Support BikePortland

“Low levels of interest” leads to cancellation of Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show

Posted by on August 6th, 2018 at 1:50 pm

Fans of great bikes stroll the aisles in the 2012 Oregon Handmade Bike Show held at the Vigor Industries shipyard on Swan Island.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

“Our hope is to remake the show with an eye toward the future.”
— Dave Levy, Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association president

Organizers of the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show have called off their marquee event — for the first time since it began 11 years ago.

In a message to vendors, fans, and sponsors, Dave Levy, president of Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association, the nonprofit trade association behind the event, wrote, “It is with a heavy heart we have decided to cancel the show… 2018 has been the year we have seen the lowest level of interest in the OHBS, the number of builders who have chosen to sign up is so low the OBCA board feels we cannot put on a show we can be proud of, and allow the builders to present well.” Levy said the organization will refund vendor fees that have already been paid.

Last year when the event was held in a warehouse just north of the St. Johns Bridge, over two dozen vendors shared their creations with an appreciative crowd. But excitement about the event has tapered in recent years as the local framebuilding scene has cooled considerably since its heyday in the mid-to-late 2000s.

We reached out to a few vendors who’ve displayed at the OHBS for several years to hear what they think.

Josh Liberles at the 2015 show.

Joshua Liberles of HiFi Components said the 2017 show continued a trend of low attendance numbers — from both the public and the industry. “With the time and expense involved in putting together a booth, a builder (or wheel company) needs to be confident that the turnout will merit the work and money put in. There’s something of a catch-22 at play, too: over the last several years, some of the bigger local builders have stopped taking part in events like this, and they are certainly a draw for attendees.”

Portland-based bike builder Joseph Ahearne of Ahearne Cycles said the OHBS was his favorite show because it was easiest for him to attend. But he understands why the number of builders might have dwindled. “I think it’s harder than ever to make money as a bike builder and Portland is getting more expensive as a place to live, and as a place to find affordable shop space,” he shared with us via email this morning. “At some point the numbers don’t pan out. It’s never been easy, but now, the bike industry is changing, going more online, making it even more difficult for those of us who work with lower quantities and higher prices. Everything in the industry is going in the other direction.”

Advertisement

Joseph Ahearne at the 2017 show.

Ahearne also thinks this cancellation might illustrate larger trends in our ever-changing city.

“There’s a shift in the community, what felt for a long time like a big Portland family has changed,” he wrote. “It’s like all the kids grew up and left for college or something, and now Portland wants to be like other big cities, despite some of us with our nostalgia for the cheaper, grittier days. Newer members to the community don’t seem to want the old edgy Portland so much as a cleaner, more upscale living and shopping experience. Which is pushing a lot of people out.” Ahearne has also noted a significant decrease in the number of local builders.

Dwan Shepard, owner of Eugene-based Co-Motion Cycles, thinks the show has never really found the “magic formula” it needs for sustained success. Last year’s venue was “cool,” he shared, but it’s out-of-the-way location might have kept many people away. “The show is full of lovely, interesting, kind and lovely people. Most I’m sure would come year after year if the show could generate good attendance in a hall that people could find, with plenty of fun and interesting reasons for them to make an appearance.”

Shepard estimated last year’s show drew only about 200 people. Our report on the first OHBS in 2007 included an estimate of over 1,800 attendees.

The OBCA says they hope to “Remake the show with an eye toward the future.”

For builders like Ahearne, Co-Motion, and others who still have strong businesses, the value of a gathering like this is still apparent. “It may not be the most glamorous or visible bike show in the country,” Ahearne said, “But I think it’s important to get these people together sometimes to remind us that we are, in fact, a small community. The nature of the business is isolation, and there’s a lot of struggle involved, and to put ourselves in front of the public and to talk with them, and to have some time to meet and hang out with other builders is important, validating, inspiring. And cool bikes are still cool to look at, even when everything else around us is changing.”

UPDATE, 8/7: The OBCA has announced a new event coming August 18th: A Framebuilder’s Goodbye to Velo Cult. There are 15 amazing builders already lined up!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

Please support BikePortland.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

148 Comments
  • bikeninja August 6, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    Darn it all, We seem to be rapidly transitioning from a city of artisans, brewers and musicians riding fixies and vintage road bikes in to a burg of plastic people riding e-scooters, hybrid SUV’s and plastic bikes ( carbon). I am glad I was here for the good times.

    Recommended Thumb up 19

    • Middle of the Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 7:52 am

      It was an inevitability. Once Portland started marketing itself as so cool and hip, the end of that era began.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Rich Fox (CIRCA Cycles) August 6, 2018 at 2:44 pm

    My feelings echo a mix of what was said by Dwan and Joseph, but I think it would be constructive for the local builders to get together and do a post-mortem on some of our past experiences with the show and brainstorm how to be more successful next time.

    I’d also love to hear suggestions and feedback from the local cycling community regarding what you’ve enjoyed about the show, what were some challenges, and how we could make it better / more fun for you in the future.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • rick August 7, 2018 at 9:26 am

      A mountain bike thing by Skyline Tavern

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • IanC August 6, 2018 at 3:05 pm

    I truly appreciate the craftsmanship and dedication of the artisans. All the products are just to expensive… and they should be! I am a musician and feel like you should pay as much as you can for a good instrument – as long as you’re going to play it often. To continue this analogy, for the casual bike rider (hobby musician) maybe its discouraging to see the high price tags on custom made bikes.

    Best of luck to all the builders. Much love!

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty August 6, 2018 at 3:06 pm

    >>> Newer members to the community don’t seem to want the old edgy Portland so much as a cleaner, more upscale living and shopping experience. <<<

    Totally sad, totally true.

    Recommended Thumb up 20

    • Shoupian August 6, 2018 at 3:48 pm

      People’s preferences change. Change is necessary to foster innovation and openness to diverse ideas and different kinds of people. We should be proud that there are now more different preferences and types of bicyclists in Portland. Homogeneity in any community is a sign of exclusion. But maybe for some people here, they only want people who are like them to live in this city.

      You speak of “newer members to the community” as if somehow those who have lived here longer get more credibility and whose preferences are more important than those who have not been here as long. This way of framing also implicitly blame the newcomers for whatever problems that exist in the community. This is an unhealthy attitude, one that promotes blaming others and focuses on division and differences.

      Recommended Thumb up 18

      • ktaylor August 6, 2018 at 4:07 pm

        We’re sad our city is gone, that’s all. It’s not about you.

        Recommended Thumb up 53

        • jeff August 6, 2018 at 7:45 pm

          or maybe people have just come to realize they ‘re all just bikes and pretty much all do the same thing. and honestly, it gets rather old to sit there and look at them when 80% of the room can’t afford them.

