Its been a while since I posted in my blog, I’m sorry I have been ignoring you. With the run up to NAHBS usually beginning sometime around mid November these days, I work anywhere from 12 to 16 or even more hours a day. For those who don’t know what NAHBS is, its the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. As the poor guy who has organized this event for the last 7 years I can tell you tales of mayhem, bedlam and just plain bad luck. That is, until this year.
The planets aligned, God looked down and smiled or I just got lucky, for once. Call it a combination of all 3, but this years show was the best ever in my opinion. What does that mean exactly, you ask? Well, for starters we had a great network of folks on the ground in Austin. Our friends (and SPONSORS, btw) at Mellow Johnny’s and Bicycle Sport Shop provided us with plenty of volunteers to help staff registration and other menial tasks, but not one complaint was heard, so I have them to thank for their efforts! It was getting close to the zero hour and we didn’t have our bicycle valet totally solidified and Jack from Jack and Adams bike shop stepped up to take care of the stands needed for those who would commute to the show! Thanks Jack and Adam’s!
The doors opened right on time at 9 AM Friday morning for Industry folks and I have to admit, it looked a bit slow, however being in the largest hall NAHBS has ever been in, it really wasn’t slow, it was a steady stream of bicycle industry people coming in and spreading out into the 70k square feet hall. By the time 1 PM rolled around, we had already seen more folks thru the door than in years past for a Friday!
Anyhow, as the first day of expo closed, we (the exhibitors and VIP’s) all took a bit of a break for dinner and then went to Mellow Johnny’s for the exhibitor/VIP party. Our friend Shane Cooper (from Defeet ) and his trio called “Chro-Molly” entertained us with a short, but well played set of 6 or 7 songs. Chro-Molly also included guitarist Michael Ward (formerly of Wallflowers, School of Fish and currently with Ben Harper) who also writes the coolest bicycle books for kids, Mike and the Bike. Once they finished their set, rockabilly badass (and Cat. 1 roadie) David Lee and “His Mercenaries” came to the stage. It was a humorous play on words as it was a duo, but that was a whole lotta sound coming out of just two guys! Our friends at New Belgium Brewing threw us poor, tired bicycle making souls a bone (and a few kegs as well!) for the party! Thanks NBB!
Saturday opened to a bunch of us feeling the effects of the rockabilly and beer the night before, but we managed to get through the day with a virtual tie with our biggest crowd yet on a Saturday! Once the show was over, it was time to head to Bicycle Sport Shop for the BBQ and Pub Crawl. I got there in time to eat and have a couple brews, but skipped out on the pub crawl due to I didnt bring my bike and, lets face it, I was just plain too tired. (my age is catching up with me)
Sunday opened up to a decent flow of folks pretty much all day. As with the larger hall, the traffic seemed like it could have been lighter, but our numbers didn’t lie. When all was said and done, 7316 came through the door and our exhibitors packed up happy and content that I had chosen a great host city such as Austin, Texas. FWIW, I never had a doubt in my mind that it would be a great show.
Overall, the show went off without any real issues, my blood pressure never went above normal and I didn’t feel the need to yell at anyone. I would call that a success!
Now, for a goofy moment…
My pal Loretta Strong hopped on my back during a photo shoot for Cog magazine and the result was funny as hell, imho.
Plus, I got some great press on bikerumor.com here
While there is so much more to tell, I have bikes to work on.
I will try to visit my blog more often! Stay tuned!