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So I ended up going to the North American Hand Made Bicycle Show after all. I didn't think I was going to be able to go, as the wife was out of town visiting her brother and I had the boy, and as much as I would like to hope that he would do fine at the show, I knew that it wouldn't be much fun for me, and I would have no chance of having any kind of conversations with any of the builders about custom longtails, nor would I get to drool over particularly beautiful lugged bikes, plus if there was anyone in need of custom CNC Woodwork, there was little chance I could peddle OUR services. Some close friends of ours came to the resuce & agreed to hold down the fort with the boy for a few hours so after dropping him off, I pulled a high speed burn down to San Jose (78 miles in 67 minutes... you do the math) to arrive at 2:05pm. It was just barely enough time; I could have spent 2-3 more hours there checking out bikes and talking to builders and staffers, but the show ended at 5:00, and it was enough.

I took some photos, but no doubt if you look around the web, you'll find better photos than mine. Really, mine were all snapshots; nothing was composed particularly well. I'll post them anyways for fun. Like an idiot, there were several builders and people I talked to extensively that I go no pictures of their stuff (Vanilla, Fraser and Old Man Mountain in particular). DOH!

I'm particularly torn between Vanilla & Fraser. They both make BEAUTIFUL longtails and are EXCEPTIONALLY nice people. At this point I can't justify another bicycle, so I'll have to sell a bunch of bikes before I can buy a custom longtail, but if you're ready for one now, I highly highly recommend Vanilla Cycles (Portland, OR), Fraser Cycles (So Cal), Sycip (Santa Rosa, CA) and Inglis Bikes (Napa, CA). Speaking of Inglis: I tried several times to talk to Curtis at the show, but he was always swamped so I never got the chance. He comes highly recommended by another Stokemonkey user Dave who has pictures of his Inglis made Xtrabike HERE. If the show is around here again next year, I'll definitely be going, as it's a blast and the bikes are just so heartbreakingly beautiful. One final note: A Rohloff hubbed mountain bike is being made by the guys @ Old Man Mountain, and if I had my drothers, I'd sell the Heckler and buy one in a heartbeat. Anyone want to buy a 2000 Santa Cruz Heckler (Medium) in Orange with a Polished Swingarm?

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