          Recommended Thumb up 24

          • mh August 6, 2018 at 8:59 pm

            I’ve never gone to the show, because not only could I not afford anything, I would also not be able to appreciate what I looked at. Could I view a bike and have any idea how it would feel to ride? No, I could appreciate the aesthetic and know that I’d never properly appreciate the bike.

            Recommended Thumb up 4

        • rachel b August 6, 2018 at 8:33 pm

          Comment of the week, ktaylor!

          Recommended Thumb up 12

        • Middle of the Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 7:55 am

          Your city is still here. You’re just sad that the version you prefer is changing.

          Recommended Thumb up 15

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty August 7, 2018 at 9:42 am

            A “city” is more than a plot of land.

            Recommended Thumb up 9

            • Middle of The Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 9:47 am

              It’s both a plot of land and an ever changing organism.

              Recommended Thumb up 7

              • rachel b August 7, 2018 at 10:41 am

                Is all change good? Is there nothing worth keeping? What qualities attract people to Portland? How has the influx of people and consequent change impacted those qualities? Can too many people (and their cars and their A/C and their poop and their consuming etc. etc. etc.) stress an environment? Do you notice your environment being stressed by an influx of people? Or is all change good? How many fruit flies can live in a jar before they start eating themselves?

                Recommended Thumb up 12

              • Middle of the Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm

                One person’s good is another person’s not so good.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • rachel b August 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm

                There are generally acknowledged, universal “not so goods” using objective standards for optimal human health and happiness. Crowding, stressing resources and nature, destroying air quality–all universal “not so goods.”

                Recommended Thumb up 5

              • Middle of The Road Guy August 8, 2018 at 8:54 am

                Sounds NIMBY-ish to me.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • 9watts August 8, 2018 at 9:23 pm

                MoTRG,
                you’re trolling.
                Limits are real; there is such a thing as too much. Just because it is fashionable to kick this particular can down the road, pretend none of it concerns us, doesn’t allow us to escape the inconvenient fact that, as the saying goes, Nature Bats Last.

                Recommended Thumb up 5

              • rachel b August 8, 2018 at 10:30 pm

                Yeah, I don’t really know what your point is MOTG. Our “ever changing organism” is presently changing into an actual ball of flame because of heedless humanity. But hey–go humans! Curb not your desires! HAVE IT ALL, damn the (flaming) torpedoes.

                Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 6, 2018 at 4:12 pm

        Given how many people have moved here and continue to do so, it would be foolish to underplay their role in changing the city. In some ways for the better, in some ways not.

        The comment I quoted was lamenting increased homogeneity; Portland used to be less the same than it is now. Obviously, many prefer that, but there are still some of us who want to retain what’s different about (and within) this city. Division looks a lot more like many freshly redeveloped commercial streets in N/NE Portland than it used to, when these areas had a very different character. Residents in both areas have been displaced. Diversity has been lost.

        And you’re right — on some level everyone, no matter how long they’ve been here, has a legitimate voice in our future. And yet, there is something rankling about a person arriving in a place and trying to change it before they’ve really had time to understand what that place is about.

        Recommended Thumb up 25

        • Middle of the Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 7:55 am

          Everyone except Californians or Conservatives, that is 🙂

          Recommended Thumb up 8

          • Toby Keith August 7, 2018 at 4:05 pm

            Add to that list homeowners because if you’ve spent any time on this site you’d know what scumbags they are.

            Recommended Thumb up 7

      • soren August 6, 2018 at 7:03 pm

        Portlanders have a deep-seated need to shift blame to “newcomers”. Acknowledging what they did to N and NE Portland is just too uncomfortable.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty August 6, 2018 at 8:27 pm

          I feel no personal discomfort because I had no hand in the “revitalization” of N/NE Portland, and therefore have no need to shift blame. I categorically reject collective guilt.

          I can say with some confidence, however, that without the rapid influx of new residents, the changes there, while perhaps inevitable, would have occurred much more slowly. Is that “shifting blame”, or just acknowledging reality?

          To be clear, it’s absolutely not fair to blame any individual, except for those few who made unethical choices that harmed others.

          Recommended Thumb up 20

          • soren August 7, 2018 at 7:36 am

            “I feel no personal discomfort” [for the racist gentrification and redlining that occurred in my community]

            Understood.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • Middle of the Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 7:56 am

              Can you prove Kitty had a part in it?

              Recommended Thumb up 12

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty August 7, 2018 at 9:18 am

              Exactly. Why would I feel guilty for something somebody else did?

              Recommended Thumb up 10

              • Middle of the Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 12:52 pm

                I would love to see all of the people who bemoan gentrification and bring up Portland’s past, sell their homes for a loss to the descendents of the people who might have been displaced by Portland’s past policies.

                It’s nice to talk a big game, but few people are going to act on it.

                Recommended Thumb up 7

              • David Hampsten August 7, 2018 at 12:55 pm

                What did you do to try to prevent it? Or lessen the impact of it?

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 7, 2018 at 1:46 pm

                My pre-sentient being did nothing about redlining. As for gentrification of N/NE Portland… what could I have done?

                Recommended Thumb up 12

        • rachel b August 7, 2018 at 7:53 pm

          “Portlanders have a deep-seated need to shift blame to “newcomers” Acknowledging what they did to N and NE Portland is just too…”

          Stay on point. That’s a spurious connection if I’ve ever seen one, and off we go dancing down your new road. But I’ll bite: FWIW, I’m deeply ashamed of Portland’s systemic and continued disenfranchisement of the black community, AND I’m deeply dismayed by the deterioration of the city in the past two decades of uncontrolled development and bandwagony cheerleading, giving TravelPortland and TravelOregon license and free reign to flog the bloody hell out of the city and state, enticing affluent, ‘lifestyle’-seeking WASPs here when we were in NO way prepared for the influx.

          One opinion has nothing to do with the other. I’m mystified as to why you even tried to connect the two.

          Recommended Thumb up 8

          • Middle of The Road Guy August 8, 2018 at 8:57 am

            Soren consistently tries to steer conversations in that direction. You’ll notice the trend over time.

            Recommended Thumb up 5

            • 9watts August 8, 2018 at 9:26 pm

              Hm. Pot calling kettle turquoise?

              Recommended Thumb up 2

            • rachel b August 8, 2018 at 10:31 pm

              Uh, I’ve been here awhile.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

      • mran1984 August 7, 2018 at 12:20 pm

        Yep, that’s why it sucks now. Go back to Oakland and take your warriors jersey with you. Unhealthy would be the streets lined with homeless garbage. You have not improved Portland. You moved here and destroyed it. I love free parking and carbon bikes are AWESOME. Yeah, I like my steel ones too, but plastic is fantastic.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Middle of The Road Guy August 8, 2018 at 8:57 am

          Can I wear my Social Justice Warriors jersey?

