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BikeCraft: Photos and highlights from day one

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on December 3rd, 2011 at 9:42 pm

BikeCraft saw healthy crowds at its opening day. The event continues tomorrow with doors opening at 11:00 am.

Day One of BikeCraft 2011 is in the books. There was a great turnout today and many many fine things to browse and buy.

Below are some of the things that caught my eye. Remember, if you're just waking up on Sunday morning, you've got plenty of time to get down to 420 NE 9th and do some shopping. BikeCraft is open from 11 - 6pm and there's lots of good stuff left!

Lots of people were buzzing about this new "Crate" bicycle basket made by bike designer Michael Downes and boat maker Jeff Sayler under their Art & Industry label. At just $80, they'd sold several in the first few hours of the show. They're designed to fit two grocery bags, made with bamboo plywood and come with no mounting hardware. "Fire up your DIY muscle and figure it out or, failing that, take it to a bike shop," reads the instructions...

This is Sarah Shackleford from OffBeat Seat. She crochets bike seat covers out of thick repurposed yarn. These covers are durable, yet comfy on your behind. She also takes custom orders...

Johnnie Olivan of Rejuiced Bikes debuted his "Ninja Locks" ($25). In true Rejuiced form, Johnnie has taken old steel fork legs and crank arms, welded them to heavy-duty chain links, and then covered them in inner-tubes. "It's a cross between a U-lock and a chain lock," he says...

Sara Collins brought back more of her beautiful chainring stained-glass pieces this year (the one below is $40)...

And she also showed up with a new item; terrariums ($30-40) that have tiny bicycling figures riding inside. Sara has taken old glass jars, filled them with soils, rocks and plants and added bike trails and miniature figures on bikes that she got from model railroad sets...

Luke Mathers continues to refine and improve his Truce Designs bags. Here he is with his workhorse, super-waterproof and full-featured backpack ($230):

And new this year are waterproof and reflective seat bags:

The most pleasant surprise for me so far is Tomas Quinones and his new endeavor, Flying Snail Creations. I've known Tomas for a couple of years and I knew he had artistic yearnings; but like many people, his desk job stressed him out and kept him from doing his art. Now, free from his past job, he was at BikeCraft with a big smile on his face. His illustrations — and especially the collection of them he has put together into a kids coloring book — are fantastic!

Maus kid approved!

Nice work Tomas; I hope we see a lot more of it in the future.

Amy Erickson of Firefly Gear had several things that caught my eye...

Her Madonna del Ghisallo (patroness of those who ride) patches ($6) are very pleasing to the eye...

And she's done some great work with reflective fabric. Her vibrant flowers make great broaches and bands ($10) that you can wear for fashion...

and safety (this is what they look like in the dark)...

And here are a few more shots from the day and items you won't want to miss on Sunday!

Author, activist, and more, Elly Blue, is selling her latest zines...

Nyan Nyan Factory has these great locks with very tightly-woven fabric and heat-shrinked rubber at the ends ($25 for small, $45 for large)...

These warm and fuzzy helmet strap-mounted ear covers from Gigi's Handy Work were selling well...

It's always good to see Dave Stoops from Black Star Bags. He's been to nearly all the BikeCrafts and his business is going strong...

And last but not least, it was great to show my mom, who's visiting from California, some of Portland's bounty. Here she is modeling her new bag from Philosophy Bags...

Don't miss these and many other vendors at BikeCraft on Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm at 420 NE 9th Ave.

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Comments
  • Smitty December 3, 2011 at 9:58 pm

    We dragged the whole family there today. The sun never materialized so the kids were a bit cold on the back of the Big Dummy but we picked up some great Xmas gifts. There were a few saw-it-need-to-get-it purchases, but the main reason we went was for the stained glass chainrings. They seemed the perfect balance of classy + handmade + bikey so that our non-bikey family could appreciate them but the pieces would still bring something of our bikey branch of the family to their far away non-pedaling homes. It was way better than spending our Xmas dollars at a big box store.

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  • Adam December 3, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I was wanting to go this year, but looked through the list of vendors, was bummed to see I just wasn't all that stoked.

    I was wanting to purchase a pair of hand-crafted cycling arm-warmers for a gift. I thought BikeCraft would be THE PERFECT PLACE to track a pair down. I mean - isn't Portland all about bikes, and knitting?

    But looking at this year's vendor list, it seems the only thing being sold clothing-wise is endless, endless, endless amounts of cycling caps. I don't want a cycling cap.

    Don't get me wrong. I think BikeCraft sounds awesome! It would have just made me happier to see a greater variety of handmade bike clothing, not just hats.

