I have just been notified that my flight is two hours early. So, it’s off to the Harrisburg International Airport with my Brooks Hampstead Holdall. I drooled over this bag for months – it’s finally mine, thanks to my husband, Justin, a man who knows what a girl wants! The Brooks is filled with admission wristbands for the Heartland Velo show, PA local goat cheese, and mini Triscuits. I’m ready for Madison!
I’m getting good at estimating the weight of my S&S coupled Bilenky in a travel case. It came in at 46lbs! You go, girl! And I mean go- it’s time to get on the plane!
More and more exhibitors signed on the closer we got to the show, and we’re not there yet. There’s Ironweed panniers, and Bilenky, and Waterford and Cysco Cycles are bringing bikes made out of KVA stainless tubing. The Minnesota builder contingent consisting of Capricorn, Chris Kvale, Clockwork and Speedhound will be represented. Although I must say Capricorn’s relocating to Eugene, OR on September 1. These builders have joined an already impressive list of companies displaying their wares at the Heartland Velo Show. I still expect several “last-minuters” to raise the excitement level even higher. I was still getting calls about booths while sitting in the airport. Love it!
The schedule of seminars, workshops and activities is also growing. Here’s a small sampling of some of the newly added attractions lined up for the Heartland Velo Show: raffles of a Rolf Prima wheelset and an alloneword hat with proceeds to benefit Adventure Cycling Association and their work with the US Bicycle Route system; a kids’ bike-themed craft project set up by Arttero, and a bike polo demonstration by Mad Bike Polo. The bike polo demo will be taking place in the outside rear parking lot. I was concerned that the lot at the Alliant Energy Center (our Heartland Velo Show venue) might not have sufficient capacity. I was told there are 2500 parking spots. Provided most everyone bikes to the show, that ought to be big enough!
All last week, I tortured the venue management until we came up with the perfect booth layout with everyone facing someone else (big happy family circle!). And we’ve made sure that the kids activities are not too close to Doug Fattic’s brazing demo. Doug has trained and educated several hundred new framebuilders since he began his Niles, MI framebuilding school. At the Heartland Velo Show, he will braze a frameset in a live instructional presentation of the craft before your very eyes!
In case you’re wondering, Yes, my brazing demo safety plan was approved by the Madison fire department. I promise it’s safe!
Banjo Cycles = Party! The folks at Banjo have revealed a few details of their Friday night exhibitor welcome/open house. They’re planning a corn boil with brats and beer at their Madison shop. What better way to show Heartland hospitality than with farm-fresh Wisconsin corn!
I initiated an unofficial “best exhibitor badge name award” while prepping for the San Diego Custom Bicycle Show this past spring. For Heartland, Banjo Cycles has got to win the prize for awesomest exhibitor badge names. After first lulling me into a false sense of security with the names John and Ahren, they hit me with Red, Stick, K-Rad, and LindZ. Can’t wait to meet them all in person, and they are all people aren’t they? (The San Diego badge name winner turned out to be a dog!)
My missions, should I choose to accept them, when I arrive in Madison are as follows—not necessarily in order of importance: find a Kinko’s for printing exhibitor badges etc.; find a bank for change; find a nail salon (C’mon you can’t run a show without a pedi!).
Of course the fact that my flight was bumped up two hours meant two more hours of sitting in O’Hare before my connecting flight to Madison. Two more hours of anticipation.
When I arrived at the hotel front desk to check in, I was informed I had something waiting for me – a full luggage cart packed with copies of Dirt Rag and Bicycle Times.
Kristin Wiig from SNL in her Dream Home Extreme skits says it best: “I’m so puuuumped! Are you puuuuumped?!”