          Recommended Thumb up 2

    • soren August 6, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      City-funded gentrification (PDC, prosper), exclusionary zoning, and worship of capitalism have already driven housing costs to the point where working-class folk will soon be extinct in inner PDX. Those “Stop Demolishing Portland” signs planted next to $800,000 homes are akin to retirees brandishing “Keep the Government out of my Medicare” signs.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 6, 2018 at 8:33 pm

        Tell that to my neighbors, displaced by “demolishing Portland”. They’ll thank you later, I’m sure, though they’ll probably never be able to afford the rent.

        Recommended Thumb up 13

        • soren August 8, 2018 at 2:13 pm

          Hello, Kitty knows very well that I am a tenant advocate who has fought for the stability and security for people living in rental housing for years. Despite this knowledge, they falsely and ridiculously claim that I support displacement. As a small landlord who opposes rent control and the “right to remain”, Hello Kitty has a financial interest in attacking tenant advocates.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty August 8, 2018 at 3:44 pm

            I am not a landlord. I do not attack renters (for much of my life I’ve been one; I probably will be again). The only financial incentive I have is to upzone and demolish.

            Your ad hominems are absurd and misinformed. You claim to oppose displacement, yet mock those want to reduce one of its driving factors (demolitions). You divide and stereotype. I do oppose (most) rent control not because I am in the pocket of Big Landlord, but because I think it can be counterproductive and hurt tenants (as a group) in the long run (for very well documented reasons).

            Displacement is bad. We should be able to agree on that, have a good faith disagreement about what constitutes an effective rent control policy, and leave the insults and accusations at the door.

            Recommended Thumb up 4

  • SilkySlim August 6, 2018 at 3:38 pm

    Bummer.

    Totally hear the “Portland growing up” comments, but have to say not all that is necessarily negative. More of a priority shift in many cases. Like I went to the show years ago, when my 24 year old self thought owning a custom bike was the greatest aspiration known to man. Ten years later… Mortgage. Re-finishing that deck. And yeah, a hybrid freakin’ SUV.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still ride (probably more than ever), and know a pretty bike when I see one, but it isn’t what I’m saving up for anymore.

    Recommended Thumb up 12

    • jeff August 6, 2018 at 7:48 pm

      anyone who truly grew up in this city knew that change was inevitable. Much of Portland was a rotting, mildew covered, asbetos ridden, crime filled rat trap through the 90’s. What we’re seeing was looonngg overdue…

      Recommended Thumb up 15

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 6, 2018 at 8:07 pm

        That’s why rent was cheap. Pick your poison.

        Recommended Thumb up 15

      • rachel b August 6, 2018 at 8:36 pm

        Not how I remember Portland. And, what–it’s so clean and minty fresh, now??

        Recommended Thumb up 21

        • Middle of the Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 7:58 am

          Progressives love to talk about compassion for the downtrodden, but compassion doesn’t get the trash picked up.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Dan A August 7, 2018 at 9:12 am

            Is this a meme or something? I’m not sure why one can’t be compassionate while also picking up trash.

            Recommended Thumb up 9

        • jeff August 7, 2018 at 11:08 am

          how old are you?

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • rachel b August 7, 2018 at 10:46 pm

            Was that for me? I’m old, and I’ve lived here all my life. You?

            Recommended Thumb up 2

            • Dan A August 8, 2018 at 9:05 am

              When did your family move here? I’m curious to know the cutoff date for families who get to be part of OG Portland.

              Recommended Thumb up 3

              • soren August 8, 2018 at 2:17 pm

                The cutoff date is around 210 years ago.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • 9watts August 8, 2018 at 9:33 pm

                Except Lewis and Clark didn’t stay… just like Tom McCall exhorted people visiting not to… 165 years later.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • rachel b August 8, 2018 at 10:36 pm

                Membership’s really not about years: more about good manners. 😉

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • rachel b August 8, 2018 at 10:40 pm

                p.s… in case you missed it, how long I’ve lived here was the very point of jeff’s question, as he was tacitly questioning whether or not I am worthy of assessing Portland’s past. 😉 Otherwise, I wouldn’t have felt the need to mention it.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty August 8, 2018 at 11:01 pm

                This strikes me as one of those “if you need to ask…” kind of things.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty August 7, 2018 at 10:55 pm

          It feels a bit minty fresh, like who the hell made this screwdriver with creme de menthe?!?? Hey cargo pants! Yeah, you on the scooter! Come back here with my vodka!!!

          Recommended Thumb up 3

      • bendite August 6, 2018 at 9:04 pm

        When was Portland crime filled?

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty August 6, 2018 at 9:14 pm

          Before Hello, Kitty rode into town, on a sick pink trike, and cleaned this asbestos laden crime ridden rat infested hell hole the hell up.

          Recommended Thumb up 10

        • dan August 7, 2018 at 10:28 am

          I grew up here. In the 80s, there was a corpse outside the doors at Temple Beth Israel one night (I don’t remember the cause of death), and finding needles in Couch Park was a common occurrence. So, maybe we’ve come full circle?

          Recommended Thumb up 4

        • jeff August 7, 2018 at 11:03 am

          really? in the 90’s NE Alberta street bewteen MLK and 30th was gang violence central. Fo-Po was named Felony Flats…the brewery blocks were not a place people went, other than to buy drugs. The Rose Garden in the late 80’s? same thing. you’re not from here, huh?

          Recommended Thumb up 6

          • bendite August 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm

            I’m not from here originally but came from Indiana to Oregon in ’94. I remember the reputation certain neighborhoods had, but aside from anecdotal stories, my memory is that PDX’s violent crime rate was always lower than average. Maybe you have different stats?

            Recommended Thumb up 4

            • rachel b August 7, 2018 at 10:49 pm

              No, you’re right, bendite. The incidents cited were considerably fewer and farther between, and confined to a few areas back then. Whereas now, the blight’s spread evenly across the city, as far as the eye can see. Seriously–so disingenuous to imply it was ever worse back then. The drug (heroin and meth and fentanyl) problem now makes the Drugstore Cowboy days look quaint.

              Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Dan A August 8, 2018 at 9:06 am

          I remember back when Portland was creme filled. Mmmmm.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Middle of the Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 12:54 pm

      And a custom bike can cost more than a furnace.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Brian W. August 6, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I heard about this the other day and we bummed out, as I always love going to the show, but it seems to me that the number of small custom builders is dwindling. Even the list on the OBCA is pretty out of date. It seems like now should be a good time to be a frame builder (not that there is much money in it for the builders themselves), with the exposure that is possible on the internet and all the interest there is in the types of bikes that frame builders can build. Is this a Portland specific problem?

