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Pedal Nation cancels 2014 PDX Bicycle Show

Posted by on January 3rd, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Walking the floor at last year’s PDX Bicycle Show.

The organizers of the five-year-old PDX Bicycle Show have announced that they’re pulling the plug on the annual event in the Portland Expo Center.

“Exhibitor Booth Registrations to date were lower than expected, so we have made a difficult decision to cancel the March show,” the organizing team wrote in a a statement on the website of parent company Pedal Nation Events. “All exhibitors who registered have been refunded 100%.”

“We’d like to send a special ‘Thank You’ to all of the supporters, sponsors, exhibitors, and friends who’ve been a part of the show over years,” they added, leaving ambiguous whether the show might return in future years.


For the last few years, the PDX Bike Show has been a venue for local and regional bike component and accessory makers to show off their work to an audience beyond Portland’s dedicated “bike community.”

“The most important thing this show does is to introduce bicycling to people that don’t shop at bike shops and who don’t yet feel comfortable on a bike (or at a group bike ride/event for that matter),” Jonathan wrote in his recap post last year.

Organizers Aaron McBride and Andrea Upgreave couldn’t be reached for comment Friday afternoon. We’ll update this post or publish a follow-up when we know more.

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  • Mike Quigley January 3, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    Kind of like the annual auto shows of yesteryear. At first a big attraction. Then, over the years, ho-hum……

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  • Ken Wetherell January 3, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    I and the PPP team will miss the show this year as an exhibitor, promotional partner and attendee. PDX Bicycle Show has been a great event to see new products and designs, talk about our services, network and mix with new and familiar faces who share a passion for cycling.

    Thanks to the Pedal Nation team for all their hard work. I hope to see this or another event resurface. If Vegas has Interbike, it makes sense that Portland have a bicycle show with its own unique flavor. Sometimes it takes time to get the recipe just right.

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  • Beth January 4, 2014 at 9:31 am

    I went to the first and second PN shows while still working in the bicycle industry. They struck me as a sort of low-grade Interbike-For-The-Public, and therefore not terribly necessary. Portland doesn’t really need something like Pedal Nation. It just needs people to ride their bikes. And lots of folks here do that alredy. Happy riding!

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  • dwainedibbly January 4, 2014 at 11:20 am

    This really sucks, but personally there is a minor silver lining: Mrs Dibbly was going to make me rent a table and well off several bikes and a bunch of vintage parts.

    Hopefully the show, or something to replace it, will be back (without the swap meet component!)

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    • nuovorecord January 6, 2014 at 12:28 pm

      I was going to rent a table to sell off a bunch of parts I have no use for. Now what?

      Hey, dwaine, wanna buy some bike parts??? ;-)

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  • David Lewis January 4, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I concur with Beth. Cyclists, as a constituency, are people who ride their bikes, not trade show attendees, racers or salespeople. I think bicycle-culture people would do well to realize that. 95% of bicycles are sold in Walmart.

    I went last year and I don’t remember seeing a lot of manufacturers’ booths, if any. It was kind of disappointing.

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  • Mark Allyn January 6, 2014 at 9:13 am

    I hope that this will not be a sign of things to come for Bike Craft, Manifest PDX, and the hand made bike shows that we have had

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  • Art Fuldodger January 6, 2014 at 10:20 am

    I wonder why the Seattle Bike Show is seemingly a huge success (200+ vendors & ~10k attendees, according to the website) while the Portland Bike Show has floundered over the years to gasin a foothold? In my opinion part of the problem is the venue – the Expo Ctr. is not centrally located, to say the least, and the ambiance is – ugh.

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  • Joe January 6, 2014 at 10:50 am

    :(

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  • Todd Boulanger January 6, 2014 at 3:40 pm

    …as for Seattle they have two big things going for them:

    1) a “wealthy”* organizing entity (*cash flow and experience)

    2) a larger population

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Todd Boulanger January 6, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      #1) above helps carry an event forward through the early growing years…

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  • Brad January 6, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Honestly, the show was not that great. You paid a stiff cover to see some local bike shops sell what they already have on the floor in their retail locations – no prototypes, deals, doorbusters, closeouts, etc. Few manufacturers had a presence and the only excitement was the MTB guys from Mt. Hood showing their skills a few times each day. The fashion shows seemed forced, the teen garage band was far too loud, and both were largely ignored as most of the traffic was huddled around the used gear sale. The crowd was mostly middle aged men in neon yellow jackets -not very diverse or exciting.

    If you could combine Oregon Manifest / Bridge Pedal / Portland Bike Show / a beer garden / good entertainment at a more central location like the Convention Center then it would draw a wider array of bike enthusiasts and some folks that are interested in becoming bike riders.

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  • Joe Suburban January 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    It may have something to do with the fact that bikes are very durable, and nothing earth shattering has been invented on/with a bike except lighter materials. A bike is wheels, chain and pedals, nothing else. If you take good care of a bike, a good one will last 25+ years. Same thing with bike stores in PDX. A few years back NW Portland was full of lamp shops. They were cancelling each other out, and they went under together!
    And the rates that the bike stores are charging due to the overhead costs is ridiculous, it’s cheaper to buy a throwaway Walmart bike every 2 years!

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  • Alan 1.0 January 6, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    I only made it to one PedalNation show but I loved it. The bike corral outside the Convention Center was eye-candy enough. Inside I chatted with the Nuvinci rep about how much gearing their hub will take (Q’tzal is pushing their limits), Susan convinced me to go with Brompton if I ever go to a folder, Shawn Granton changed my mind for the better about CF frames, and I came away even more convinced (if that’s possible) that I want to take a wheel building class from Jude (or her crew) at Sugar. Then I got my first ride ever on an e-bike, first ride on a ‘bent, and then a ride on on a hi-Kw e-bent. W00t! Oh, and a fun ride on a freak hinged bike. Heck, I’d pay twice the admission price just for those rides. The demos by some freestylers, including inverted fly-bys, and the trials demo by some legend who’s name I should remember (but don’t) were truly awesome. And then there was all the rest of the cool stuff… makers large and small, shops, hardware, clothes, art, beer garden, personal bikes on show (oh yeah, got to sit on an art-chopper that must’ve been 12′ long…waaaay kewl)…on and on.

    I can’t pin it specifically on the show but it’s probably not entirely coincidence that 18 months later I bought my first new bike in 40 years from a LBS.

    I’ll miss that show, even if I didn’t go very often, and I hope something fills that niche in Portland.

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  • Robert Holler January 7, 2014 at 8:37 am

    As a new Portland distributor for the FWD Cruzbike – http://rosecityrecumbentcycles.com/ – we were very excited for the opportunity this show was going to provide. Sad to see it cancelled. I agree that the past shows had little “new” to offer. Thats why we were excited about this one!

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  • Albert January 7, 2014 at 10:46 am

    Super Swap is coming back on April 13, and it looks like the venue will be larger than the one used in 2013:

    http://www.superswap.cc/

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