Except for the physical maladies that are a result of drinking too much and sleeping too little, not to mention the general state of self loathing that develops when there..
As usual, those returned home with me.
My deathbed is little more than a pile of pillows in front of the television, next to a bag of peanuts.
But at any rate, the revolving band of idiots converged yet again on the city of sin to hock their wares, slap some hands, and generally wander around in a fuzzy haze. Of course this year, not only was I doing those things, but I was on deck to do emceeing for the Portland Design Works/Paved Magazine Circulus throw downs.
Unfortunately I missed the Jeremy Powers/Tim Johnson grudge match, as I was upstairs having a mild panic attack and scouring the floor looking for the delight that is Ms. Jenn Dice, who as you may or may not know is, among other things, the I.M.B.A. Government Affairs Director;
She texted me saying she would like to speak with me early and/or sober, neither of which I promised, and only one of which I delivered.
Among other things, we discussed the finer points of community involvement in trail building, the art of effective use of social media, I.M.B.A.’s efforts and my possible roll therein, Oklahoma State Senator Cobern’s efforts to strip every last penny from alternative transportation (i.e. bike and ped) programs, and how riding the bicycles might very well be what saves the world.
She is an incredibly sharp individual (for a girl) and I look forward to seeing what develops as a result of our efforts.
At this point, the eighteen pack in my bag was getting heavy and I was late to meet up with J.P.H.N.H and the purveyors of fine quality riding accessories that is the PDW team;
Eric’s not pictured here, because he was actually working and not just standing around looking pretty.
-so I ambled my way across the expanse to see what was cooking downstairs. There I found friendly faces, and about ten miles of fitness equipment (a different expo all together and one filled with yoga balls and muscly people, all of whom gazed upon my repeated passing-by with smug confusion and disdain).
Finally I found what I was looking for and greeted GenO with a swift kick to his pants. The heats were about to start as California DiStefano and I took the mics and got all Dave Towle on the room;
Photo of C.D. singing the National Anthem to Pokey ©Anthony Smith and Bike Magazine, 2011
As folks were getting a chance to warm up and figure out how to ride in the beast, even a casual observer could see that things were about to get fierce. As we did at the grand unveil in Portland, day one of competition saw two person pursuit racing. The fastest of five laps wins the heat and secures their chance in the final. The two clear contenders were Mark Weir;
Photo of Mark looking shy ©Anthony Smith and Bike Magazine, 2011
and a young gun from the Bay Area named Jason. Mark is strong like ox and a naturally gifted athlete, while Jason had youth and a clear hunger in his heart to take home the cup. I like to think that my heckles undid Mark’s confedence, and he bowed out somewhere late in the game.
Hungry young Jason found himself on the line, up against his much older elder, GenO. The starting shot rang out and as Jason appeared to be closing the gap, Gene’s cat and mouse strategy became clear and he walked away from Jason taking the win.
This was not only a victory for GenO, but a victory for old guys everywhere.
A note to Jason should he be reading this though. It was once said by an internationally recognized race director that in the entirety of his career, he had never seen anyone with such naturally occurring skill and strength on a bike as Gene. Of all the people attending the show, I don’t think there were very many who could have beat the old guy.
The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat ©Anthony Smith and Bike Magazine, 2011
If you’d care, the whole set is available for viewing here.
With the little free time I had before the show shut down for the day, I skipped out to snap some photos and see just what was out in the world for me to. Of course as I’ve previously mentioned, Charles and his Art Crank circus was in town, and lending an arty air to the usual nonsense;
Charles said that so far the installation was being very well received, but after several days without sleep, he started to crack a bit.
…Which of course is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s taken down the best of us at some point or another.
A regularly occurring issue I have with the show is I will find myself on one side of the room, see a banner or remember someone I needed or wanted to speak with, and by the time I get there, it’s two hours later, or my OCD has taken ahold of my and I’m even further away from where I started. J&B Importers was one booth I tried and failed to get to, if only just to see Troy from Thrones, as was that of the newest members of the Maximo Supremo family, The Brothers Banjo;
Here are the Brothers Banjo, shot last year by Mark Emery.
They have two big things going for them in my book. One being that they are from Portland East and two, that they make the thing that sends me into a frothing tailspin. As they say, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and at least in as far as trying to see these guys, my road is four lanes wide and buttery smooth.
Other Minneapolisans I did get to see however were Jeff from All City;
Here, Jeff shows what a Thousand Yard Stare looks like.
and Ben and Jesse from Handsome Cycles;
One item I was particularly excited to see was a built up ‘Shop Bike’, which is the Handsome version of the limited edition AHTBM frame set, the only differences being the decal sets and the fact that mine is more blackerer;
And also comes with a bitchin custom seat collar;
I took this one out to the test ride area and laid down some absolutely perfect sideways and ear splitting skids, much to the dismay of the security.
Dylan from Deez Wheels will soon be taking delivery of my very own Handsome Bogart coaster hub, and I should have this bike ready to rip shortly there after.
If you, yours or anyone you know might be interested in such a thing, the frameset is available for $349.95, and the complete is $849.95, and can be picked up through Handsome, your friendly local Handsome dealer, or this very site in the coming days.
I also swung though and saw some of the cool new stuff Raleigh Bicycles has got cooking for this year;
In just a couple of short years, Raleigh has re-invented themselves similarly to how Schwinn did back in the Homegrown days going from relative obscurity (despite how familiar the world is with the name) to being a visible contender with a pretty badass line.
Lastly, regardless of what you might think about the precision of Paul Components;
I’m here to tell you that when you pull the curtain back, there’s a mess awaiting;
My man’s gotta let his inner slob out somewhere.
At this stage in today’s post, we haven’t even gotten to talking about day two, or the Soulcraft, Ritte, Paved, AHTBM Industry Bottom Dwellers Extravaganza®, which, let’s face it, is worth several days of posts by itself.
I’ll have a second day report available here for consumption on Wednesday. Until that point, keep your feet grounded but never stop reaching for that thing that is just out of reach until you accidentally knock the thing that it right next to that first thing, and it falls out and hits you on the head but you couldn’t catch it, because you were stupidly reaching for something that you couldn’t reach anyway.