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • bikeninja August 6, 2018 at 3:44 pm

    First we loose Velo Cult, then the Hand Made Bike Show, whats next? Disney Sponsors Pedalpalooza and mandates that all rides be themed on Disney Characters.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 6, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      Are you serious? I was planning a Hello, Kitty ride next year. Bummer.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Middle of the Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 7:59 am

      Strange how the market works. Sometimes things just run their course.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • John Castle August 6, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    But buying a $1500-3000 steel frame is exactly what I would describe as an *upscale shopping experience*…

    Recommended Thumb up 17

    • Toby Keith August 6, 2018 at 4:56 pm

      In a city where many people can’t even afford a place to live, I’d have to agree with you.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

  • B. Carfree August 6, 2018 at 3:49 pm

    I think people are tuned to the direction something is going more than the level it’s at. For example, when gasoline prices were going up rapidly from $2.50/gal to $3.50 per gallon, people rushed to find an alternative, drove less and/or chose to use their smaller vehicle as their primary. When gas prices were coming down from $4.25 to $3.50, the SUV’s and F-150’s came roaring back.

    Same thing with the cycling community. Portland saw growth of commuter share surge from 3.5% in 2005 to 6% in 2008. That both created and demonstrated a lot of enthusiasm. Here it is a decade later and Portland’s cycling commute share is still right around 6%. Stagnation isn’t going to get people excited.

    Maybe it’s time for those who love/build/love to build bicycles to move on down to Corvallis, which has seen dramatic growth in bike use over the past decade and now boasts just shy of 13% cycling modal share of commuters.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Dan A August 6, 2018 at 4:35 pm

      In Corvallis, there very few roads I’d consider too dangerous to ride on, mountain biking facilities in close proximity, regular speed enforcement, and off-road paths that nearly encircle the city. These are achievable goals in Portland if the political willpower is available.

      Recommended Thumb up 14

      • Steve Scarich August 7, 2018 at 6:30 am

        Same thing in Bend. Roads that were mellow 10 year’s ago now are frightening. There have been several high-profile cyclist deaths recently. I notice that many more people are using blinky lights during the day now; I used to be the only one. Eventually, people (me included) either move away or ride less, or not at all.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Steve August 6, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    I have enjoyed attending this show since 2013….last year’s show was noticeably smaller in terms of vendors. The show seems like an indoor cooler/cold weather event justifying travel (in my case) and parking. My 2 cents

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • jon August 6, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    If only we could make Portland great again! Back in the good old days (late 80’searly 90’s for me) you could live almost for free in an old Victorian house in inner SE. Of course right after I moved here everything went bad – out of towners showed up with money and purchased homes, restaurants started opening, decaying empty commercial spaces were refurbished, everyone started riding custom steel bikes built in locally, bike paths were built, and a bunch of bike shops opened.

    What has happened to my city? Bring back the boarded up shops, junky homes, the old Sellwood bridge with the 2 foot wide sidewalk, and steel bikes with Campy friction shifters!

    Recommended Thumb up 21

    • rachel b August 6, 2018 at 8:39 pm

      Right. “Boarded up shops” and “junky homes.” It’s a wonder anyone was attracted to live here in this infernal pit in the first place. Thank gud they all came to save us! And what a veritable wonderland it is today, indeed.

      Recommended Thumb up 19

  • TonyT
    TonyT August 6, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    I really think that last year’s location was a huge obstacle. That and the lack of family-friendly attractions are why we didn’t sign up to exhibit this year. Our market is absolutely hardcore bike geeks, but we saw that the show wasn’t appealing to a wider audience and we were missing a significant chunk of our market because they don’t want to go if there’s nothing for their families & friends. And we’re also aware that tomorrow’s hardcore geeks are today’s merely curious folks. We can’t maintain our little niche by only appealing to those who are already on board.

    Early on the show had a more inclusive feel. Last year was continuation of the trend away from that. And riding all the way up to deep, deep St. Johns? It further alienated the non-hardcore yet still curious folks.

    Absolutely there are larger demographic changes afoot, but look at the success of the Philly Bike show. They throw out a wide net and it pulls in a ton of people. A show with such a wide range of exhibitors brings in diversity and a ton of cross-pollination. That’s the key to the future.

    Recommended Thumb up 15

    • Rich Fox (CIRCA Cycles) August 6, 2018 at 5:12 pm

      Well said. At least for the shows I’ve participated in, my best experiences have been the HUB event(s). Beer is a somewhat universal thing and the location was central / accessible enough that a decent-sized population could get there easily. I haven’t had a chance to go to the Philly show yet, but it sounds like we could learn quite a lot from it.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Gus August 6, 2018 at 6:10 pm

    “Deep deep St Johns “?
    This is not the hipster paradise you’re looking for …

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • TonyT
      TonyT August 6, 2018 at 9:01 pm

      Something you can even pretend is centrally located would be nice.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty August 6, 2018 at 9:17 pm

        It was centrally located in St. Johns.

        Recommended Thumb up 10

  • Todd Boulanger August 6, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Aloha (goodbye) and Mahalo for all those who invested so much into the OHBS in past years…I did not make it last year (injury). I enjoyed the energy and vitality of the early years.

    Perhaps this change is also a reaction to the marketplace…ideas and features that once only could be found in 100% craft/ artisanal bicycles can be found in semi handmade bikes. Same as what happens every generation it seems…

    You can also add Chris King’s Cielo departure to the growing list of challenges even affecting deeper pocketed businesses.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Sam August 6, 2018 at 7:20 pm

    Just my own experience here: after years of purchasing custom steel bikes, I’ve started put that chunk of change towards ebikes instead.

    Hope to someday purchase ebikes from local custom manufactures instead of having to rely on Trek or Stromer for my $8k purchase.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Any2wheels August 6, 2018 at 7:57 pm

    Handmade bike show was great as museum/showcase/party style event, but clearly not as a business-building event for the builders.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • rachel b August 6, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Plus–I’m always puzzled by this severe, disapproving eagle eye some have for the”rotting, mildew covered, asbetos ridden, crime filled rat trap” of Portland yore, when they (you) have such an apparently forgiving, weirdly benevolent eye toward the brand spankin’ new junky paths and needle-strewn parks, garbage everywhere–now + extra stench!,–the new smog and traffic… I won’t even get into the aesthetic travesty of Portland architecture of late, both residential and business, or the wrenching from-the-roots yank of displacement. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: true. But your eye is just a frickity freaky choosy freak!

    Recommended Thumb up 13

    • rachel b August 6, 2018 at 9:02 pm

      Sigh. This was supposed to go way up there under Jeff’s comment:

      “anyone who truly grew up in this city knew that change was inevitable. Much of Portland was a rotting, mildew covered, asbetos ridden, crime filled rat trap through the 90’s. What we’re seeing was looonngg overdue…”

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • NoWall August 13, 2018 at 11:17 am

        The new vibe feels less connected to the city, our natural resources and our neighbors. Handmade bikes aren’t meant to be disposable. The knock-it-down, build it fast and new Portland is so different from the low-impact, live simply and conscientiously Portland that I grew up in. People with money to gain have done a fantastic job at branding the New Portland and shaming all of old Portland into silence and complacency.

