March 9th, 2009 by peter
Saturday was quite crowded and attendees with seminar passes spent most of it in class rooms. There was a mix of classes from Ben Serotta’s life story with Q&A to Keith Anderson’s narrated gallery of frame painting photos. I felt that Friday’s speakers were excellent presenters and unfortunately Saturday’s speakers fell somewhat short of their predecessors. However, Sunday was a definite highlight as I skipped all but one seminar and had some great conversations on the show floor. My mission from the outset had been to talk with every exhibitor (I think there were almost 100) but by 3pm I was starting to go hoarse and had only made it through half of them. I had done my homework by visiting every exhibitor’s website beforehand and picking out my favorites, but it turned out that quite a few of the people whom I did not mark down were actually really cool. For example, Dave Wages of Ellis Cycle had some really sweet brazed frames where he had run all the cabling through the tubing in creative ways– I guess I wasn’t the only one who felt that way because he won an award for his technique at the end of NAHBS. I tried hard to find recumbent focused builders too but there weren’t too many. While at the Naked booth, realized I was talking to Sam Whittingham, the world land speed record holder on a bicycle. ”Fast Freddy” Markham was also at the RR Velo booth.
Note to self for next year: stand closer to Don Walker during the awards presentation if you want free swag. Don did his best to try and throw the rain jackets and other items all the way to the back of the crowd by the Southwest Frameworks booth but the realities of aerodynamics kept us from getting any freebies.
Many thanks to Don Walker, the volunteers, and the builders. It was a very educational experience and my only regret is that I haven’t attended in past years!