So what's all this yelling going on over at one corner of the cavernous seaplane hangar that houses the 2007 Seattle International Bicycle Expo?
Two guys are competing in a virtual track sprint (Goldsprints) and an emcee is urging a small crowd to cheer them on.
Elsewhere, a former pro cyclist is talking about the Tour de France to a standing-room-only gathering. In between more than 150 exhibitors are displaying and talking up whatever bicycle related stuff they're offering and bargain-hunters are searching clothing racks and boxes for shorts, jerseys, socks, helmets, you name it. (List of exhibitors)
Man, it's noisy in here.
This is my fourth bike expo, but the first time I've pedaled my bike to it. Turns out the 38-mile round-trip from my house is farther than the year's previous Cascade Bicycle Club event, the Chilly Hilly. And bucking the headwinds and spattering rain from the incoming Pineapple Express on the way home was every bit as nasty as that Bainbridge Island ride.
I arrived to hear the latter part of Frankie Andreu's talk (Andreu unsure about Landis case) and stuck around the main stage to hear Portland's Joe Kurmaskie talk about his latest cross-county cycling adventure.
Kurmaskie got us laughing with his descriptions of taking his two sons — ages 7 and 4 — on the bike trip. The 14-foot, 250-pound rig he piloted consisted of his bike, a trailer bike for his older son and a trailer for the youngest.
Known by the nickname Metal Cowboy, Kurmaskie wrote a book about the adventure — “Momentum is Your Friend.” He said the book is not a whitewashed version of the trip, “There were some horrific moments.”
Always on the lookout for touring bikes at the expo, I wrote about Burley's new touring bike last year, and within six months they had sold the company, deep-sixed the bicycle division and focused on just making trailers again.
I'm not worried about jinxing Co-Motion and their very spiffy Americano (left) touring bike; it's been around for several years. I can appreciate the all-steel frame that allows room for a frame over wide tires. Also bar-end shifters, cantilever brakes.
I don't think I can do much damage by mentioning my visit to a Novara Randonee (right) set up at the REI display, either. This bike gets plenty of kudos from reviews, such as in Bicycling magazine (pdf ). The steel bike is rugged, but heavy — 29 pounds.
Another cool bike that was set up for randoneurring but looked like it could handle touring was a Davidson Handbuilt Bicycle (left). The company has been building bicycles in Seattle for more than 30 years.
Let's hope they're around for at least 30 more.
Quite a few sponsors sent reps to inform visitors about Northwest bike rides coming up this summer. I try to keep an up-to-date list at my Washington Bike Ride calendar, but I always come away with more.
Some that I learned about this weekend that I'll be adding to the list: Burlington Mid-day Rotary's Ride for Youth in July; Ellensburg's Manastash Metric in October; and Yakima County's “Your Canyon for a Day” ride in May.
See more pictures from Seattle bike expo; click on pictures on this page to enlarge