Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Philly Bike Expo 2014

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays the organizers, exhibitors, and attendees from the swift completion of their appointed rounds should be the motto of the organizers and exhibitors of the Philly Bike Expo. Since its inception this show has endured blizzards and hurricanes when the show opens. Even the advertising has evolved from cyclists riding through Philadelphia with a billboard trailer in tow. To an actual billboard on I-76.

If you go to the Philly Bike Expo and expect the attendees to be dressed in spandex and clacking around in clipless shoes you would be sadly mistaken. The few who did were very out of place. The majority were smartly dressed couples and families with young children.

The bike demo area is always an interesting place to go to. With a wide range of exhibitors attending the show the bike demo area had Bullit Cargo bikes, Gazelles, Bromptons, Xtracycles, and Fat Bikes. Including models with electric assists. I took a few laps on a Bullit and once you get the hang of it they handle quite nicely.

The exhibitors were the usual collection of bike retailers, clothing, equipment, and accessories. There were a few standout exhibitors, including one of the human powered vehicles from the Kennsington Kinetic Sculpture Derby and a trick riding demonstration.

The two most understated booths however were the ones that spoke the loudest if you knew what you were looking at. The first was Via Bicycles with just a sign and a bike. But not just any bike a fully restored 1890’s touring bike with a front suspension. An almost near match to the bike used by “The Lost Cyclist” from one of the Saturday seminars. Curtis and his staff rode the bike over from their shop, but if you thought you might get a chance to ride this bike in the demo area forget it. The pedals alone are $500, each.

The other exhibitor was distinguished white haired gentleman with a British accent with nothing more than a handful non-cycling books on display. It took me a minute to realize that I was talking to legendary frame builder E. David Moulton. Whose bikes bikes have been ridden in the Olympics and the Tour de France.

One of the things that I enjoy is the diversity of the seminars, its more than just bikes and bike building. Since I only had limited time during the weekend I elected to attend Bikesnob NYC who speaks with a mix of wit and wisdom.

And of course it wouldn't be a bike expo if it didn't have indoor valet bike parking,  courtesy of Neighborhood Bike Works. On Sunday afternoon they had parked over 600 bikes.

Over the years I have attended many trade shows as an exhibitor and I know how much work is involved. The Bilenky team did an excellent job and I look forward to next year.


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