        The frame builders are just another casualty.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Jamie August 7, 2018 at 12:15 pm

      I don’t want to come off sounding like this is a simple issue, because I don’t think it is. In fact right up until 2 or 3 years ago, I said unequivocally that Portland is better now, but.

      I think it’s impossible to deny that there there is a direct connection between the Portland where you “could live almost for free in an old Victorian house in inner SE” of then; and the 4 empty $600K houses, > 100 Air BnB holiday rentals, and 10 or 12 people living in RVs at the park in my neighborhood of now.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

      • 9watts August 8, 2018 at 9:44 pm

        “a direct connection”

        can you elaborate?

        Trajectory, maybe; one that involves lots and lots of people with money showing up here. But ‘direct connection’?

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Jim Calhoon August 6, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Sorry to here this. I have enjoyed attending the shows when my work schedule kept me in town. Thanks to all those involved through the years. This will be missed by many of us just as we miss the Portland Bike Show. Another cycling event that just faded away.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Al August 7, 2018 at 12:14 am

    I brought the kiddos out last year and they thought it was a cool venue but I had that “how long will this last like this?” feeling.

    It’s too bad but the pint glass will remind me of what it was like for a while.

    At least I got to the Vanilla build off this year.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Brent Shultz August 7, 2018 at 2:46 am

    I went last year, and agree that it was pretty dead. The location was weird, but that wasn’t the issue. The city has changed for sure. I remember back 8-9 years ago and all the bike tracks were full everywhere. You could go to a punk show on Alberta and there’d be bicycles everywhere locked to anything slightly immovable, or you could go to a house show and the yard would be packed with bikes. Now, crickets. You could go to most of these places now and see empty racks. Lots of creative types have moved on. New folks have the cash to waste on uber and the like. I don’t mean to slam anyone, but the feel is gone–it’s a sad thing, but it’s changed.

    Recommended Thumb up 12

  • Mike Quigley August 7, 2018 at 6:00 am

    Bottom line: The high priced custom bike market is saturated. But, is the vintage mountain bike market about to take off? At least for the ones that haven’t been beat to hell?

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Zimmerman August 7, 2018 at 11:34 am

      I’ve been critical of a lot of your comments, but this is a good one. I’d say yes, the vintage MTB market is probably about to go off. Ha!

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Beth H August 9, 2018 at 5:20 pm

      Already gone. Check out what PRE-Grant Bridgestones are commanding on eBay and even Craigslist. If you already ride an old CrMO mountain bike, get a better lock.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ernie A August 7, 2018 at 7:24 am

    The last couple of years, with the venue change but mainly with the date change from Fall to Summer, made this show too much bother for me to attend. I still don’t get why they moved this to Summer.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Carrie August 7, 2018 at 7:33 am

    I’m part of the problem of new-people-who-move-to-Portland, but I miss the Portland I moved to 6 years ago also. The day I arrived in town, driving by the Belmont goats (OMG, goats, in an empty lot, smack in the middle of town, that people visited) and then being stopped by the train and having a sign for Moonstone pickles right next to me (they’re not in the Ford Building anymore). Now the “Goats Block” could be anywhere USA when you ride through there, there’s no reason to stop and something weird and quirky. I’m really glad there’s more housing for all the people close in where you don’t need to drive, but I also really, really miss the Belmont Goats.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • Noisette August 7, 2018 at 9:20 am

      They are now the Lents goats. Come on out!

      Recommended Thumb up 6

      • Al August 7, 2018 at 11:04 am

        LOL, you beat me to the comment.

        But Lents itself is having a rapid transformation too.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • ugh August 7, 2018 at 9:03 am

    Everyone complaining about Cali transplant interlopers understands that this site is run by one, right? Right?

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 7, 2018 at 9:18 am

      yes. I think they do.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

      • ugh August 7, 2018 at 9:32 am

        Then using this space to complain has a high degree of irony, yes?

        Recommended Thumb up 7

      • Middle of the Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 12:56 pm

        I did not know that – you’re lost ALL street cred JM (j/k) and none of the good you have done matters anymore!!!

        Recommended Thumb up 2

      • rachel b August 7, 2018 at 5:20 pm

        Jonathan does good. 🙂

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Julie Hernandez August 7, 2018 at 9:05 am

    I’m still interested!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • ugh August 7, 2018 at 9:20 am

    ^

    @Carrie wow

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • ugh August 7, 2018 at 9:21 am

    Everyone complaining about Cali interlopers understands this site is owned and operated by one, right? Right?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Dan A August 7, 2018 at 9:48 am

      I’m guessing 95% of us weren’t born in Portland.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • jeff August 7, 2018 at 11:05 am

        I’d put the number higher with the majority of (clueless) responses I’m seeing here.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • ugh August 7, 2018 at 9:27 am

    Rohrshack!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Liu August 7, 2018 at 9:31 am

    A friend forward me this email – appears that there will be one more hurrah for both OBCA and Velocult on August 18!!! I’m not on the OBCA email list so can’t verify details but if BP could look into it and spread the word, that would be great. I am assuming – again, not verified by me, that given the sponsorship of Hopworks, there just might be BEER.

    [forwarded email starts]

    A Framebuilder’s Goodbye to VeloCult
    Free 2018 OBCA Framebuilder Showcase at VeloCult
    1969 NE 42nd Ave, Portland OR
    Saturday August 18th, 2018
    Noon till 6pm

    Please join the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association as we host the final event at VeloCult before they wind down. There will be fun examples of local, national and international bicycle frame builders displaying one of their finest machines. We plan a low key opportunity to meet and chat with builders, see examples of the craft of custom frame building showcasing a number of different styles. There will be builders showing traditional lugged steel construction techniques, fillet brazing and TIG welding, titanium welded construction and an aluminum builder to round out the current material offerings. Each builder is a master and would enjoy answering your questions about how they could craft your next dream bicycle. The current builder list includes:

    Ketelaar Frame Works
    ketelaarframeworks.com
    Jeffrey Bock Custom Cycles
    facebook.com/JeffreyBockCustomCycles
    Strawberry Cyclesport
    strawberrybicycle.com
    Mahall Bikeworks
    mahallbikeworks.com
    Thursday Bicycles
    thursdaybicycles.com
    Ahearne Cycles
    ahearnecycles.com
    Igleheart Custom Frames and Forks
    igleheartcustomframesandforks.com
    Page Street Cycles
    pagestreetcycles.com
    Wolfhound Cycles
    wolfhoundcycles.com
    Ti Cycles
    ticycles.com
    REN Cycles
    rencycles.com
    Blaze Bicycles
    blazebicycles.com
    Circa Cycles
    ridecirca.com
    Breadwinner Cycles
    breadwinnercycles.com
    Simple Bicycle Company
    simplebicycleco.com

    Put this fun event on your calendar, come out and see what’s new, traditional and just plain well done in the frame construction world. We hope this will be a fitting send off for VeloCult as they focus on spreading their unique view on bicycle culture through their online endeavors. The OBCA is forever indebted to Sky and the VeloCult team for what they have brought to the Portland bicycle scene and the bicycle industry as a whole. VeloCult closing leaves a huge void in our community…you will be missed.
    Thanks to our sponsors: Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association, Point West Credit Union, Velo Cult, and Hopworks Urban Brewery.

