Well, after years of wanting to go, I finally got to attend the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, and it was worth the wait. Started in 2005 by framebuilder Don Walker, NAHBS is an annual trade show featuring bespoke bicycle framebuilders and accessory manufacturers.
This year, with the show right down the road in Denver, it was easy (and cheap!) to finally attend this fascinating assembly of bicycle lovers and creators, both new and old alike.
I spent several hours at the Denver Convention Center yesterday, ogling the bikes as well as the crowd. I was able to shop for my next pair of hipster glasses, got tattoo inspiration, and learned that wallet chains are still cool, in addition to discovering an amazing frame builder who has been working under the radar for 30+ years, right in the shadow of where I work in Golden, CO. I was stoked to see that Boulder, Golden, Fort Collins, and Salida CO were all represented at the show, showing that Portland, OR and Boulder, CO have loads in common, save for the weather.
(As I type this, the Best in Show press release went out!)
It was a nice way to spend a few hours, meeting up with friends and idols alike. I still remember going to the shop in Philly called “Bicicletta” back in the 80’s, and that was like a miniature version of NAHBS; the bikes were all hand made, and the paint looked good enough to eat. Today though, we have so many more artists right here in the US, and the best part is, there is room for more.
I brought my very expensive and very high quality camera from work with me (more because the lens is more versatile than the lens on my personal camera), but unfortunately forgot how to use the damned thing (auto ISO was turned off), so many of the snaps are not as sharp as they should have been, but they capture event nonetheless. (click on a photo below to step through the whole set. I’m still looking for the best Flickr-to-Wordpress gallery plugin.)