Hello ALL, I own the 1935 Monark Silver King manufactured Wards Hawthorne Aluminum bike that took best Balloon tire bike at the Larz Anderson show. It wasnt hard for me to win a trophy since there were only three balloon tire bikes in attendance and I provided all three of them. The other two were first a Schwinn Black Phantom loaded with 30 lbs of period accessories adding to its already ungainly 68 lb bulk fortissimitude.( I once did a century ride on that 98 lb behemoth while training to do Ragbrai in 1995 which I completed on an art deco 50 lb Bowden Spacelander fiberglass bike.) Both the Phantom and the Bowden have been called Pee Wee Hermans bike more times than I care to remember which brings me to the third entry I had at Larz which was one of the actual Movie bikes from Pee Wees Big Adventure. A modified Schwinn DX with saddlebags to hold the 5000 feet of chain Pee Wee used to lock the bike up at the Alamo. I fully expected that bike to win something but it didnt. In past years at the Larz Show it was easy for me as a vendor of classic bike parts to easily take in thousands of dollars in sales on a Sunday afternoon while the 20 or so entries I had in the show ring won several awards. When the museum stopped the swap meet they harmed their overall objective in my opinion. To educate and to inform and to entertain. When bike shop owners from other cities bring their rare items along with their collective knowledge, that is educational and informative. The cast of characters is highly entertaining and crossover camaraderie between roadies, ballooners and musclebikers flourishes and thrives. Curtis Anthony from Via Bicycle in Philadelphia never missed this show before but was NOT there this year. Sam Fitzsimmons from Baltimore ditto. No longer do vendors come from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, Chicago, California. Why should they pay the expense to get there when there is no way to re-coop any of the out of pocket costs associated with bringing truckloads of great items to a venue. Or to display to less than 100 people. 3 years ago I put 24 bikes in the show ring including half a dozen bikes of historical and high monetary value. This year I put 3 bikes in. The show reminded me of the last 15 minutes of major shows after 98% of the people have already packed up and gone. And that was at the beginning. Attendence was anemic and that is being complimentary. To call it a national bike show was somewhat embarrassing. Instead of Several High wheel bikes there was one.Instead of a dozen hard tire safeties there were none. Instead of 50 or more stingray and muscle bikes there were 2, Instead of two hundred balloon tire bikes on the lawn there were 3. The laser like focus on European road bikes while great for CR list readers was overall far too myopic to help expand the education of the general public regarding "all things" bicycle. For one thing you have to have the general public there and they weren't. Usually lots and lots of "lay" people come to the shows bringing bicycles they have carted in their cars and vans and looking for informed appraisals. At this show I did manage to see and make an offer on a model 65 Columbia shaftdrive from the late 1800's. In the past however I was able to sell all day and still have trouble fitting everything back in the cube van as many, many buying opportunities presented themselves all day long. The fact is, the swap meet brings people to the show. Though an attempt was made to have a seperate swap elsewhere the day before, the show's draw was not strong enough to sustain one days worth of activity let alone two. The museum needs to decide whether the event is going to be a narrowly focused slice of the bicycle pie or a broad spectrum event that is not just preaching to the choir. One way to insure broad attendence is to make it worth it. To the hundreds and hundreds of familiar faces that were not there on Sunday, It clearly wasnt worth it.
This is not to take away anything from the beautiful display of Road bikes. The examples were spectacular. But man can not live on caviar alone.
BikeMike in Boston http://www.nostalgiamerchants.com
In a message dated 8/9/04 8:40:22 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org
>PS: If I have forgotten any award, please do correct me.