    Copyright © 2018 Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association, All rights reserved.
    You are receiving this email because you have attended the Handmade Bike and Beer Festival.

    Our mailing address is:
    Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association
    1535 SW 17th Ave.
    Portland, OR 97201
    Add us to your address book

    [forwarded email ends]

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • John Liu August 7, 2018 at 9:51 am

    A friend forwarded me this email – appears that there will be one more hurrah for both OBCA and Velocult on August 18!!! I’m not on the OBCA email list so can’t verify details but if BP could look into it and spread the word, that would be great. I am assuming – again, not verified by me, that given the sponsorship of Hopworks, there just might be BEER.

    [forwarded email starts]

    A Framebuilder’s Goodbye to VeloCult
    Free 2018 OBCA Framebuilder Showcase at VeloCult
    1969 NE 42nd Ave, Portland OR
    Saturday August 18th, 2018
    Noon till 6pm

    Please join the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association as we host the final event at VeloCult before they wind down. There will be fun examples of local, national and international bicycle frame builders displaying one of their finest machines. We plan a low key opportunity to meet and chat with builders, see examples of the craft of custom frame building showcasing a number of different styles. There will be builders showing traditional lugged steel construction techniques, fillet brazing and TIG welding, titanium welded construction and an aluminum builder to round out the current material offerings. Each builder is a master and would enjoy answering your questions about how they could craft your next dream bicycle. The current builder list includes:

    Ketelaar Frame Works
    ketelaarframeworks.com
    Jeffrey Bock Custom Cycles
    facebook.com/JeffreyBockCustomCycles
    Strawberry Cyclesport
    strawberrybicycle.com
    Mahall Bikeworks
    mahallbikeworks.com
    Thursday Bicycles
    thursdaybicycles.com
    Ahearne Cycles
    ahearnecycles.com
    Igleheart Custom Frames and Forks
    igleheartcustomframesandforks.com
    Page Street Cycles
    pagestreetcycles.com
    Wolfhound Cycles
    wolfhoundcycles.com
    Ti Cycles
    ticycles.com
    REN Cycles
    rencycles.com
    Blaze Bicycles
    blazebicycles.com
    Circa Cycles
    ridecirca.com
    Breadwinner Cycles
    breadwinnercycles.com
    Simple Bicycle Company
    simplebicycleco.com

    Put this fun event on your calendar, come out and see what’s new, traditional and just plain well done in the frame construction world. We hope this will be a fitting send off for VeloCult as they focus on spreading their unique view on bicycle culture through their online endeavors. The OBCA is forever indebted to Sky and the VeloCult team for what they have brought to the Portland bicycle scene and the bicycle industry as a whole. VeloCult closing leaves a huge void in our community…you will be missed.
    Thanks to our sponsors: Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association, Point West Credit Union, Velo Cult, and Hopworks Urban Brewery.

    Copyright © 2018 Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association, All rights reserved.
    You are receiving this email because you have attended the Handmade Bike and Beer Festival.

    Our mailing address is:
    Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association
    1535 SW 17th Ave.
    Portland, OR 97201
    Add us to your address book

    [forwarded email ends]

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • John Liu August 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm

      Sorry for the double post – the BP site was acting up.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • SilkySlim August 7, 2018 at 2:29 pm

        It didn’t use to act up when it was the old BP site… Things were better then.

        Recommended Thumb up 4

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty August 7, 2018 at 2:33 pm

          But more rats and asbestos.

          Recommended Thumb up 8

          • rachel b August 7, 2018 at 5:21 pm

            HAHAHAH!!!! 🙂

            Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Dave Levy August 7, 2018 at 9:58 am

    I want to personally thank all the sponsors, frame builders, vendors and the public who have supported the Oregon Handbuilt Bicycles Show over the past decade. Choosing to cancel the OHBS was a hugely difficult decision to make and most unfortunate since we had Mitch Prior with MAP(CA), Pierre Chastain with Blaze Cycles(UT), Paul Ketelaar with Ketelaar Frameworks(Australia) and Jeffery Bock with Jeffrey Bock Custom Cycles(IA) already signed up to participate. The OBCA board agreed we needed to make the show ‘better’ than 2017 or it did not make sense to go forward. In the end, we felt we could not be proud of the event as it was coming together and thought it best cancel for 2018 with hope of keeping the event alive. We are reading the comment posted here, listening to our vendors and planning for the future.

    Please come out and support VeloCult as they host the last event in their space, “A Framebuilder’s Goodbye to VeloCult!”on August 18, 2018 from noon till 6 PM. The OBCA has brought together 15 builders, each displaying one frame or bike, for a fitting celebration of bike culture and a final goodbye to well loved space that will be missed.

    Hope to see many familiar faces.

    Dave Levy OBCA

    Recommended Thumb up 8

  • christopher san agustin August 7, 2018 at 10:06 am

    I’d urge the organizers to take a look at the SEE SEE Moto Show. It’s pretty incredible what they’ve been able to accomplish and it’s something that could be applied to the cycling scene.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • T.Newman August 25, 2018 at 7:57 pm

      That’s EXACTLY what I thought of when I read this article. Their show gets a huge turnout, even with bad parking. A friend of mine turned me on to SeeSee a couple years ago. They put on a fun show, too. Granted, it’s motorcycles, but two wheels nonetheless.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Liu August 7, 2018 at 10:07 am

    A friend forwarded me this email – appears that there will be one more hurrah for both OBCA and Velocult on August 18!!! I’m not on the OBCA email list so can’t verify details but if BP could look into it and spread the word, that would be great. I am assuming – again, not verified by me, that given the sponsorship of Hopworks, there just might be BEER.

    [forwarded email starts]

    A Framebuilder’s Goodbye to VeloCult
    Free 2018 OBCA Framebuilder Showcase at VeloCult
    1969 NE 42nd Ave, Portland OR
    Saturday August 18th, 2018
    Noon till 6pm

    [Deleted long list of builders]

    Put this fun event on your calendar, come out and see what’s new, traditional and just plain well done in the frame construction world. We hope this will be a fitting send off for VeloCult as they focus on spreading their unique view on bicycle culture through their online endeavors. The OBCA is forever indebted to Sky and the VeloCult team for what they have brought to the Portland bicycle scene and the bicycle industry as a whole. VeloCult closing leaves a huge void in our community…you will be missed.
    Thanks to our sponsors: Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association, Point West Credit Union, Velo Cult, and Hopworks Urban Brewery.

