I, of course, must add my MERCY BOWKOOS to the circus ringmaster, that famous east coast Dalemeister, Dale Brown. A kiss for each cheek (four kissses... blush). It just doesn't get any better than this. Beautiful country side, beautiful town, beautiful rides, beautiful people, and best of all, a Krispy Kreme next to the new shop! Yummmmmmmm...
The ride Saturday morning at a "conversational pace" over the rolling green countryside of Greensboro (aptly named) was fun with wonderful conversations and bike swapping. Lou Deeter (Lou for President!) let me ride his Grandis with 50th that I helped i.d. and Maurice let me try the Dave Tesch "Built for Speed" to see what that was all about. I noticed that the conversational pace blew off my name tag halfway through the ride when we reached the "Wall of Greensboro" KOM sprint...
The seminar Saturday was just great. The introductions were fun putting a face to a well known name, and some of the ficticious intros were hilarious!
I thought the framebuilding seminar that Brian Baylis presented was a real eyeopener. Just a torch, a file, and a hacksaw and the resultant frames on display were a revelation to this jaded bike junkie. I thought it approached witnessing genius or at the very least, sublime!
Alan Bernstein's very professionally produced video of the artful bikes of JP Weigle and Richard Sachs was just wonderful; the type of thing you would expect to see on PBS.
And of course the slide show and commentery put together by Mike Kone was as insightful as always. Who could ever tire of seeing those amazing bikes? Maybe next year's version should include a "things aren't always as they seem" segment on repro'd Hetchins and Ephgraves?
Dinner at the micro brew restaurant ("we raise our own beef" and then turn it into ground round?) was a perfect end to the day along with brandy and cigars with the ever entertaining, Brit with the wit, Ray Etherton.
Sunday's event was not just the icing on the cake, but the entire cake too. How could you not enjoy a gymnasium full of vintage parts, your new best friends, and beautifully restored bikes? The time just flew. I finally found one of the things I had been searching years for, some NOS Pelissier thorn catchers ("Designed by the famous French Champion Charles Pelissier it is cleverly spring loaded and pivoted at its centre") looking very thirties streamlined amongst the treasures Curtis brought from Philly. Also found a GB stem in a nice long length from Sam (stay well Sam), some Olmo red plastic tape from the 50s and some REG red rubber control covers (thanks B.C. and Aldo), and some thirties dropout adjusters also from Curtis. But best of all, a swap with "gruff but loveable" Larry Black that I can't disclose because Larry made me promise. Thanks to you all with the words of encouragement for my Velo-Retro endevour; it was also nice to see so many of you wearing the vintage T-shirts.
I'll always remember the "pajama party," with talk and belly laughs into the wee hours each night; thanks Mike, Maurice and Brian.
I'm already missing North Carolina and looking forward to next year's Le Cirque; thanks again Dale for being the terrific and generous guy that you are!
South Pasadena, California