How do I know? A head cold...
Between Junior Management, the weather changes, now the GD pollen, it was only a matter of time. Honestly, I'm surprised it took this long to arrive.
Back on the OTC meds, and the Neti Pot...
And I wondered why I felt really flat and empty on Saturday. Just no energy, no power (like there's a lot of that hiding anyway), and very little compunction to ride. I felt pretty puny when I got back to SC, and it just got worse from there. Ripping sinus headache, and all the rest...
Still ended up with 100km in the SC sunshine.
Sunday was to be a missed day anyway, as we'd planned to go to Charlotte for NAHBS. Very glad the time was taken to do so. We saw some very cool stuff. There were frames and bikes that were absolute art. There were many others that bordered on being silly. But then again, what I think might be silly, might be worthy of display at MoMA to someone else.
I have to say, the guys at Eriksen and Mosaic were not only the coolest guys at the show, but also made the nicest stuff.
And Kevin from Mosaic was very cool, and willing to talk about theory, and the very small details that I think a lot of other builders just don't consider.
And we've seen Eriksen's work. Methinks Il Prof made the correct decision in choosing Eriksen, and after talking to the guys at the booth, he does as well. Nice, down to Earth folks, who are simply the best at what they do. Proof? Best road bike and best TIG welding blue ribbons.
And they had this...
Lots of amazing work and engineering. And some just dreamer, around the curve thought. Calfee showed a tandem that could be separated, and turned into a single. Yep. Pop off the back half of the two-seater, bolt on your rear triangle, and go.
And it wasn't just bike builders. The guys from Reynolds were there too. Funniest part of the day?
When asked who came up with the idea of drawing stainless steel hydraulic tubing into diameters large enough for bicycle applications, the Reynolds rep turned, pointed, and said, "Keith...that guy right there...". Yeah, THAT GUY! Nutty...
And the price of stainless frames will be coming down soon, as Reynolds has two additional stainless tubesets coming down the pipe. Thicker tube walls, and a bit lower tensile strengths, but still stainless...
It was well worth the day trip up. And considering Charlotte is only 1:15 from here, it was an easy drive.
Two more bikes I really liked...
Random observations :
1- Lots of dudes with beards. None could remotely be mistaken for lumberjacks.
2- Very few persons of the female persuasion. MAYBE 5%.
If you are a Bespoke bicycle maker. Act like you want the business. Engage the people. I know that it's sometimes repetitive, and can be a pain in the ass. I've been in retail.
The guys at Eriksen and Mosaic. Yeah, we talked about bikes, but we also made jokes, and talked about other stuff. It was like talking to guys I'd know for longer than the 15 minutes of standing in the booth. They were welcoming, even though it was obvious that they were dragging ass on the third day of NAHBS.
The guys at Co-Motion were the same way. We talked bikes, geometries, materials, and even made a little fun of a mutual friend.
Other side of the coin? Alchemy. They make some VERY cool bikes. The issue? The entire time I tried to engage in conversation, the dude was scrolling thru his fucking iPhone. I'm not trying to come off as some expert in custom fabrication, but I DO know more about it than 90% of humans. One would think that these guys would want to talk to like minded folks. It just didn't seem so.
My next bike will be metal...but it won't be from Alchemy.
And it wasn't just the "frame" guys. It seemed to be this way across the board.
White Industries? Super nice. Friendly...outgoing...took the time.
Chris King? Never saw one of their dudes out of a chair.
Guess which hubs I ride?
Okay...it's Monday. It's shitty outside. I have a fucking head cold. And you fine people need to work.
Have a productive day.