    Copyright © 2018 Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association, All rights reserved.
    You are receiving this email because you have attended the Handmade Bike and Beer Festival.

    Our mailing address is:
    Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association
    1535 SW 17th Ave.
    Portland, OR 97201
    Add us to your address book

    [forwarded email ends]

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Matt S. August 7, 2018 at 10:35 am

    Maybe Portland hasn’t changed, maybe it’s the material science. Argonaut is a good example. They first built with steel and now with carbon. I believe a lot of people love custom made steel bikes, but a consumer really only needs one, which should praxtically last a lifetime. And unless the builders are reaching out to new consumers, the local scene will inevitably plateau. Furthermore, it’s difficult to sale a product online when the consumer needs to be available in person for measurements.

    And back to carbon. Several of my roadie (and MTB) friends who own and ride custom steel bikes have since switched to carbon. Now their steel bikes are like pieces of art, proudly hung from their garage wall next to the Eddy Merckx poster.

    I have a custome steel bike that I love and will keep forever. I also want a carbon bike too…

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Middle of the Road Guy August 7, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      I bought my first carbon this year (Trek Emonda). It makes me realize just how nice my Vanilla really is.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Dan A August 7, 2018 at 1:30 pm

        You had to buy a $3000-$11000 carbon bike before you realized how nice your $5000-$12000 steel bike is?

        Recommended Thumb up 4

        • Matt S. August 7, 2018 at 10:20 pm

          When I worked for Chris King years ago, I would say there’s three type of customers in high end bike parts/frame sets. Lawyers, doctors, and industry folk…

          Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Middle of The Road Guy August 8, 2018 at 9:04 am

          I always knew and appreciated it…but having ridden plastic now provides an additional perspective. Plus, going from custom to stock sizing makes a bit of difference also.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • David Hampsten August 7, 2018 at 1:10 pm

      I have a custom steel loaded-touring frameset built by Dave Levy himself (an orange Hampsten). 15 years and 30,000 miles of hard use eventually cracked the bottom bracket. Best most comfortable bike I ever had.

      After 10 years of unemployment, I cannot really afford a custom frame any more, so now I’m looking for an imported manufactured 29er hard tail with braze-ons, maybe a Soma.

      As Larry Black has said, it’s not so much of custom bikes being so expensive, but the ready availability of well-designed and well-made Chinese knock-offs such as Salsa, Soma, Fairdale, and Surly flooding the market, severely reducing the need for custom frames.

      Time to go to the Philly show in October.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Daniel August 7, 2018 at 11:24 am

    Seems like the obvious end result of making a limited demand consumer good that lasts forever. Most people have trouble justifying a single custom frame and aren’t going to buy a second; when I built up my touring bike I seriously considered one, but ended up opting for a nice steel Soma because otherwise I’d nearly double the total cost of the bike.

    So it’s a little jarring to see people blaming this on the city changing around them and becoming more expensive, somehow. Does anybody really believe that a custom frame is anything other than a luxury purchase? Most framebuilders charge more than the average person would assume is reasonable to spend on a new *complete* bike, I guarantee you that the “gritty, edgy” Portland didn’t have more ability to buy what’s essentially a rolling status symbol.

    I think it would be cool to own a frame from a local builder, certainly more interesting than the Surly LHTs and Disc Truckers that everybody seemed to be riding for a while, but buying a $1500 bike frame that’s tailored to your body for riding around town is pretty much the definition of upper middle class.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • world's slowest mamil August 7, 2018 at 5:59 pm

      I would be amazed to see a local framebuilder, or any US-based framebuilder, do a custom road or MTB frame for $1500. Maybe a BMX. Last year, to celebrate my official entry into mamildom, I was contemplating getting a fully custom Heined-out do-whatever bike cycle for all of the adventurey riding that I never get around to doing, only to put that contemplation on a shelf when I discovered that a custom frameset from various well-regarded US-based framebuilders was around $3K-$3.5K. With components and whatnot, the complete bike would have topped $5K. Had wages kept up with economic growth and monetary supply over the last few decades, that would seem more reasonable to me, but they didn’t. Maybe in the near future I’ll spring for a spiffy MIT Rivendell.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Daniel August 8, 2018 at 9:56 am

        Oh, I was definitely priced out of the local builder’s market when I last looked. Gunnar (the cheaper version of Waterford Cycles) will do made-to-order road frame for ~$1500, which was the only option I could realistically consider. Couple that with the fact that I was hoping to finish my build and start on my tour in a few months, and all the local builders were completely off the table – everybody in town had years-long waitlists.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Matt S. August 7, 2018 at 10:28 pm

      I worked in the industry making $11 an hour. It took me two years and knowing a friend to build me a custom frame. I got it powder coated locally and purchased components one at a time at discount. I would have never been able to afford a Vanilla or something similar.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Middle of The Road Guy August 8, 2018 at 9:06 am

        I could only afford customs when I did not have a mortgage and rents were cheap. Those days are long gone for me. Roofs need replacing, homes need improvements, etc. As a single home owner…priorities change.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Carrie August 7, 2018 at 11:38 am

    Noisette
    They are now the Lents goats. Come on out!Recommended 3

    Ha! I actually don’t miss the goats themselves, but I miss that this was a city where goats lived in the middle of it because why not? And again, I’m glad that people who need housing are now living there, but I can be glad of that and still sad that the quirkiness is gone at the same time.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • dan August 7, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      My wife and I used to commute into downtown on foot fairly frequently, and we stopped to play with the goats whenever we could. I remember looking around their empty lot one day (as a goat ate a carrot I was holding) and thinking “we’re 10 minutes away from the most expensive real estate in Oregon…this isn’t going to last”.

      I wish I had been wrong!

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • rachel b August 7, 2018 at 5:24 pm

      Who can hate goats? I love goats. But the goats, for me, were New Portland all the way–many years into our Self-Consciously Quirky phase. It’s interesting to hear someone wax nostalgic for six years ago, though. It just goes to show how brutally fast change has been around here. For at least two decades now–though it really shot off like a rocket in 2008.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • dan August 8, 2018 at 3:22 pm

        Hell, I’d wax nostalgic for the days when the Governor Hotel was a boarded up wreck if anyone would listen 😉

        I saw the goats as the last gasp of Old Portland: “I’m damned if I’m going to pay someone to mow this empty lot…hmm…goats are cheap!” I can pretty much guarantee that the property owner who put the goats there didn’t care how it looked, and the woodworking firm across the street just said “cool, goats!”

