Editor’s note: Please welcome new BikePortland contributor Mark Reber. A reporter and photographer, Mark is working with us to cover the Oregon Manifest Constructor’s Design Challenge and Race this weekend. Mark was able to spend some time with the bikes and their proud, nervous builders this morning, and sent this dispatch — and some enticing shots of some of the bikes — from the show floor.
-More photos below-
(Photos by Mark Reber for BikePortland)
Bleary eyes and soiled hands were in abundance this morning as more than 30 custom bike builders brought their entries to the Oregon Manifest Bike Union at 539 NW 10th at Hoyt.
They were here to participate in the Constructor’s Design Challenge. The challenge “aims to inspire frame builders and designers to develop considered, integrated, and spectacular solutions for the everyday rider.” What we saw this morning lived up to the spirit of that challenge, executed with attention to functionality and aesthetic appeal.
But these bikes are not just for show. Each of them will be raced tomorrow over a 77-mile course that will not be revealed to the entrants until this evening when the event opens to the public tonight for a reception that begins at 7:00pm.
Instead of radical designs that aim to shock, these are bicycles meant for everyday use, with durability and functionality in mind. What separates these frames from the herd is the builders’ passionate flair for detail.
Evaluation by a four judge panel continues today, concluding just before the reception. The race, expected to finish in the mid-afternoon on Saturday is another element in the contest. When it’s all said and done, 12 builders will be put into a final selection based on whose design, construction and race results best solve the technical challenges of building the ultimate transportation bike.
Below are a few sneak peeks from the show floor. Drop by the OM Union (539 NW 10th at Hoyt) tonight to see them all for yourself (or stay tuned to BikePortland for more photos and coverage).
BikePortland is the official media partner of Oregon Manifest. See our Oregon Manifest Special Section for more stories about this year’s event.