As I said on Monday, things have hit the fan in epic proportions. What does this have to do with an inverted domicile? Not really anything.
Now then- I received a text late last week from Geno notifying me that he was headed west.
So I prepared his accommodations- (I temoprarily put the guest bed in storage, and instead filled his room with shredded newspaper) and headed to the airport to fetch him.
Early the following morning we hopped on a train and booked it to the capital;
With loaded bags bursting at the seams, we eventually arrived at the convention center, took possession of our badges, and hit the ground running.
First things first, I tripped over Ben from Argonaut Bicycles;
A few years ago after a lecture he gave, during which times specific claims were made, I made what might have sounded like a snide remark asking why his bikes were any better than any other carbon bikes. It wasn’t snide… Or at least it wasn’t intended to come off that way. It’s just in an industry like this, there are a lot of similar sounding claims. Besides being one of the greatest communication tools the world has ever known, the internet also makes everything everyone says sound super asshole-ish. In response, Ben very thoughtfully took the time to send me a detailed email reply, and from that time forward both his and his brand have claimed a solid place in my heart.
Anyway, from Ben’s booth I moved on to San Francisco’s Low Bikes, the personnel from which had their heads down engaging in the 11th hour crunch;
When shooting photos like these, I often repeatedly exclaim, “I’M INVISIBLE. DON’T LOOK AT ME. ACT NATURAL“, and so forth.
As you can see, the results are spectacular.
Moving on from there, I just started going in every direction with no particular agenda.
The following images are some of the things I apparently saw.
Hands down, Santana Bicycles has the prettiest, and most sexy coupler in the world;
They also have the bike that a I noted on the Instagrams is perfect for the functional couple in a dystopian post apocalyptic wasteland during hunting season;
At that point, I turned around and just started firing off photos.
Here we have the Caletti that was detailed by artist Jeremiah Kille;
And good god, I can only imagine how much work that took, because this year I too arted all over a Hunter brand bicycle frame, and man, was that exhausting;
Like, if I never do that again, I’m totally ok with it.
I stopped by and got a shot of a couple Erikson bikes;
-and then got an eyeboner all over the welds;
Sometimes I get caught up in the complete package and don’t pay attention to the details, which more often than not are the things that really make a bike spectacular.
Like for instance the lovely, and creamy brazing on the frames that were produced by Italy’s T˙Red Designs;
Everywhere you looked, there was a distraction;
Black Cat Bicycles;
Who end up snagging ‘Best In Show’ with this number;
It was clearly a mighty fine bike with or without Gene and Rick doing buttstuff in the background.
And speaking of stuff- There was Paul Component Engineering stuff;
And Soulcraft stuff;
And Retrotec stuff;
And Moots stuff;
Triton from Moscow with sandwich on table stuff;
In among all of this stuff, there of course were people a’plenty to see as well. Like frame builder extraordinaire, Brent Steelman, who after a wildly successful, yet tumultuous career, has finally retired from the biz, and as he said, is indescribably happy about it;
I asked him if I could sneak one last bike into his queue for myself, and he very quickly, and joyously said no.
There was Jeff and Julie from Stashers;
Who arrived just in the nick of time for the Amigoman autograph hour;
I then went over and chatted with Erik from Peacock Groove about what it’s like to tote Don Walker and a television interviewer around the show floor in the back of his insanely cool utility trike;
He said it was easier than you might think.
The clock was ticking on the first day’s conclusion, so I hustled and slapped hands with a few more places and people.
Like for example, the Lieutenant Mayor of Flagstaff, EK;
Tara and Marley from the Sierra Butes Trail Stewardship;
Glenn Spiller, formerly of Sinclair Imports, currently of Ski-Bumming And Loving Life Inc.
Finally, after all was said and done for day one, the time to get cracking was upon us.
The evening’s agenda was as follows;
1) A free happy hour at our hotel;
2) A party at Steve Rex’s shop, which I actually didn’t get any photos of because I just hung out on the street;
3) And an outlaw cross race out in the bushes somewhere maybe east of town that we got lost going to until we ran into Jocelyn from Portland Design Works who got us there, because she’s smarter than both of us;
We finally got there, and did some racing and some crashing.
Here are four crappy photos of said action that I took;
Here are three non crappy photos of said action that were taken by CX Magazine;
As NAHBS day one turned into NAHBS day two, we zigged and zagged our way back through the darkened corridors of Sacramento to arrive at our hotel sometime around 2:00 am.
With sand in our hair and pockets, we hit the pillows with quickness, and dreamt dreams of pretty bikes.
Within hours we’d be back at it, dragging ass, and faking names.