As I woke up in Robert Ives’ living room in the wee hours of Monday morning with my shoes on, I pulled out my phone to take a photo of my face and back of my neck to make sure there were no scribblings. Happily I found none.
But while I was shuffling around in the dark, I began thinking about what I would eventually write for this post which would inevitably be late, if it were to be at all. Perhaps I would cop out and just post a number of photographs, and let the readers draw their own conclusions. It certainly would be easier. But alas, I at least have a vague recollection of the past two days and a number of images to assist me, so let’s get on with it.
I arrived in Sacramento on Friday afternoon and promptly met up with former Retrotec hotshot Darin Smedburg. We jumped on bikes, and loaded our bags full of beer, because obviously, what’s a bike show if you’re sober? Immediately we posted up at the Soulcraft booth where Sean had an array of lovely steeds on display;I then meandered over to see Christopher and his Igleheart imprint;I wished that I had gotten a photo of that little red mixte in the background, which J.P.H.N.H. and I both agreed was one of the very prettiest bikes in the hall, but with my attention span being fairly well maxed out, I seem to have neglected getting a decent photo of it.
Traveling on, I saw other shiny things;This here thumpin’ stick is the possession of one Michael Cherney, and besides being a brilliant jeweler, was the twisted mind behind the iconic Ibis ‘Handjob’. Along side of the array of shiny things, were an assortment of shiny people. Like, for example, Wes Williams and the aforementioned Mr. Cherney;California DiStrebano’s father, Joe;And this guy;Who is this bespectacled young freshface you might be asking? His name is Bill, and is none other than the individual who nearly fifteen years ago coined the often used phrase, “bikes are like friends. You can’t have too many nice ones.”
It was truly a star studded event, but as the lights dimmed on the first day of the show, it was time to step on to a ho-down at Steve Rex Cycles, where we all would surely continue to lube our gullets with fire water and be treated to a taco-gazim courtesy of King Precision Components. As per my usual mode of operation, I hunkered down in the corner with some like minded folks and got loud; As I was digging through the pockets of my vest, what should I happen to produce but a bag of something suspicious;A year and a half or so ago I was riding across town when I found this in the street. I pocketed it simply so that a kid wouldn’t grab it or it would get eaten by a dog or something. Upon closer inspection however, I came to realize that this was nothing more than four quartz pebbles. I assumed that finding them in the street meant upon realizing they had been duped, some sad tweaker tossed his score out the car window for me to find the next day. The prize had long since been lost in my jacket, only to be found again at Steve’s party which I left as shop warming gift to him.
Slinking away to our various corners for slumber, we had to rest up for another day in the trenches and our own unauthorized NAHBS party that evening;We picked the Hideaway based on its close proximity to several comfy bushes to pass out in, and as the luminaries began to arrive, my co-conspirtors and I quietly acknowledged amongst ourselves that even for a bunch of ner-do-well dirtbags, we can throw a pretty decent bash;Upon finally exhausting all of the bar’s stock of beer and a good portion of hard alcohol, the last stragglers melted into the night and we all found ourselves getting some much needed rest.
There was a final day of meeting and greeting to do at the hall, but the lot of us opted to bow out and rather than slink around and look at bikes, we decided that we would go out and ride some of them instead. After taking on a load of breakfast, we embarked on an adventure that made our internal vacant lot dwelling fourteen year olds proud as we zigged, zagged and crashed around a network of ripplingly fun river trails;Finally, at the end of the longest twenty mile loop in history, we packed our sunburned and battle scarred selves back to the scene of the previous evening’s crimes and commiserated on what was one of the funnest weekends we’ve had since the last fun weekend we had.
The show is now just a fading memory, and assuming we haven’t all been blacklisted, we have just a year of preparation until we do it all over again in my old stomping grounds of Denver, Colorado.
It will take me at least that long to recover.