Last weekend we visited the New England Bicycle Expo - held right here in Somerville, MA. We weren't sure what to expect: Would it be a handmade bicycle show? or a trade show of larger manufacturers? Turns out, it was a bit of everything: a mix of local framebuilders, artisans, manufacturers, and various cycling-related organisations. The show was relatively small and had a "country fair" feel to it - which was pleasant and personable.
The Expo was held at the Armory - an old military structure, refashioned into a community arts center. I did not have the right lens on my camera to photograph the entire building, but you can see it here. The Armory basically looks like a cartoon castle, and I always get excited upon seeing it in what is otherwise a normal, residential neighbourhood. It's just so unexpected: House, house, house...castle!
Ciclismo Classico had a large information tent.
Geekhouse booth - shaped like an actual house, with an actual geek in it. Those guys do not disappoint.
Royal H. Cycles took the stage - literally. There is a stage in the Armory, and that's where he set up. Naturally, the crowd kept expecting a performance.
Icarus shared the stage, the delicate details stunning anyone who examined the flawlessly fillet-brazed frames.
Folk Engineered displayed a very memorable bicycle that was designed to look like it was stitched together.
ANT had some new mixte basket-bikes built up, with lots of nice custom touches. A few of us rode one of the bikes and I will write about that at some point in the future.
Dynamic chainless bikes were giving presentations.
Alchemist wool jerseys.
2nd Suit cycling caps were on display, made of thrifted garments.
Belle helmets are handpainted in acrylic, with the coolest motifs. Although you may have noticed that I neither promote nor wear this particular accessory, I can't help but want to promote a fellow artist.
Zipcar was at the expo, giving away mints. I reviewed my experience with Zipcar here earlier.
Bummels and Jaunts, with family.
here, if you're curious; it's really something.
If I have to assess how the expo turned out, I would describe it as small, friendly and low-key. The upside of that, is that the atmosphere was comfortable, open and inviting. The downside, is that it was perhaps too small and low-key for what the name of the event suggested. Frankly, I think the expo could have been promoted more extensively, and could have benefited from more media coverage. Boston has a huge cycling culture, and I saw only a small fraction of it reflected among the attendees. Many people I told about it locally simply did not know it was happening, but would have loved to go. Perhaps that is something to consider for next year - and I hope very much that there will be a next year! This was an exciting and promising beginning that I would love to see become a local tradition.
Additional images of the New England Bicycle Expo can be viewed here. There are more coming, and they will be added to the same location.