Wednesday, February 13, 2008

NAHBS 2008!!!

Yes, I am still here, sorry for the long lag in posting for those who have been checking to see if I'm doing anything. I've been busy all right, just spent the last two months letting NAHBS prep consume me, I was kind of trying to keep it quiet and create the whole yahoo-thebig-debut effect with my display stand and the bikes hung in it, and more importantly, make show prep in years to come MUCH easier. I wanted to make a stand that would hold up for a year or two and allow me to display four complete bikes, well lit, with a photo friendly backdrop. As to be expected, what seemed to be a simple structure relentlessly continued to mutate as I attempted to build it, the next thing I knew I had a vision that was finally coming clear, but in the form of something I was spending a grotesque amount of time on, which would eventually require it's own hauling vessel. So anyway, I actually got it all done in time and it all worked - really well, it made me feel just a little better about all the production time I lost, and hopefully I won't ever have to worry about that part of showing again!

The show was awesome and the turn out was seemingly everything the hype predicted, I believe somewhere around 7000 folks wondered through. The bikes displayed were also as expected, stunning and apparently ever improving, this year unveiled some very impressive budding talent from several first time exhibitors. I did my best to get a picture of something from every booth, but failed miserably, there was just too much surrounded by too many people. The most disappointing being the lack of a picture of my friend Sam Whittingham's bike from NAKED custom bicycles, which won People's choice, President's choice, and Best in Show!! And oh yeah, just happened to be the bike that Lance Armstrong fell in love with at first sight and purchased from Sam on Saturday! I had the opportunity to meet Sam and his wife Andrea at last year's show, it takes about 10 minutes to tell that they are about as genuine and kind hearted as it gets. Yet another accolade, they have both set land speed world records on bikes built by Sam, this is one of those things you seem to have to ask about before they will talk about it, so I didn't know at first. Apparently, Lance knew nothing about this when he bought the bike, he just knew that one was for him. Sam wasn't even in the booth at the time, Andrea had to keep her cool and pull the sale all by herself, though I don't think it took much of a pitch. I don't know exactly where to direct someone to see this fine machine, but I'll bet it won't be too hard to find, unfortunately no photos of it here.
This is a strange time in the year in that it is when I post pictures of other builders' work and talk about how cool I think it is. At a glance this may seem like poor business move, but I must disagree because what I'm really trying to show is how much passion there was under one roof. This industry exploding is the result of good change, if we keep the experience positive, there should be no problem finding room for everyone. There were so many incredible works of art that I either missed completely, or only got one shot of, but here is a look at what I was able to capture.