    I definitely am not meaning to sound like a grouch. It is a fantastic event. It just didn't have what I was looking for. Back to the internets, eh?

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    • KJ December 5, 2011 at 11:15 am

      Knit arm warmers take about 4+ hrs to make each pair, (for a simple pattern - add time for fancy stichwork) and most yarn is about 4-8$ a skein/ball/hank whatever min. for good stuff, like wool.
      If you value your time as a knitter at even 10$ an hour that would make one pair of arm warmers about 44$ minimum and most people won't pay that for arm warmers when you can get an awesome pair from places Sock Dreams for well under that (though they DO sell a 40$ pair..because they are hand knit in Peru).

      This is *generally* why you wont see many knit goods out there. Not always though. The cost/benefit to the knitter usually doesn't pan out.

      It's pretty easy to make arm warmers out of felted sweaters though or other upcycled items like old knee high wool socks that are beyond repair...so maybe next year someone will fulfill this niche! that would be awesome.

      Hear you on the cycling caps.

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  • Marc Charbonneau December 3, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    It was my first time attending BikeCraft and I had a great time. A lot of great items, and the prices on things like shirts and art prints were very reasonable.

    I posted a write-up with some photos on my blog this afternoon here: http://www.thatbluebike.com/2011/12/portland-bikecraft-2011/

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  • RyNO Dan December 3, 2011 at 10:33 pm

    Loved that bike lounge !

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  • Sonia Connolly December 3, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I emailed this comment to Jonathan, and he suggested I post it here, with the clarification that he transferred ownership of the event to new people and is not directly involved this year.

    I had a stellar time at BikeCraft 2010. The venue was spacious, full of light, and there was ample bike parking. I ended up buying several things from different vendors and running into lots of people I knew.

    This year, I was greeted at the door by being carded (I'm 42, and moreover, don't drink), had an wristband required (again, I don't drink), and the vendor selection seemed smaller and more crowded. Oh yeah, and the bike racks were crowded and awkward to use. I bought a couple of things and left quickly, with none of the warm feelings I had last year.

    If you're running a drinking event that happens to include crafts, please do notify us in advance so I can stay away. I didn't realize this year's event would be so drastically different. I'm clearly not part of the new, improved target market.

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    • Machu Picchu December 4, 2011 at 8:47 am

      Hear, hear. I don't want to spoil anyone else's drinking and biking, but those bike events that feature alcohol as a prominent component pretty much spoil it for me. Obviously, I just don't join the "Tour of the Taverns", or similar, but so many events seem to be pushing the "plenty of beer" thing, which sells to many, but alienates others.

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    • April December 4, 2011 at 10:54 am

      If I had to guess, the wristband/ID thing has more to do with the OLCC than anything else. Plenty of people weren't drinking when I was there, and the beer wasn't a huge part of the day or anything. But the OLCC is a hardass about having alcohol in any place that also has minors, and having *everyone* get a wristband, announcing whether or not they are legal, just makes it easier on the folks who are trying to stay within the OLCC's good graces.

      Also, it may have doubled as a method to count how many people came to BikeCraft.

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    • spokesy December 4, 2011 at 11:20 am

      I had the same Feeling BEFORE I even got there. A couple kids weren't paying attention and riding all over the road a block up from the event while we were cautiously trying to navigate by them on a tandem in our lane. Then after one almost hit us, they had the gall to shout "wear a helmet." We chirped back "ride safe!" And made our way to bikecraft hoping the rest weren't as drunk and disoriented at 4pm.

      I got the id check. It was annoying as I was trying to pull off my gloves and two jackets, hats and all that. Then they went on and on about beer menu items. I don't drink. I dont care. I came here for crafts. Sorry if I am young and ride a bike so fit the Portland alcoholic stereotype.

      The filmed by bike lounge I guess was cute. We didn't go in it. It seemed like it took up a ton of real estate tho and left the corner vendors super cramped.

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    • Esther December 5, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      This & Macchu Picchu's comment definitely make sense to me (e.g. emphasis alcohol being problematic). I do think it is important to be sensitive to the needs of sober people--
      That said, on early Sunday afternoon I was asked to show my ID only "if I wanted to drink." Also, I don't know the specific OLCC rules, but I do know the OLCC does make it difficult for event organizers put on an event. Given OLCC rules it is generally easier and safer on event organizers to be overzealous on the ID checking and wristbanding front, to prevent fines or shutdowns, than the opposite.

      I assume the organizers (who did an AWESOME job in general) will take this feedback into account next year and do what they can to minimize IDing people who don't need it. In the meantime I encourage people to contact the OLCC about their permitting rules.

