Where will NAHBS end up in ’09?


NAHBS founder Don Walker.
(Photos © J. Maus)

In a few hours, North American Handmade Bicycle Show founder Don Walker will make the announcement of where next year’s show will take place.

Each year it is a closely held secret, but Walker has already already shared clues and has made it clear it won’t be in Portland, and rumors about NAHBS ’09 are swirling through the aisles.

Here are the clues Walker has shared:

  • The governor of the state concerned wrote to express his desire to host the show
  • The host city is within one day’s drive of approximately 100 million people
  • The state concerned is adding $20 million a year to build, expand and link the state’s trail systems, and sees bicycling as a major part of that
  • Three micro-breweries are situated within two blocks of the expo hall, and the host hotel is right across the road
  • The city is regarded as one of the most hospitable in the USA

Matt Bracken of Independent

Any guesses?

The inaugural NAHBS was in Walker’s home town of Houston, Texas and the last two were in San Jose, California. So far, most rumors going around the show are that he might once again bring the show home in 2009 — to Indianapolis, Indiana.

Given the huge attendance and the community support for the show here in Portland, some people would wonder why Walker wouldn’t stick around for at least one more year.

I’ve talked to several builders and they would all love to come back to Portland again. Matt Bracken of Massachusetts-based Independent Fabrications was one of them. He said, “I was hoping it would go another year here [Portland]. We’ve really enjoyed this city.”

Regardless of Walker’s final decision, these past few days have sent a clear message to the bicycling world that Portlanders love bikes.

In an article in VeloNews this morning, reporter Matt Pacocha wrote that he was so impressed with how “the cycling community…has embraced the show and its builders” he wonders what it would be like to have Interbike in a city like Portland where, “the public is very much into the bicycle.”

I’m not so sure Portland needs Interbike, but it sure would be nice to have a smaller, handmade show like the NAHBS here every year.

Stay tuned for the official announcement.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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16 years ago

Indianapolis? Really? Well, if it IS there, maybe I\’ll be able to attend and visit my familiy at the same time. It seems odd, though. Unless things have changed dramatically since I\’ve been back, most riding done there is recreational and there\’s not a HUGE interest in cycling as a whole in Indiana.

Thanks for the coverage Jonathan. It was nice for those of who missed the show.

16 years ago

Uh, I think Mr. Walker is intimidated by the growing number of builders just in the Northwest who are eclipsing his style and creativity.

That or he drank too much of the most amazing micro-brew in the US and lost a few brain cells.

16 years ago

He\’d be foolish to have already (before attendance figures are in) decided on changing cities but even more foolish to have it at the Oregon Convention Center again without making some drastic changes. And this cash only thing reeks of IRS issues…

Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
16 years ago

Why would they want to draw that many attendees to drive to next years show? – as they had a record level attendance with attendees who bicycled to this year\’s event in Portland.

I think it would be great to have a 3 coast rotating show…so that our builders can get around and show their products to others. (Portland – Austin – Philly/NYC?)

And in the off years perhaps Portland can host a Citybike show inspired by Eurobike. Interbike did have a lot more city bikes this year…but there was no real urbane place to ride the test bikes other than the convention show hallways (not even a test track like the Seattle bike show has had in years past). A pity.

16 years ago

I love Portland 🙂
great place for the show. glad i made it!

also Dirt Rag is on Tour.. 2nd stop was

16 years ago

Indiania, Michigan,Illinios, Ohio, etc, are great cycling states! and it is a great idea to hold it there. I am happy portland came out and supported the show, and continues to support and live and breathe cycling, especially utilitarian side of it, but compared to the midwest, east coast, and the potential of, the cycling here is small potatoes and love needs to be spread. Plus how else can the Amish make it to a show? Plus Indianopolis was central in the original bicycle boom, not to mention the rise of Major Taylor, the greatest bike racer of all time (read his book and you\’ll agree: bar none). I want to see some Major Taylor replicas, like maybe a copy of his 14 lb racing bike.. !

Like already mentioned I am sure some are already thinking regional or west coast show, or if not, portland has already done some nice local shows!