[CR]Larz Anderson National Bike Show; Open letter

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From: "Hetchinspete" <hetchins.pete@verizon.net>
To: <Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Sun, 25 Jul 2004 21:13:48 -0400
Subject: [CR]Larz Anderson National Bike Show; Open letter

The show is as posted on Sunday August 8th, starting at 10:00AM and running until 2:00PM, with set up time for the Concour and a pre-show vintage ride at 9:00AM. There is an additional swap meet being held in Watertown, Mass on Saturday the 7th organized by another contributing member of our community, Linda Price. Although I’m not involved actively in the swap, I will post details to the list and help Linda promote her event. For more details on Larz, please go to our official website at: http://www.oldroads.com/show . The site has links to hotels in the area to stay, & full directions to Larz. If you drive to the Museum facility, there is space for over 300 cars on the grounds, and parking is welcome on bordering West Newton Street. Italian Car Day draws upwards of 3-4000 attendees and parking is never an issue. Traffic on weekends is not an issue in this sleepy part of Brookline.

As the founder, and current Co-chairman of the Larz Anderson National Bike Show with with Maurice Brenahan, I’ve been reading the CR List emails with regard to Larz, tonight at the request of Maurice. I would like to clear up once and for all any misconceptions of the show, its history and other issues. First, The Museum of Transportation in Brookline, Mass has offered and continued to offer its facility, and support to our show, which has now become an ongoing part of the Museum Summer lawn event schedule. The Museum and its staff, headed by Elln Hagney, lawn events coordinator, are very active in working with Maurice and I to promote our event, and we hope this affiliation will continue well into the future.

In early 1997, after attending many auto shows the prior summer at the Museum of Transportation and cycle concours promoted by Michael Kone at his facilty at Bicycle Classics, I approached the MOT (Museum of Transportation) about the possibility of their hosting a cycle show/ swap meet. I also requested that Michael Kone come on board as co-chairman because of his experience in hosting his event, and his wealth of knowledge about Lightweight cycles. After about show #3, Michael’s participation lessened as he had moved to Colorado, and he found it difficult to put in as much time as he needed, as his shop was keeping him busy. But when asked Michael helped sponsor the show, not asking for any credit.

After year #5, for personal reasons, I notified the Museum of my intent to no longer continue my affiliation with the show. Michael Kone came back on Board as co-chairman bringing aboard Maurice Bresnahan of Buchikas Bicycle Shop. Maurice’s shop became a principal sponsor of the show and continues to support Larz actively. After one year away from the cycling scene, I reactivated my affiliation with the show as Co-chairman with Maurice, and even though I’m relocating to the Midwest, I will continue to work with Maurice and the MOT on the show.

After year #6 the swap meet was cancelled as the MOT was refocusing its mission statement and the swap no longer fit into its agenda as an educational facility. Unfortunately I was unaware of some of the reasoning behind the cancellation of the swap, as I thought the town of Brookline with which the MOT resides, was behind the swap cancellation. After long conversation with Elln Hagney this has been clarified.

The original concept of the show was to be an event open to the entire public with cycles for the concour coming from all eras, from Antique, to Balloon Tyre and Modern Lightweight. As an active member of the Lightweight community, my original concept was to try and bridge all eras, and make collectors aware of the other communities active in restoration and collecting. Within a few years the show quickly became the most successful show in the Northeast, but with the cancellation of the swap and change in schedule to April last year, we only had about 6-7 weeks to organize our event. Despite a reduced public turnout, the cycling community turned out in good numbers with approximately over 125 cycles, with an especially strong turnout from the Antique community from the League of American Wheelman. All attendees that day were thrilled with the quality of the Concour, and the wealth of cycling history on display.

Contrary to written information in an email to the CR Group, the MOT has not sold off any of its cycle collection with possibly a few exceptions. Although the MOT has refocused to primarily being an Auto Museum facility, the Museum is and will always be an active promoter our event and will continue in the planning, promotion and improvement of the show.

As the concept was to be a public show, the voting has mostly been a popular choice award in all categories over the years. This year we are changing our concept and will be using a a CR Member from the Northeast to judge each category. Over the years Ken Denny has been a very active member of the community, bringing much of his great collection to the Concour. We have constantly disagreed as to concepts of the Concour, what it should be and how it should be judged. As much as I respect Ken and his contributions, and wealth of knowledge, we will never agree on this issue.

We have thought about running our event over a two or three day weekend, and this may eventually take place, but for now with our change in focus to being a Concour centered event with only non-profit vendors, such as Massbike, we need to spend our energies and focus on improving the current concept with a possible eye on expansion. With the cancellation of the swap, much effort was put in to finding a facility to run a swap in nearby communities, only to find most towns do not welcome a swap on public grounds, with the trade of funds, or if a venue was found, the cost was too prohibitive.

The lack of promotion last year was not due to lack of experience on the organizers part. In its hayday, years #1 to #5 Larz was well promoted drawing crowds from over 1300 people its first year to 1500 and more each year. The show is and will be undergoing changes in the next few years, to improve it and bring it back to the for front of our cycling community. We sincerely hope that CR Members and others from throughout the cycling world will come to our event to spend time with us, enjoy the day with friends.

As we contact past contributors to the show, I will post to the list cycles coming to Larz, including Kens gorgeous group. I will try and bring as many Hetchins as possible, including the following: 1935 Hetchins Brilliant, curly. The 5th oldest surviving Hetchins and oldest in the US. 1937 Hetchins Anglo. Oldest surviving Anglo existing 1938 Hetchins Anglo Continental Special, full chrome in original condition, maybe only one of two surviving. 1949 Nulli Secundus prototype, fully restored. The very first Nulli Secundus built by Hetchins, and according to Tom Rawson, the precurser to the entire Latin Lug series. 1950 Magnum Opus series #1 6-day racer. In original condition, and truly a stunning very very rare model. 1952 Hetchins Magnum Bonum framset, verified as being built for and ridden by the Romford Team in the 1952 Tour de Brittain. 1962 Experto Crede, fully restored and very nice. 1973 Hetchins Hellenic Spyder, unrestored. 2000 Hetchins Millenium. One of only 15 built to commemorate the year 2000.

Very sincerely, Peter Naiman