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    • Adam December 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm

      I don't think carding people per se is a bad thing at all. But I agree, the organizers could have made it clearer that ID would be required to enter the event. I rarely carry my full wallet with me, unless I know I am going to need it. Had I turned up at Bikecraft this year, I would have been refused entry.

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  • Grandpa December 4, 2011 at 7:19 am

    I went and bought several items from different vendors. I am 56 and far removed from the demographic of the stereotypical biking hipster. I found EVERYBODY to be very nice, outgoing and friendly. I had beer and it tasted good. There was some loud laughing with one clique of pierced and tattoo'd vendors and their friends, but at no time did I feel uncomfortable, quite the contrary. I was glad to be in a sale where a different segment of society was represented because their different thinking, manifest in clever products, provided me the opportunity to buy useful and unique items for gifts and for myself to use.

    The presence of beer, and drinking was very low key. It is a pity that Sonia could not see past it and enjoy the crowd of happy shoppers and vendors.

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    • Machu Picchu December 4, 2011 at 9:17 am

      It's a pity that we can't all see past the things that bother us, because so many of them can't be changed. Obviously the alcohol certification and identification program did not put you off, because you went right in and had a beer. There's nothing wrong with that, unless you're an alcoholic that has put in a lot of effort every single day not to drink. You could probably be around people drinking and do ok, but to go to a holiday craft sale and have to get carded and wear ID before you get in would be a bit much. It says "This is not the right place for me to be." And if it were a post-race celebration, it might just be a problem of a minority. In this event, pity is truly the word.

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      • Machu Picchu December 4, 2011 at 9:28 am

        And I should clarify that I'm referencing my own experience. I don't know Sonia, nor am I speaking for her.

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  • 9watts December 4, 2011 at 9:00 am

    Notwithstanding the carding and alcohol, I assume I can bring my 6-yr old daughter? I see a little Maus in the last photo.

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  • RyNO Dan December 4, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Hi, my experience Saturday was that they only carded and banded if you indicated you might want a beer, like normal. The cute beer cart was only a small component of the show, and the coffee stand was 10x busier. This event is definitely family friendly.

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    • Sonia Connolly December 4, 2011 at 10:27 am

      Maybe they changed that after I went through. They told me, "We have to card everyone because of OSHA (?) rules."

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      • April December 4, 2011 at 10:56 am

        OLCC. Oregon Liquor Control Commission.

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      • dwainedibbly December 4, 2011 at 2:50 pm

        Mrs Dibbly & I went on Saturday afternoon. They carded everyone at the door. I wanted a beer anyway (and Mrs Dibbly isn't a beer drinker but likes to sample mine) so I didn't worry about it even though we're old enough to be the parents of the guy carding. Mrs Dibbly will always look under 21 to me....

        Lots of great stuff and I even won a door prize. (Thank you, Green Garage!) I bought a cap from DiSanto Clothing (wearing it as I type). Mrs Dibbly got a cool journal covered with old inner tubes and bound with derailleur cable & a piece of chain. (The journal, not Mrs Dibbly!)

        If you go, don't forget to tip the guy playing the piano bike!

        Great photos, Jonathan, as usual.

        I meant to ask the Art & Industry guys if they knew how those Crates of theirs fit on a Velo Orange Porteur rack, but I got distracted and didn't follow up. D'oh!

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    • John Lascurettes December 4, 2011 at 4:42 pm

      They pounced on me at the door literally as the very first thing anyone inside said to me, "you have to show your ID!" I was a bit confused. I understand the OLCC is a hardass, but it would have been nice if they had announced why and even asked, "will you be drinking?" My answer would have been, "no thank you."

      Other than that, everything was peachy.

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      • John Lascurettes December 4, 2011 at 4:47 pm

        PS: Loved both the Nyan Nyan chains and the Ninja locks. Would have considered buying one or the other if I didn't already own a frame lock with a custom plug-in chain.

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  • Jocelyn December 4, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Many thanks to the organizers and all the amazing crafters who put a ton of their time and effort into BikeCraft. Love the terrariums!

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  • Constance December 4, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Fantastic event! Great vendors and a wonderfully creative things. Amazing craftsmanship and inventiveness. I am going to try to get over there again today!

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  • scoot December 4, 2011 at 11:12 am

    We got a couple of the coloring books and had Tomas Quinones sign them to/for the kids who will receive them. The kids will think that's really cool and Tomas seemed pretty happy/nervous about autographing them. Sweet.

    Also agree the carding at the door was weird. PITA to have to take off my backpack, dig out my ID, remove my gloves and hike up my sleeve so some kid half my age could approve my entry into the building...shrug.

