Monday, March 1

Attack of the NAHBS

NAHBS was a thirty hour whirlwind trip for me. Hodge picked me up at 6:45PM on Friday and had me back at home before 11:00PM on Saturday. For me the trip ended up being better than the destination. I am a jaded curmudgeon of a man.

Hodge and I talked the whole way up to Richmond, and when we got there it was straight to the Marriott bar. I was confused as to why we were going to the Marriott for drinks when it seemed like there should have been a more happening place in town, but apparently there was an after the Bicycling Party party going on. There we met up with Matty Cakes and I bumped into Curtis Inglis, and eventually I ran into the familiar faces of Jon and Dave from MOOTS. Then and there I plopped down in good company and caught up with Dave till the bar shut down. I miss those guys. No matter what misconceptions anyone would get from my departure from MOOTS rest assured it had nothing to do with these guys being dicks. Deep down they are great guys who love their company and riding their bikes. Knowing that I left these guys behind was one of the hardest parts about my leaving MOOTS at the end of 2009. It's not a faceless megalocompany, but a group of passionate riders who love being a part of what they do.

Enough gushing about the past and what was or could be. This is about NAHBS.

We (I) woke up feeling a little rough the next day. No rest for the wicked though, and being wicked folks we headed to the most wicked place in Richmond for breakfast. The 3rd St Cafe is not only a full service diner with a cigarette machine loaded with smokes, candy, and tampons, but it is also an after hours establishment and a strip club (on the third floor). Within the first fifteen minutes of being there our waitress dropped the F-bomb, some random guy walked outta the kitchen licking his hand and then proceeded to sing along with the Pink Floyd Matty put on the jukebox, and my eyes were stinging from the leftover funk of stale cigarette smoke still hanging in the air from the folks who had to stop drinking at 6:00AM. Once the waitress made a reference to "handies" we all pretty much agreed there was no better place in Richmond to eat breakfast than the 3rd St Cafe. It should be a tourist attraction.

Once we got to NAHBS I put on my jade colored glasses and walked around. I feel like an ass for feeling this way, but even though there were some beautiful bikes there I was much more attracted to the more practical bikes I would want to ride. I get the artistry thing, but not as much as I woulda thought. I "oooohed" and "aaaaahed" a bit, but for the most part I just "meh'ed". I ended up taking two photos of bikes.

This Don Walker had Cane Creek top caps on the ends of the unpractical bars. By the end of the show the bars were nasty with finger prints. I was amazed at the amount of touching going on without asking first. Maybe it's just me, but I would ask. I heard that one of the fancy paint jobs on an IF was scratched by someone's ring... nice.

I liked this work on the Black Sheep track bike. I wouldn't ride it, but it was cool. Not quite as cool as Jake Kirpatrick's Black Sheep race machine with welded on bottle cages, but whatever. I'm more jealous of Jake's beer sponsor than his bike sponsor (just slightly though).

I did snap this photo of Matty and Cody talking to Dave from MOOTS about the press fit BB30. Bike geeks doing what bike geeks do.

Yeah, and that's all I took at the show. I just had no desire to take a bunch of washed out, blurry photos when there are better galleries all over the internet snapped with expensive cameras by people who know how to use them. The folks at Dirt Rag got some good ones, so check them out.

My favorite bike of the show?

photo from Dirt Rag

This Black Cat is a bike I would ride. I spent awhile yesterday perusing his website, and I am in love. His work is incredible, his dropout design is ingenious, and this is something that just turns me on.

Matt McCluskey
got a paparazzi photo of me doing what I did the most while I was there, talking to people who already sponsor me.

I spent a lot of time talking to the guys at Industry Nine, Cane Creek, Twin Six, and I even got a chance to talk to Chris Sugai from Niner after Mike Stanley gave me a pat down (Chris has a fear of concealed weapons). Obviously I know nothing about networking since I spent so much time with folks I already deal with or people I've dealt with in the past. New sponsor fail.

It was nice to meet Brent and Ryan from Twin Six. It's been all emails since 2006, so with a warm embrace and a moment of awkwardness discussing the warm embrace our relationship got more physical and real... but in a most platonic and hetero man love way. Without dropping too much information the 2010 Team Dicky jerseys will happen, and it will come from the minds of some folks that already produce some kick ass gear. You put two and two together and see if you get awesome.

That's it. I'm sure some folks would say I wasted my time there, but I enjoyed it. A big thanks to Hodge, Cody, and Mattycakes for the company and whatnot. I had fun regardless of all the bikes cluttering the aisles and the urban hipsters tripping on their lower lipsters.


Luis G. said...

I love the dropouts on the Black Cats...

Big Bikes said...

I'm with ya,
all I remember form the San Jose NAHBS are all the 29" single speeds (and the Vanilla/Phil Wood trike of course). And that's only because I was in the market for one at the time.

And the Black Cats are wicked sweet.


brado1 said...

Black Cats are sweet

but you should support local builders!

Stickel builds a pretty slick ride.

wv: delte

Leyonce said...

Glad to hear about the jersey.

Those Black Cats are some eye candy.