The 3rd Annual San Francisco VeloSwap, held at the historic Concourse building in downtown San Francisco went off without a hitch yesterday. Most of the Northen California CR folks were there. Even met one CR member from Olympia, WA! It was great that So. Cal vintage couple Charles and Carmen made it up for the weekend.
The new venue was great (but I'm biased - I was responsible for securing it for the event) and the turn-out seemed robust. All the booth spaces were occupied in the 49,000 sq. ft. bldg. and there was not much breathing room once the doors opened at 9am.
The Alessandro and Woolistic Merino wool jerseys, trainers, and cycling shorts were selling well and several times throughout the day we couldn't even move in our booth. We were cornered by 10 to 15 customers, all pawing the merchandise. And I like it when the CR listees congregate in my booth for impromptu discussions on vintage stuff. Major Taylor biographer Andrew Ritchie stopped by to chat and even scored a pair of Merino wool armwarmers in his size.
It was great to see young gals walking around, pushing steel fixed-gear bikes that they'd purchased. We need more women on fixed-gear steel! And the Alessandro super-light Merino wool polo shirts that I was selling were a big hit with the chicks. We also need more girls in the wool kits.
Morgan, Bob F. Stevan T., Greg D., Brian B., Brett H., and many others were there, hunting for that elusive 'oro' vintage component or frame. Stevan, Morgan, Bob - thanks for your business! Enjoy the wool. Think of ME when you slide it on over your head.
All in all, it was an exhausting day, but a lot of fun. It's great to see all the interesting faces who are drawn to such an event. Some look like hard-core cyclists, and others look like they're just looking for free stuff to 'flip' at another swap meet.
Does anyone else have a report to post? I can give your feedback to the VeloSwap folks to hopefully improve the event for 2006. - - - - - One myth that I'd like to dispel with all the wool jersey owners out there - Woolite is not the best for your fine washables. If you own a D'Alessandro/Alessandro/Woolistic/Unis Sport Merino wool garment, do not wash it with a)Woolite, b)Tide, c)Arm & Hammer d)any other heavy duty detergent. Woolite is way too harsh for Merino wool. It contains chemicals that Ivory Snow Liquid does not. The ONLY Woolmark-approved detergent that is recommended is IVORY SNOW LIQUID. I repeated this advice dozens of times throughout the day and got kind of tired of educating the ignorant folks who wash their wool jerseys with Levis, work shirts, and other general laundry. Our wool jerseys need special care. That means hand wash separately in cool water or DELICATE cycle machine-wash, dry flat on a towel, and never dry clean.
And to prevent moth larvae from developing, place your clean wool jerseys in a Zip-Loc bag and place in the freezer for three hours. This kills the larvae. The moths have already deposited their eggs on your clothing, if you have clothes moths, so the freezer tactic is a good stop-gap measure to do now.
Hope everyone had a good time yesterday at VeloSwap. Let me know your opinion of the event. Venue, turn-out, food, availability of on-topic merchandise, etc.
Next year, I guarantee we willl repeat the Framebuilder Symposium, like the one we had Friday night last year, and we will also have the 'Keepers of the Flame" framebuilder's section and Concorso at the swap on Saturday. The organizers spoke to me and said they had several requests from attendees for the Framebuilders section next year. Last year's event was successful and fun, and the photo I took of 'Best in Show' award winner Brian Baylis, posing with the crowned VeloSwap Queen and Princess, one on each arm, is one of my most highly-prized. That was a CLASSIC moment!
Portola Valley, CA