So, I guess it depends on how you count. Today is really the second day of the North American Handbuilt Bicycle Show for the builders and exhibitors who spent the majority of Thursday loading booths and bikes into the Sacramento convention center and arranging the pieces in such a way as to make the dirty, hard work of framebuilding appear elegant and effortless. Some exhibitors were content with the shower curtain backdrop and folding table provided by the convention center hosts. Others, like North Portland builders Tony Periera and Ira Ryan, took it up a notch. If there were an award category for "Best Duplex," Ira and Tony's MIG-welded framework finished in salvaged tongue-in-groove wood siding would take home the top prize for sure. Photos from yesterday's load-in and booth construction are up on my flickr page.
I expected the scene at NAHBS to have my head spinning and eyes twitching with overstimulation from exposure to beautiful handcrafted bikes, but after experiencing the insanity of Interbike the last two years, cruising the aisles of this showroom floor was relatively relaxing. The scale of the event is much more manageable and the framebuilders I spoke with today were very friendly and welcoming. I even managed to pull some writing out of my seat tube! Take a look at my story about a truly remarkable bike for BikePortland.org. It's Gary Fisher's pick for Best of Show and should be yours too.
I'm working on a couple of larger stories for BikePortland that will publish in the next couple of days, so stay tuned for those updates and more photos, of course! See you at the show tomorrow!