I missed Hurricane Irene slamming the East Coast because I was in Madison, WI for the Heartland Velo Show. I learned so much from this show. Besides making many new friends, this was the first show that was mine-all-mine from start to finish. Any successes or failures in the planning and execution could only be attributed to moi!
Well, the numbers may not have been stellar, (it was the first of its kind, after all) but the feedback I received was great. Everyone said they had a good time, the venue staff was exemplary, and all the exhibitors were happy with the people they met and the orders that were generated. Over all, the show had a warm, community feeling to it, and I’m looking forward to doing it again next year!
A lovely picture postcard from Sam Crossley of Mad Bike Polo arrived the other day thanking me for the event. Thank-you, Sam! (But what was with the landscape of Tempe, AZ? Was that a premonition of where I’d soon wish to be?) I must mention, for those of you that weren’t there, but who may have been following my columns, I ended up having the polo demo inside the Alliant Energy Center (instead of out in the parking lot as originally planned). It turned out there was room for it and it certainly enhanced the festival atmosphere to have guys riding around swinging mallets at round rolling things.
All in all the Heartland Velo Show was a satisfying experience. The only show-related “disaster” (and it was a minor one at that) was that the venue lost a truckload of Momentum magazines that were going to be used as giveaways. The boxes of magazines arrived at the Alliant Energy Center a couple weeks before the show and someone who wasn’t authorized to do so must have signed for them and then “misplaced” them. I wonder when, where, and if they’ll turn up! Like lost baggage.
Now it’s back home and back to work on the Philly Bike Expo. This year the Philly Bike Expo will be presented by Eastern Mountain Sports with the theme “Origin of the Species: the Evolution of the Mountain Bike.” I’m trying to imagine a graphic for that- a line of hominids starting with a caveman pushing a stone wheel, perhaps?
Of course, custom framebuilders will be displaying their latest offerings. It wouldn’t be a proper bike show without that! And, yes, local, national and international manufacturers and artisans of bicycles, components, accessories and apparel will be exhibiting, too. Many of them are familiar from the 2010 Expo, (the usual suspects!) but newcomers are also signing on.
This time, the Bicycle Fashion Showcase is sponsored by Road Holland, and will be produced by students and faculty of Philadelphia University’s Fashion Department, adding a new level of glitz and glamour.
Throughout the weekend the award-winning Philadelphia food trucks will be on hand serving up a wide range of taste sensations. Bike Valet service will be provided by Neighborhood Bike Works. Visitors can stroll the Concours d’Elegance and there will be seminars on a variety of topics presented by the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia.
Other seminars and workshops include the return of Mel Kornbluh’s popular “Tandem 101 & Tandem Fit”, and this time Wade Barocsi of Cycle Design presents “Frame Materials Technology”. Tim Schlitzer, maker of those weirdly good and somehow addictive Try Chips, will present “Eating on Two Wheels”.
Spencer Finch, of the Pennsylvania Environmental Council will present “Ride the Regional Trail” and Blake Strasser of Pennsylvania Environment Ride discusses “How to Train for Your Big Ride”.
Anne Lutz Fernandez, contributor to Streetsblog, and author of the powerful and highly recommended book Carjacked will talk about “Riding in America’s Car Culture”. This is must-know information for anyone who rides (or drives)!
Ruchama Bilenky, (my sister!) who is a certified yoga instructor and certified yoga therapist, will offer a class in “Yoga for Cyclists”. Ruchama’s calm and soothing presence will guide you through postures and breathing techniques to encourage relaxation and increased flexibility. Wear comfortable clothes and bring your yoga mat or use one of the mats provided.
Saturday’s activities include an afternoon alleycat with a surprise theme, and a Saturday night party at Keswick Cycles new West Philly location. Sunday’s activities include the Sunday morning Gentleman’s ride hosted by Rapha, and the Swap Meet hosted by NY Bike Jumble.
I’m very excited about everything we have planned for the second annual Philly Bike Expo. Telling you about it helps get my mind off of the torrential rains that have been pummeling already-soaked Pennsylvania. Yesterday, the ducks seemed charming as they swam in what had previously been Main Street several blocks from where I live. This morning, I was awakened by sirens and emergency responders knocking at our door. “Get out now, while you can,” they said. The creek behind our house has risen to join the river and is quickly filling our basement. Our neighbor’s house sits in water up to the first floor windows. I am writing this as I wait in a motel parking lot, while Justin asks for a room for us. Uh-oh he’s coming back now and he doesn’t look happy…