Esplanade closure begins February 1st

Handmade bike show will feature Oregon’s finest

Posted by on November 6th, 2007 at 4:16 pm

In the shop with Joseph Ahearne

From the shop of local builder
Joseph Ahearne.
View slideshow below
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

Many people have heard about Portland’s large and talented crop of custom bike builders, but not everyone knows that this burgeoning industry reaches statewide.

Much like our state’s heralded craft brewing industry, Oregon has become a hotbed for builders of handcrafted bicycles.

This Sunday you’ll have the rare opportunity to see them all in one place at the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show.

The show is the brainchild of local veteran bicycle craftsman Andy Newlands. Back in March, Newlands formed the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Assocation to help organize and promote Oregon-made bikes.

Newlands first put torch to metal on his Strawberry bicycles over 30 years ago. Now, Portland’s Grand Man of framebuilding is helping newcomers with advice and guidance.

Pedalpalooza '06 Kickoff Parade

Another interpretation
of handmade bike.
(Photo © Jonathan Maus)

At Sunday’s show, alongside meticulously honed lugs and masterful paint jobs will be bikes of a different flavor; Portland’s very own Zoobombers and the Dropout Bike Club.

Zoobombers are known for their artful and aerodynamic conversions of mini-bikes into stylish, downhill speed machines. The Dropout Bike Club, started by David “Chops” Darby (and others), is sort of a kinder, gentler, more inclusive version of Portland’s original freak-bike subculture group, C.H.U.N.K. 666.

Suffice it to say, this event should be an unforgettable gathering and a unique celebration of art, culture, craftsmanship and industry.

During this year’s Cycle Oregon, ride organizers put together a Made in Oregon Bike Expo (read my report here). That event provides a nice preview of the faces and frames you’ll see on Sunday. Below is my slideshow from the Cycle Oregon event (go here for the gallery) followed by a list of builders slated to attend Sunday’s show:

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Ahearne Cycles
Bike Friday
Daedalus Bamboo Bikes
DeSalvo Custom Cycles
Dropout Bike Club
Human Powered Machines
Ira Ryan Cycles
Jones Bikes
Keith Anderson Cycles
Maddock Machine
Pereira Cycles
Stites Design
Strawberry Cycles
Sweetpea Bicycles
Ti Cycles Fabrication
United Bicycle Institute
Vendetta Cycles
Vertigo Cycles
Vulture Cycles
Wolfhound Cycles

Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show
Sunday, November 11
$5 admission
11am – 7pm
World Forestry Center, Washington Park
(Take the MAX, get off at the Zoo and you’re there!)

Please support BikePortland.

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  • Austin Ramsland November 6, 2007 at 5:11 pm

    One thing to add for those folks going to the SSWC on Sunday:

    If you race on Sunday, you can get your best friend in the door for free. (Bring your bib, or come covered with mud. Whatever works best.)

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  • Craig November 6, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    No Vanilla???

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  • unotache November 6, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Austin, for those of us not racing, what is the entry fee? kids?

    Thanks, and looking forward to the show.

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  • half pint November 6, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    fyi, chops didn\’t start the dropout bike club on his own…
    oh, and the entry fee is $5, i believe

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  • Austin Ramsland November 6, 2007 at 9:44 pm


    It\’s $5 at the door. Kids under 12 get in free.

    See you at the show!

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  • SkidMark November 7, 2007 at 10:43 am

    deadbuny, the unsung hero of Portland freakbike culture, is the co-founder of DropOut Bicycle Club. But don\’t make a big deal about it, he hates that.

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  • Vance November 7, 2007 at 10:57 am

    What? Cosmano doesn\’t even rate an honorable mention in these articles? Seriously, show some respect for those that paved the way for you all. What about Jim Merz and Wayne McAllister? Oh I know, most of these folks have about as high an opinion of the, \’cycling community\’, as I do. Therefore, none of you even know who these people are.

    But it\’s good to see you supporting those who\’ve re-located to Portland. You know, over those who lived here when it wasn\’t kool, and still strugle in obscurity.

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  • SkidMark November 7, 2007 at 11:06 am

    I haven\’t heard of the people you mention, Vance, but I would not mind if you pointed me at their work.

    I don\’t understand why it matters where you struggled in obscurity…

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  • Barney November 7, 2007 at 11:21 am

    Don\’t you just want to give Vance a big ol\’ hug?

    (Vance, you\’re right. I\’m sure there are a lot of figures that were left out, but I hardly think this article is meant to be a full dissertation on all things bicycle to ever come out of Portland…)

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  • fun-key November 7, 2007 at 11:48 am

    was Wayne the old foreman at Kinesis?

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  • Tony Pereira November 7, 2007 at 12:06 pm

    Vance, Why so bitter? There was an open invite to all of Oregon\’s builders for this show. Is Cosmano still around? I\’m pretty sure Merz isn\’t building anymore, but I\’d love to meet him. He made some wonderful bikes. Can\’t say I\’m aware of McAllister, but what do I know?…I\’ve only lived here since it got cool. Maybe you and the rest of the former builders can come to the show and introduce themselves. Andy has been an incredible helping hand to all the new builders. In fact he was one of the very first people I met when I moved here.
    Is there an underlying anti-bike-community group out there? I have been extremely impressed with how welcoming and friendly the community has been to me.
    Let it out brotha…we\’re here for you.


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  • chuck November 7, 2007 at 1:27 pm


    I love that we\’re going to have a booth at this event. it will do my heart proud to have our mini-pyle next to some great local bike builders. I\’m anxious to check out what everyone has brought, and to learn more about frame building from whoever I can.

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  • Chri November 7, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    Bummer that they scheduled this on a the same day as a cross race. I am guessing that is why Vanilla won\’t be there?

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  • Jim Merz December 24, 2007 at 1:40 pm

    I did not hear about this show in time to be there, Maybe next time! I live in Big Sur now, and have retired from Specialized.

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