Highlights and heroics of the Constructor’s Challenge

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This story is part of our ongoing Oregon Manifest 2009 coverage.

manifest constructors race

High fives exchanged among racers
who didn’t complete the “epic” course.
(Photo © BikePortland/Elly Blue)

The Oregon Manifest Constructors Challenge bicycles have been built, raced, judged, and celebrated. The top 15 bikes (12 chosen for their design and the three that were raced the fastest) are on display at Manifest headquarters at NW 10th and Hoyt. Observers are weighing in with glowing reports and criticism.

The major stories have been told — of Tony Pereira’s blue stunner that won the design challenge, Joseph Ahearne’s gorgeous 9-speed mixte, and the jeans skirt and sweater worn by its rider (who changed into a cocktail dress for the final lap).

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The bikes have been raced, judged, and ogled. And the winners are…

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[Welcome to our continuing coverage of the Oregon Manifest’s Constructor’s Design Challenge. See our previous coverage here.]

manifest constructors race

Greg Heath built and raced this
Donkelope bike, which won a
design award.
(Photos © Elly Blue)

All day yesterday, the thirty offerings in the Oregon Manifest Constructors Challenge were judged. Today, they were put through their paces on a 77 mile course, from Vernonia to Portland via some epic hills, gravel roads, and city traffic.

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Spirits high, riders weary, some down as Constructor’s Race challengers near end point

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manifest bikes 2009

The Circle A Cycles bike was the only one
with dirt proudly on display last night.
They’ll all be looking battleweary by now.
(Photo © Elly Blue)

Our correspondent Mark Reber just called from up on Skyline Drive where he’s been photographing the challengers in the Oregon Manifest Constructor’s Race at the race’s Beer Pickup Checkpoint.

All the racers Reber saw were in high spirits, he said. They report a beautiful and rural but challenging course that began at 10am today at Vernonia High School and continued to Scappoose before winding through the west hills and returning to Portland via Old Germantown Road.

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More handmade magic from the Manifest Design Challenge

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Our man at the Oregon Manifest Constructor’s Design Challenge has sent over more photos of the amazing transportation bicycles put together by some of the best builders in the business.

This is just a small sampling of the extraordinary bikes in the show. Get down to the Oregon Manifest Union (539 NW 10th at Hoyt) from 7-10:00pm tonight for the official reception.

Scroll down for a few more sneak peeks of the builders have showed up with:

Pereira Cycles (Portland, OR)
Tony has really outdone himself (again). Highlights of his beauty are a hand-made taillight, integrated spot for a u-lock, and a fully custom from rack bag by Portland-based Lemolo. Check it out:

(All photos by Mark Reber/BikePortland unless otherwise noted)

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First look inside the Constructor’s Design Challenge

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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.

The crew from Chris King stand with their Cielo entry. In the middle is Cielo brand manager Jay Sycip (yes that Sycip) and to his left (in short-sleeve blue shirt) is Chris King.
-More photos below-
(Photos by Mark Reber for BikePortland)

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A few peeks at Manifest Design Challenge entries

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Sean Chaney of Vertigo Cycles
posted this sneak peek of
his Design Challenge entry.

The Constructor’s Design Challenge (part of Oregon Manifest) is coming this Friday. The event is an unprecedented opportunity to have the brightest minds in bike building put their skills and experience into building the Ultimate Transportation Bike. Each entry will be judged and then ridden to see which one comes out on top. It’s a bike geek’s dream come true.

We’ll have three people covering the event (I’ll be in California visiting family) and we’ll bring you the full lowdown. But since I tend to get impatient about big events like this and I love to get sneak peeks of upcoming action, I thought I’d share some photos of some of the bikes that will be entered into the competition.

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Impressive list of ‘Constructors’ will push transportation bike boundaries

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Made in Oregon Bike Expo at Cycle Oregon-52.JPG

What sort of features will
builders like Joseph Ahearne dream up?
(Photo © J. Maus)

If you haven’t taken time to peruse the schedule of the Oregon Manifest, you should. The six-week event — which last year mainly focused on a custom bike show — has blossomed into nothing short of an urban biking summit.

This year organizers have added everything from workshops about family biking to a full-fledged bike fashion show (to coincide with Portland’s Fashion Week).

However, despite it’s broadened focus in 2009, the Manifest maintains its roots as a showcase for America’s finest, handcrafted bicycles. This year, instead of the typical bike show format, organizers have challenged the nation’s top builders to create (and then ride) the ultimate transportation bike. And the builders have responded.

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Builders challenge; design the ultimate transportation bike

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[BikePortland.org is an official media partner with the upcoming, five-week Oregon Manifest event that will celebrate bike builders from across the nation, bike advocacy, and much more.

Stay tuned for more coverage of builders, events, rides, and more.]

A few of the builders who will compete.

Portland just might bear witness to the Next Big Thing in transportation bikes.

As we’ve shared recently, city bikes are (finally) sweeping the bike industry right now and that makes the timing of the Oregon Manifest’s Constructor’s Design Challenge competition all the better.

The Design Challenge is based on what were known as “technical trials” held in France in the early 1900s. In those trials, builders built frames and components to achieve specific goals and that would have to stand up to actual riding (as opposed to making a bike for to be displayed at a bike show).

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