Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Best NAHBS Purchase I Made

Early in the year, I built up my trip to the North American Handbuilt Bicycle show in Austin, but never really wrote anything about it; mostly because when I finished my time at the show I had a sad family errand to run and the show was kind of pushed out of my mind. However, I ended up finding my pictures the other day, and I suspect that someone might want to know what the show was like before they invest in their tickets for the 2012 show.

If you want me to cut to the chase, then I'll save you some reading here; it was fantastic. Lots of bamboo bikes, some really neat stuff like the Nu-Vinci hub, and lots of beautiful handmade bicycles - go figure. If you are considering going and you like bikes, go ahead, you won't regret it. If you are a blogger, request your passes - then you get to go to the cool parties - but that's a different post. 

This blog counts as "media" for sure. 

One of the most interesting trends I spotted at the show was the importance of keeping one's blood thin when riding - as evinced by some of the bikes I saw at builder booths. I'm a big fan of what I call the "French method" of fortifying myself, and I was really enjoying the different ways to portage one's daily dose that were on display at the show. 

Good, but I think it might foam up
I had actually gone to the show with the intention of finding a cage for my flask - I saw one in a magazine once, and thought it was an awesome finishing touch for a gentleman's ride - and that it would look pretty good on one of my bikes as well. I got a flask as a gift from my brother a number of years ago, and I love carrying it, because it seems really grown up to have a fancy pocket flask. I suppose that it seems a little more "alky" to everyone else, but I don't really care what anyone else thinks about my habits. Anyway, one of my express intentions was to pick up a flask cage at the NAHBS; I go to a lot of trade shows in  my line of work, and I expected the NAHBS to have lots of vendors carrying the cool stuff that I can't find locally. That's not as true as I thought - though I suppose everyone is a vendor there, but the items (handmade bikes) tend to be a little steep, price wise. Thankfully King Cage had a booth at the show, and after I watched him make one of his regular water bottle cages on the spot, I asked him about the flask cage I was looking for. I may have asked in between sips from the flask I was carrying in my pocket - I don't remember, it's a little blurry.


Three - cage. 
Smiling, he pulled a couple of cages from his duffel bag, asked for my flask, and then adjusted them to fit. I couldn't have asked for any better service than that, and $20 later (one and a spare) I was on my way, my one real desire for the weekend fulfilled. After the show shut down that night, we (the guys from Biking In Dallas and I ) had invites to an exclusive party for vendors and press at a famous bike shop in Austin, so I replaced one of my standard waterbottle cages on the High Sierra with one of my new cages, and away we went. Obviously at a bike show, people talk bikes and check each other's gear out, and my cage got lots of attention from the people on the street. I happily told them where to get them, and I'm sure that King Cage had a run on all of his available flask cages for the rest of the show. One of the guys from BID swung by to pick one up on Saturday and reported that the secret stash duffel bag was just about empty at lunchtime.

Stay busy, get plenty of exercise, and don't drink too much - but don't drink too little.
The NAHBS was great fun, and I will put up some other photos - I was journalisting but not photojournalisting, so I didn't get many (good) photos of the bikes - but I know someone who did. If I can get him to either send me his photos or put them up somewhere, I will do another post or two about the show. Unfortunately the flask cages aren't available on the King Cage product page, but I'm willing to bet if you shoot them an email that they'd put one together for you. If you are considering the NAHBS, a flask cage isn't the only compelling reason to go, but it's a good one.

No comments:

Post a Comment