This year’s Bike Expo endured sogginess, brutal cold and a biting wind, but hey, it’s springtime in Seattle! Thanks to all who made it a great success. It was particularly delightful to run into old, er, longtime friends like Bob Freeman and Bill Davidson of Elliott Bay Bicycles. And to chat with M.J. Kelly and David Hiller of the sponsoring Cascade Bicycle Club. Hiller, one of our region’s advocacy heroes and a driving force behind all the bike safety improvements we’re noticing around Seattle (including the bike protest to make Stone Way safer in 2007), has been sticking it out in Olympia all winter long, doing God’s work on cycling legislation. His work involves talking so much that he literally was losing his voice at the show, hope he’s managed to recover.
I had to kid Bill D. about seeing one of his bikes in the “Classic Bicycle Gallery” at the show. Remembering Bill and Bob as skinny kids (I think I was a skinny kid too, although it’s tough to recall that far back) founding Elliott Bay back when the Euro-fed renaissance of cycling was just getting going for the Boomer generation, I have a hard time thinking of them as “classic.” Both are vibrant, energetic and creative as ever, a testament to the wonders of the sport for fitness and attitude. (Turns out the Davidson bike belonged to Bob!)
Big Mo, Maurice Tierney, was there hawking copies of Dirt Rag’s new, well, I guess you’d have to say rag, Bicycle Times. The inaugural issue was being distributed free — cover stories on “Be Prepared for Your Commute” and “5 Brands of Rain Gear Tested.” Maurice, whose reviews are renowned for representing the Clydesdale contingent, said advertiser reception “has been great to our concept.” Which is to leverage the renewed interest in and momentum behind street cycling of all kinds. More on that later, but for now, best of luck to the Dirt Rag gang, and check out Bicycle Times when you get a chance. It brings the same blend of honest, down–to–earth reportage and commentary on everything from advocacy to equipment that makes its parent publication such a refreshing joy to read.
I didn’t score much merchandise this year. Not because there weren’t great bargains, including high-end clothing and gear going for 50 percent off, but because I couldn’t find exactly what I needed. Still, it was fun checking out the new stuff…more on that later. As for the venue, the guy going around with the shop vac deserves major props. In some places there was standing water, and the carpeting didn’t do much for keeping the shoes dry, although it was nice to have the cushion. Next year the club hopes to move to Magnolia and dryer, comfier digs. Till then, remember our slogan: Ride fast! Live slow!