What a fun weekend!
The Four Musketeers (Me, Jeff Archer- prop. of First Flight Bike Shop in Statesville, Mike Richardson- aircraft mechanic & bike nut, and Ken Wallace, Charlotte city bigwig & former USCF commissar) fly out of Charlotte, NC airport on Friday morning.. mildly loaded with for sale items, small parts and old magazines (me) and a big batch of Cirque du Cyclisme brochures...
We arrived in Denver mid morning and hopped in the rental mini van and headed for Boulder. First stop was downtown to University Bicycles, which a MUST visit for vintage bike fans. This good size shop is decorated with some neat original vintage posters and memorabilia and a bunch of cool bikes hung around the rooms and at a low enough level you can really study their details.. I remember the star being a 1960s? full chrome Rene Herse demountible (take apart) which was very similar to Gilbert Anderson's but older.. Also on display was a Bastide stayer track bike, a Olympic team Schwinn Paramount track tandem, a 1950s Helyett road, a beautiful 1970s Bruce Gordon track bike and many others.. The staff was very nice and non elitist too! How refreshing!
We had intended in eating lunch at a favorite Nepalese restaurant but it appears to have succumbed so we had a great meal (surprise) in Juanita's Mexican on the walking mall. Then we hoofed it maybe ten blocks south to Vecchio's a 10 month old apparently successful experiment at a Repair-Only bike shop. This shop focusses on high end road stuff and was distinguished from the start by having a sharp DeRosa in retro Super Record/ Merckx-Molteni colors in the window. The cases were loaded with vintage Campag amd a 1960s? Anquetil for sale on the floor. $5K (but possibly $3K...!) Also for sale were wool jerseys, posters, books.. Cool shop.
Friday night was the gathering of CR members at the Handlebar & Grill in Denver, about 10 hardy folks showed up. A few couldn't make it as they were consumed in setting up for the next days VeloSwap but we had a fun talk and good food...
Being "vendors" we headed to the VeloSwap saturday morning at 6:30 AM.. The doors open to the public at 9 AM but as we arrived at the building we saw folks already in line! What a crowd this event packs in!
Inside there was a buzz underway as folks unloaded goods and already started swapping and buying. John Barron (VeloStuf) had bought and resold three frames and a bike by the end of the meet! He found an absolutely gorgeous NOS pearl white JP Weigle frame set that had us all drooling! He was partnered with Greg Parker from Michigan and they took turns buying while the other guy watched "the store!"
We set up our table of parts and pile of Cirque promo stuff and then also took turns manning the table. The VeloSwap reflects the cycling world at large.. maybe about 70% Mtb, 20% road and 3% vintage. (don't ask me about the missing percentage cause I am making this all up anyway!!) But when you get such a huge event, that 3% is still a cool thing! Every trip out, one of our Four Musketeers came back with a neat "find" that the other of us had somehow missed!
Ken W. bought, among other things, an NOS Waterford 1900 in a beautiful gold that just might match his new car! I can't tell the prices paid out of due discretion, but just assume that all the deals were amazing!
Mike R. got a similarly new Gunnar Cyclo-cross frame at well below original wholesale..
Jeff A. found a lot of Balloon and early Mountain bike stuff (His interests are broader than the rest of us!)including a barely used early early Klein bike for about the same price as it cost to ship it home! (OK, I exaggerate a little, but it was the best deal of the day!)
I got mostly small bits and pieces..Best buy was a set wheels made of virtually new early Phil Wood hubs laced to S.Champion 58s, tied & soldered, tires & tubes for $50.00! What a blast!
Mike Kone, in addition to his going-out-of-business sale which comprised maybe 5 tables, had set up an absolutely slick "History of Cycling" display. There were perhaps 15 -20 bikes ranging from high wheelers through the years up to a Cinelli Laser... Herse, Singer, Masi, Carlton, Schwinn, DeRosa, etc. Awesome! Mike did a super job with informative signs on each bike and larger broader informational signs on each era. This display alone was worth the price of admission. What a benefit to the vintage bike community in building awareness. Thanks again to Mike and his cadre of friends...
I am running out of memory (only 2 brain ram on board!) so pictures will come when I get access to the CR site again!
See you all out there next year!