[This is the second in a series of four interviews with local bike builders who are exhibiting at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show next weekend (March 2-4) in San Jose, California. Read about Ira Ryan in the first installment.]
Tony Pereira hopes to continue his winning ways at the Handmade Bicycle Show. Last year, he took home a third place trophy in the Road Frame category.
This year, with a new shop location and more building experience under his belt, he hopes to keep the momentum rolling with another good showing in San Jose.
A few months ago, I spent the day in his shop and shared this report and photos.
Like the other three builders, Tony’s preparation is coming right down to the wire. Luckily for us he spent a few minutes to answer my questions…and he even sent me a few exclusive shots of his brand new, still unpainted show bikes.
Are you ready for the show?
“All my frames are built but the paint isn’t done yet–it’s going to be right down to the wire. I still have some fantasies about building new display racks, but I’m not sure that I have time. T-shirts and business cards are being printed as I write. I still don’t quite have all the transportation details hammered out, but that should be resolved soon. Oh, yeah…I will have to build up the bikes after the paint dries…hmmm…when am I going to fit that in?”
Seems pretty hectic…
“It has been incredibly hectic. I built a few things that I’ve never attempted before and I’ve really stressed myself out. I think the results will be worth it, but we won’t be sure until that last bolt is tightened.”
How do you hope the show will help your business?
The show was a huge success for me last year. As a new business I feel that it really put me on the map. I won an award for 3rd best road bike and got to share the podium with my buddy Sacha. Pictures from the show get spread all around the ‘net, people talk about it for months and it brought in a bunch of orders from all over the country.
What are your plans for your booth, what type of bikes will you exhibit?
The more bikes I build, the more I’m drawn to a kind of neo-retro aesthetic. I built a 1920’s, cruiser-styled 29er MTB and a 50’s-styled Randonneur that will knock your socks off. While some of the styling is old-school, the frames are built with modern materials and topped off with lots of carbon and Ti bling.
Photo: Tony Pereira
Photo: Tony Pereira
What are you personally looking forward to at the show?
So much…I’m really looking forward to seeing all the great people that I met last year and to meet face-to-face some of the people I have only known via email and phone. Of course, there’s all the insane bikes that will be there too. I’m hoping I have time to attend some of the seminars, but I know that was nearly impossible last year and I’m all by myself this year, so leaving the booth will be difficult. I’m dying to unveil all my hard work. I think people are going to really dig the stuff I’ve come up with.
Additionally, I think it is important to point out that this handmade bike thing is at the highest level it has ever been. This show is pushing the “art” further and further. This niche didn’t really exist in this form before. The bikes that will be seen at the show are so far above and beyond it really is incredible. All bike geeks should be making the pilgrimage down to San Jose!
Sounds good Tony. Thanks for taking time to share your thoughts with us and good luck getting ready for the show.