        I did not see it as a studied act of “look how Portland weird I am” that seems common today.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • rachel b August 8, 2018 at 10:45 pm

          EVERYBODY effin’ freaked out over the goats, a la New Portland, and it was a meme from day one. That was only six years ago and Portlanders had already long simply not been able to resist instagramming the bejeeeeezus out of such “quirky” things. Your characterization would be right if this had happened 26 years ago and not six.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • dan August 9, 2018 at 9:26 am

            I guess if you’re plugged into social media, it might have come across that way? My experience of it was very different.

            Since you have your finger on the pulse, let me ask you about Zoo Bombing. Self-conscious Portland Weird, or organic tiny bike hooning? Has it changed from its inception to now?

            Recommended Thumb up 2

            • rachel b August 10, 2018 at 12:38 am

              “Plugged into social media” and the pimping of Portland across all social media platforms (and the IFC channel) IS New Portland, though. That’s precisely the way the virus spread–via social media. The rosy-lit shots of the city, the nature porn, the foodie rhapsodies, the idealization of anything and everything Portland, the know-it-allness of the vloggers who’d been here but a day, but–hey! Tell the world! About the unipiper! The donuts! Multnomah Falls! And…. the Goat Blocks. 😉

              I don’t doubt you, by the way. I believe your actual experience, on the spot, was pleasant and unremarkably yet delightfully goaty. But that’s the truth behind much of the Portland hysteria. Pretty unremarkable things are blown up to REMARKABLE, and actually remarkable things are blown up to OMGOMGAMAZEAMAZEAMAZEBALLS!!!!

              I’d say questions to determine self-conscious, commodified Portland weird are:
              1. Did it title itself or get titled?
              2. Did it get memed?
              3. Hashtagged?
              4. Did a major publication (online or print) write about it?
              5. Did TravelPortland or TravelOregon include it in their gushes?

              I don’t exactly know when Zoobomb started, or how, so I’m a not a good person to ask about that. It was right on the cusp of Super Self-Conscious Portland, I seem to remember–maybe earlier, though. I suspect it was just a handful of friends bombing the hill and it morphed into (TA-DA!)–ZOOBOMB! I think there are a lot of things in Portland like that. They got sort of grandfathered into a meme. I still do not get why we attract so many people who like making “things” out of everything. It’s like a disease of the pale people (of which I am one), probably because we don’t have a “thing.” I want to tell them to just relax and enjoy whatever it is they’re doing without having to “thing” it.

              I’m sure there are original Zoobombers on this blog who could relate the True Story of Zoobombing. Or I’ll bet Jonathan knows. Someone did a big feature on it, many years ago…

              TL;DR–I don’t know.

              Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Dave August 7, 2018 at 11:53 am

    Bummer, I always enjoyed going to this show to marvel at the bikes and chat with the builders, even if everything was way out of my price range. (Kind of like going to a car show, I guess.) Hopefully, the OHBS actually makes a comeback and doesn’t completely disappear like the Pedal Nation PDX Bicycle Show that was canceled in 2014 and never returned.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Alain August 7, 2018 at 1:46 pm

    Despite being the owner of a custom frame, I never attended the OHBS. The mix of vendors seemed to limit who would show up. While a general bike event is maybe not the best exposure for a custom builder, as others have noted, the mix of vendors and show events might need to be more creatively approached.

    Local builders can and do influence the industry in positive ways. The lower cost production bikes by SOMA or Surly or All City find influence from custom builders. Perhaps OHBS could find industry partnerships to make this connection better recognized and supported?

    On another note, I was pretty excited to learn of the new partnership between Jeff Lyon (resident of Grants Pass, and builder since the 1970s) and Norther Cycles. I do hope this goes well. I think what Lyon has done (which he can do partly by living in Grants Pass), as well as the work of Bantam and Breadwinner are interesting directions for Portland and Oregon custom building.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • John Liu August 7, 2018 at 2:31 pm

    On the other end of the price scale, Velocult is liquidating the bikes on its floor and in its basement this weekend, as well as parts, Aug 11-12, noon-6 pm. There are dozens and dozens of used bikes there, some fully rehabbed but many more project bikes.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Mr T August 7, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    I still wonder about why there is nothing at the Oregon State Fair about the bicycle industry. The state fair is supposed to be about all aspects of our state community and economy – and it sure seems like it would be a Very Good Thing to expose 300,000 people to the bicycle culture.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Lester Burnham August 8, 2018 at 7:59 am

    This event never felt very inclusive. You were either part of that hardcore frame building clique or you weren’t.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

    • 9watts August 8, 2018 at 9:59 pm

      Kind of a funny thing to say.
      I went to look at beautiful objects that local folks had created. I was not and never will be in the market for one of these bikes, but appreciated that it was possible to build and sell such things here.
      It never would have occurred to me to think of this as inclusive/exclusive anything. It was a bike show, not a potluck or revival meeting.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • The Belmont Goats August 8, 2018 at 11:20 am

    Noisette
    They are now the Lents goats. Come on out!

    Nope, still The Belmont Goats. Just in Lents now, until the end of October.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty August 9, 2018 at 9:36 am

      And then? Shashlik?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Beth H August 9, 2018 at 5:36 pm

    Portland has grown up. We don’t always like the way our kids turn out but now that they have to pay their own rent we don’t really have any say. (And don’t EVEN think you can move back home, because I’ve gone and turned your bedroom into my bike workspace.)

    Seriously.

    I worked in the bike industry full-time for almost two decades. During that time, I watched a number of trends come and go. Not ONE of those trends catered to lower-income transportational riders who worked on their own bikes because that’s what their budget allowed. Nearly all of the trends can draw a line of DNA back to racing (including mega-distance randonneuring and high-performance, credit-card touring).
    Trickle-down from racing — and its accompanying design, production and marketing — is what has provided a great deal of the financial wherewithal to help grow bicycle innovation. Does it go in a direction I personally like? Not usually. But that trickle-down has long determined what our next bicycles will look and perform like.

    Custom bike are just that: CUSTOM, meant for a specific rider, a one-off. Framebuilders take time to learn their craft and longer still to build up a following. But even with carbon, how much of a following can sustain any framebuilder’s operations? (More baldly put: How many bikes does a person want, need or have the capacity to store?)

    Past a certain point, growth becomes dangerously connected to excess and excess unchecked can lead to over-consumption.

    One of the reasons I’m relieved to have left the new bike industry is that I’ve always been aware of this relationship and I have had an ambivalent, even difficult time reconciling my sense of ethics with that reality.

    I greatly appreciate the devotion to craft expressed by our local framebuilders. And I understand the market forces driving the changes that have led to the cancellation of this year’s show. I wish all of them more success and fulfillment in their chosen line of work. I also hope they have other skillsets in case times get really lean.

    Recommended Thumb up 5