It’s a wrap. The 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show has left the expanse of the Colorado Convention Center, and builders have packed up their trailers or crates. Many of them have begun their travels west across the snowbound Rockies or east across the snowbound prairie. Sunday’s blizzard-like conditions certainly made things interesting. We wish all the exhibitors, staff, volunteers and show attendees safe travels to wherever they call home.
What a great show Denver proved to be! We say this every year, but 2013 was our biggest show yet. The health of the handmade bicycle industry, and the excitement surrounding it in one of the nation’s best cycling areas made for a truly outstanding show. A big thank you to Show Director Don Walker and all his supporting staff who work tirelessly behind the scenes in an always successful quest for excellence.
Much has been written about the death of American industry and the exodus of mass-production to, primarily, the Far East. We don’t make “stuff” here anymore: we may develop the concept and assemble the financing, but the implementation and production takes place in a Chinese factory that may or may not have ever been visited by its American clients.
While handmade bicycles can’t remotely be considered mass-production items, it’s important to remember that when you purchase a handmade bicycle, you’re supporting not only American (or European, or Japanese) ingenuity and creativity, but American quality. By putting his or her name on the side of a bike, the builder has staked their reputation very directly on the quality of their product. When you purchase their products, you are supporting a local, “transparent” economy and sustaining the dreams of true visionaries and artists.
We encourage you, then, to support these great builders with your patronage and to keep your eyes and attention to the pulse of the vibrant, innovative and expanding handmade bicycle scene.
From all of us here at NAHBS News, we thank you, loyal readers, for following along, and we look forward to serving you again next year in Charlotte, North Carolina.