oregon handmade bicycle show
[This story was written by Mark Reber]
Portland’s emergence as a hub of bike manufacturing seems new and shiny like the paint on the bikes at this week’s upcoming Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. But the area’s provenance as a leading force in the bike business has its roots, just like the roots of the builders themselves, in its early pioneers.
No one understands this better than Andy Newlands of Terra Nova Cycles (a.k.a. Strawberry Cyclesport). He started building bikes when leather was the preferred material for helmets. I talked with Newlands recently about those early years.
“I graduated from the University of Washington with a Civil Engineering degree in 1970,” he explained. “It wasn’t exactly the best economy for finding a job in Seattle, so I started looking at what I might do to earn a living. Somehow, building bikes came into view.”
The Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association, a nonprofit group that unites and promotes the booming local handmade bicycle frame industry, has announced that they will host the 2009 Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show this October in Northwest Portland.
The Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association (OBCA) has announced preliminary details for their 2009 Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show.
According to Andy Newlands of the OBCA, their show will happen on Halloween weekend, October 31st – November 1st. The two day show will be open to the public and will feature handmade bikes from around Oregon and beyond. Newlands says “selected bicycle businesses will also be displaying their wares.”
I still can’t decide what was more impressive at yesterday’s Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show; the crowds or the builders.
One of the event organizers, Austin Ramsland, says that over 1,800 people attended the show. They were treated to an unprecedented display of building prowess from well over 20 Oregon-based builders. It was a show of talent and enthusiasm for bikes that many of us knew existed, but to see and feel it all in one room was simply breathtaking.
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.
Coming up in November is the first-ever Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show. Among the 25 vendors are some of Oregon’s most talented bicycle craftsmen.
Several well-known custom bike makers from Portland will be exhibiting. But in addition to the usual suspects, and in a nod to Portland’s distinct brand of bike building, the show will also feature builders known for a different kind of custom bike; minis and freak bikes.
Yes, alongside $3,000, meticulously crafted frames made to exacting tolerances will be bike creations culled from local dumpsters, then welded and bolted together by the DIY genius of Zoobombers and members of the Dropout Bike Club.
Organizers of the first ever Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show have nailed down 18 exhibitors and they’ve got a new date and venue.
The Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association — a new industry group formed by local builder Andy Newlands — originally planned for the Multnomah Athletic Club, the show will now be held on November 11 at Miller Hall, in the World Forestry Center atop Washington Park.
So far, the list of confirmed builders includes:
The event will be invitation-only and is set for November 10, 2007 and it will be held at the Multnomah Athletic Club in the Goose Hollow area of southwest Portland. Newlands says he pitched the idea to the MAC’s Cycling Committee and it was, “well received”. He hopes to get framebuilders from around the state to exhibit their work at the show.