takes to be involved in this industry.
As for the bikes, things seemed a lot more tech and modern this year. Not as many lugged bikes or constructuer racks as before. I am still very much into traditional bikes, but it is fun seeing the endless possibilities that technology can bring.
I would say my overall favorite bikes were from Rich Gangl. My teacher Doug Fattic had told me about him years ago, but Rich keeps a very low profile and is very much a local builder in Golden, CO. I also really enjoyed Bilenky Cycles, True Fab, Geekhouse, Bishop, Ellis, Black Sheep, Ground Up, and the Moots trail building long tail cargo fat bike. I could keep going because everything was really top notch. I did a crap job taking pictures but here are a few. Oh, and before that here is a link to a video of me talking about one of the bikes I brought: NAHBS Video
And Now for the Big News
I had been to Denver before, and new that I liked it. Before I went on the trip I had contacted da Vinci Tandems at the off chance they needed some help. To my surprise they said they were looking for some general help around their shop. We spoke at the bike show and a few days after I returned from Denver I received word that they would like me to work for them. So, it looks like I will be moving to Denver in April. Gallus might be on hiatus for a month or so as I look for a work space up there, but its not going anywhere.
In the long term, this will be a great move. Firstly, learning from some very talented people. Secondly, the great riding and outdoors activities that being in Colorado will provide. However, the short term will certainly be difficult. I am walking away from a pretty comfortable life filled with an awful lot of great people, places and things in Fort Worth and Texas. That will certainly be hard for me. Things are looking good here these days, and I kind of feel like I am leaving right when the party is starting. But the mountains are calling me, and I must abide.