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  • Matt M December 4, 2011 at 10:44 pm

    We went on Sunday and had a great time. We managed to not get carded at the door, but instead were asked for a "donation" as we headed up the ramp into the event. I did see other folks being carded as we left. Not sure what the donation was for, but I kindly declined the request since it was not made clear what it was for. We saw some great stuff, and every year my creative juices are always flowing after going to bikecraft... if only I could find some more time to execute my ideas :) All in all, a great time. Thanks.

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  • Andrew K December 5, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I went on Saturday and had a great time. Getting carded at the door WAS NOT a big deal. Come on folks...really!? You are going to bitch about that? They were just following OLCC rules and can you imagine the negative press if someone under 21 somehow got a beer at BikeCraft? Is it really that big of a deal taking ten seconds to show your ID?

    Beer was not a prominate feature of the event and I found the whole thing to be very family friendly. Sheeesh..

    I bought a couple of items at the event. A new messanger bag for me and some hand made journals I'm going to give as Christmas gifts to a few people.

    I'll be looking forward to it next year!

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  • Cyclelogical December 5, 2011 at 9:10 am

    Looked like a great time! Way to go Portland!

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  • Scott December 5, 2011 at 9:38 am

    Beer and events seem hand in hand in Portland. Just like a vegan complaining about the lack of vegan food in Pierre, ND, people complaining about the integration of beer into events in such a brew capital is just useless complaining. You are in the minority. Outside of the widespread norm. I wish that there was a nob on my Kitchen sink faucet for root beer, but there isn't and complaining about it would do no one any good. If you want events to cater to you then you need to create them because YOU are the one who has a problem with the things that the vast majority does not have a problem with. If it is such a problem, why not contact the event organizers before hand, assess the situation, and then not go and spare us the whine.

    NOTE!! In my use of the word "minority" I am referring only to a esoteric quantifiable mass. I am NOT using "minority" in any way to select, refer to, or connotate a race, religious group, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, or anything else.

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    • John Lascurettes December 5, 2011 at 12:33 pm

      I don't think anyone was complaining that there was beer at the event. What rubbed a number of people the wrong way was how it was handled and packaged: being required to pull out an ID. If one is not drinking (especially at an event open to all ages) one should not be required (i.e. ambushed) to whip out your ID at the door.

      I appreciate that HOP had their beer bike there. I appreciate that someone was in a convenient location to get an ID bracelet. But when one isn't intending to drink, one should not have to whip out one's ID (provided you even brought it) at an open event.

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      • Scott December 5, 2011 at 1:53 pm

        If you are driving or biking you are required by law to have a valid form of ID with you at all times in the state of Oregon. If you are walking and refuse to give you name, you should expect to be detained for as long as it takes for the police to determine your identity, even if you are not suspected of wrongdoing.

        If there is beer there and the OLCC decides to start ticketing people, the drinkers are not going to be faced with as much trouble as the event coordinators and the event may not happen in the future due to that so better safe than sorry.

        Also is it really that hard to pull out your ID people. I mean good grief, you had to pull out money if you wanted buy things.

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        • John Lascurettes December 5, 2011 at 3:21 pm

          You are not required to have a license on you while biking.

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          • John Lascurettes December 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm

            Nor are you even required to have a license at all to operate a (non-motorized) bicycle.

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  • Jonathan Gordon December 5, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I just want to say to Aaron Kaffen and Amos Hunter: THANKS! YOU GUYS TOTALLY ROCKED IT! BikeCraft was the best ever this year. Parking was plentiful, people were friendly, vending was varied. You guys got a ton of money into the local economy. You're total heroes. Congratulations.

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  • michael downes December 5, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Yes indeed..... BikeCraft is in capable hands. Although this was my first time I thought it went great and I cannot say enough about how well Aaron & Amos organized and ran the show. They were unfailingly enthusiastic, helpful and more importantly, available when you needed them. Everyone, vendors and customers alike, had a great time and I can't wait for the next one.

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  • michael downes December 5, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Oh..... and a big shout out to all the volunteers.

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  • Peter W December 5, 2011 at 8:54 pm

    Nice coverage.

    Jonathan, FYI, the link to offbeat seat is missing the .com. Here is the link as it should be: http://offbeatseat.com/

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  • J.M. Jones December 7, 2011 at 9:20 am

    First time to this event. Along with what everyone else saw, what I really took home was the vision that there were a host of folks able to figure out different ways to recycle materials that are useful to us. Some were quite expensive, true, and not everything was needed for those of us that are into "basics". But it was people making an effort at doing things a better way. I am encouraged by all of these folks and thank you for trying to make my planet a better place.
    I will be there next year. And I hope there is a lighter beer! Hahahahahaha

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