Eurobike 2013

This was my third trip to Friedrichshafen, Germany for Eurobike, arguably the largest bike show on the planet. It is easily 3x larger than Interbike, which is in Vegas and this year, is expanding to the Mandalay Bay on the strip. Eurobike is held in the Messe, aka the convention center, which is in the same location as the Zeppelin hangar. We often see a Zeppelin taking off or landing during the show. Very cool.

The Zeppelin flies over  the Messe

I flew into Munich and picked up my car – an Audi1. Super fun car, peppy to say the least and it could hold its own on the Autobahn. Woot! Within 24 hours I had gotten a speeding ticket, I was pretty sure. There are few police patrolling the roads, instead a sign that warns you and then the flash! You’ve been busted. In my jetlag, I missed the warning sign while slowing into Heidelberg, but the flash! told me immediately that a hefty ticket would find me in a few months time. Sigh.

 The Audi A1. My ticket to speed. Literally

I do not have a booth at Eurobike, instead, my German distributor has one and he brings his eclectic and international group of companies to share the booth space. In the USED – HQ booth you can find the following brands:
Rivet (Sacramento, CA),
Yuba (Petaluma, CA),
Slidepath (Palo Alto, CA)
Allegro Bikes (Melbourne, Aus),
Po Campo (Chicago, IL),
Carradice (Nelson, UK),
Georgia from Dublin (Dublin, Ireland),
Monark (Sweden) and
Carry Freedom (Scotland and Germany).

USED-HQ. Rivet's German distributor

I always arrive a few days early to help set-up. Bob and Dani (USED), rent a farmhouse and we stay in it for the duration, which is great because it is close to the Messe, and yet you feel like you get a break from the insanity of humanity that is Eurobike.

Our Eurobike home - the Farmhouse!

Our Eurobike home – the Farmhouse!

I must've eaten 5 apples a day. Outstanding!

I must’ve eaten 5 apples a day. Outstanding!

Then everyone else shows up and we populate the booth, catch up, see what’s new and talk shop, share ideas, get feedback, and oh yeah, we interact with customers. We work hard, talk to a ton of people, exchange a zillion cards and at the end of the day (or close to it), everyone seems to party hard. Fucking Hell!

Drinking Fucking Hell beer with David, @ the Eurobike party.

Drinking Fucking Hell beer with David, @ the Eurobike party.

Needless to say, it is overwhelming. But in a really fun way…

At the Eurobike party. Live music that sounds better the more you drink!

At the Eurobike party. Live music that sounds better the more you drink!

The first year I was at Eurobike, I took a ton of pictures, and this year I barely had time to circulate through to booths of friends that I wanted to say hello to. I was psyched to see a special character who I met last year, and who came to visit me this year. Eric B. is an avid bicycle historian and collector. When I met him last year, he told me about an all aluminum bicycle that he was building with all original parts. The bicycles were French, and most, if not all of the parts were from the 30’s or 40s and all in original condition. He had painstakingly collected each of them, and lovingly restored them. His enthusiasm and dedication to this artform was wonderful. Listening to the background on a component was a treat. His bright blue eyes would light up, and he would launch into a long story about searching for and finding the part, how rare it is etc.

This year, Eric rolled into the booth with one of his bikes. It’s an Aviac, which I have never heard of. It is all aluminum, and the only parts new on the bike is a Wipperman chain (great choice) and Grand Bois tires. I won’t describe the bike, instead, I’ll show you the photos, which of course, don’t do it justice. Eric promised me that one of the other bikes he was restoring was a Mixte. My favorite. Can’t wait to see him next year!

I took the photos with my Iphone, so they aren’t the best…but you’ll get the idea!

Eric's beautiful Aviac

Eric’s beautiful Aviac

The Aviac. I love nameplates.

The Aviac. I love nameplates.

The handlebar grips were interesting. A firm rubber - original - in the right spots, nothing more. Very comfy on the hands

The handlebar grips were interesting. A firm rubber – original – in the right spots, nothing more. Very comfy on the hands

Original headlamps and bulbs! Fantastic!

Original headlamps and bulbs! Fantastic!

Another look at those headlamps

Another look at those headlamps

One shifter, and a lot of metal

One shifter, and a lot of metal

The bottom bracket and lugwork.

The bottom bracket and lugwork.

That aluminum cross tube is a handle for lifting the bike. Very useful! And the lever is the front D. Pull it forward to change chainrings. Easy!

That aluminum cross tube is a handle for lifting the bike. Very useful! And the lever is the front D. Pull it forward to changes chainrings. Easy!

Early Mafac Raid brakes

Early Mafac Raid brakes

The rear d. is on a long spring.

The rear d. is on a long spring.

Early Tendil rack. The blanket, is, of course, modern day.

Early Tendil rack. The blanket, is, of course, modern day.

Love this. Each of these bikes have a St. Christopher on the seat-tube. St. Christopher is known for offering protection to travelers, and is revered by athletes, mariners, mountaineers, all those journeying. How cool is that? A saint on your bike?

Love this. Each of these bikes had a St. Christopher on the seat-tube. St. Christopher is known for offering protection to travelers, and is revered by athletes, mariners, mountaineers, all those journeying. How cool is that? A saint on your bike?

The show was excellent for Rivet. We made contacts that will boost our brand’s reach worldwide. People were excited to see the saddles and accompanying bags, commenting on design and comfort. During the last hour of the show, I had a run-in with a fixie crankset that garnered a trip to the hospital for a firsthand look at Germany’s healthcare system. 60 euros for stitches and x-rays (fracture!) – a deal! Each night we would end up at a lovely Greek restaurant down on the lake, talking about the day over Ouzo and platters of Greek food. Next year is already on the calendar – only 358 days to go!

The USED-HQ gang

The USED-HQ gang

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