After a long day of flying from Pittsburgh to Seattle for the Seattle Bike Expo, a good beer and clean hotel room are key for relaxing before spending a long day on the feet. Our first night ended with Mongoose IPA and conversation of how to deliver the 2200 copies of Bicycle Times to the masses. Too many IPAs later and awakening in confusion a few times in the night due to the recent time change and flying three hours into the past, we finally made our way to the show and got to work. I think we set a record pace for moving the first 1000 magazines, as everyone that entered the building was taken back by the cover, initially, and then by the content.
One of the first booths I stopped at, before the coffee kicked in, set the tone for the remainder of the day. The kind folks at Century Ride of the Centuries are a group of light-hearted individuals that put their own spin on SAG stops for those that ride CROCK, a three day fully supported journey that departs from Pendelton, OR with options for either riding 72 miles or a full century. Themes are the name of the game and riders partaking may find themselves entering a SAG stop featuring Bonnie and Clyde complete with a machine gun, or you might see cowboys or a gathering of white trash kin.
Once the crowd thickened it became clear to me how serious the cyclist of the Seattle area are. Cyclist of all types entered in riding gear, taking advantage of the bicycle check, even though the weather was wet and chilling. Iâ€™ve never seen so many people in rain gear carrying panniers to be stuffed with goods, while not allowing the climate to hinder their plans of attending the bike expo.
The majority of booths inside the old hanger at Magnuson Park were offering rides, tours, or other services to increase ridership and spread the joy of touring the land by bike, either for fun or competition. Some retail shops sold heavily discounted gear and accessories, while bike companies offered the mode for their transportation needs.
An antique bike show, in a building across from the rest of the show, caught my interest. Old track racers with wooden rims, and road bikes with highly decorated head badges, leather saddles, toptube shifters, and even handlebar mounted compasses lined the floor. What I thought was even cooler were the racing shoes hanging from the toptube. It made the bike seem more personal and used.
A company called Renovo featured some of the coolest bicycles Iâ€™ve seen in awhile, did I mention that they were made of wood? Others like Metrofiets and Madsen took utilitarian biking to an artistic, yet remaining functional level with their two-wheeled designs. Thatâ€™s it for tonight.