Creative Community Gets Minnesota Island at Richmond NAHBS
Custom Bicycle Builders Unite to Attend Key Marketing Opportunity
Summary: A group of six Minneapolis custom bicycle framebuilders have pooled resources to reduce costs for their annual journey to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show. In doing so they demonstrate how creativity and community can make small businesses resilient in tough economic times. Click here to add your email copy and images.
INDIANAPOLIS - For the first time in its six year history, the world's number one custom bicycles show, the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS), will feature a state-themed island, the Minnesota Island, when the roving annual show goes to Richmond, Va, Feb. 26-28, 2010.
Minneapolis-St Paul is known across the USA for having an enthusiastic cycling scene. Yet like many businesses, the custom bicycle builders there are facing tough economic times. So when the call came to stump up the cash for a booth, and start budgeting for the trip to the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, a group of Minneapolis custom bicycle framebuilders pooled resources and shared costs, making it more affordable for each of them to be there than if they'd made individual arrangements.
The idea was hatched in a conversation between show director Don Walker and Twin Cities Builder Erik Noren, of Peacock Groove Bicycles. Noren said, "Minnesota and the Twin Cities is a serious cycling region, 3.8% of all the commuters in the Twin Cities are cyclists. We've got to be tougher than the times, and that means not missing NAHBS. The builders who don't go to that show, they're the ones who may not make it through this recession."
Cost-effectiveness is a theme of the 2010 NAHBS, which is one of the reasons the city of Richmond was chosen, and the Marriott selected as the host hotel. "With this combination, we've been able to keep the quality high at a very accessible venue without the costs spiraling out of control," said show director, Don Walker. See the show website for information on hotel reservations.
Five custom frame builders and the internationally known wheel maker, Hed Cycling, will share the costs of a van to Richmond, Va. Noren expects to drive it himself.
The Minnesota Island will include Capricorn Bicycles, Clockwork Bikes, HED Cycling, Peacock Groove Bicycles, Vincent Dominguez Cycles, and Wyganowski Custom Bicycles. All of these builders exhibited in August's Minnecycle show, which was organized by Noren.
"Watch out for a very different booth look at the Richmond NAHBS: it will be more inviting, more open than traditional booths. It will represent the community of custom manufacturers here in Minneapolis," said Noren.
Eric Noren and his Fruit Stripe bike at the 2009 NAHBS. Image credit: Brad Quartuccio, www.urbanvelo.com
The North American Handmade Bicycle Show moves from city to city each year. It is scheduled for February 26 -28, 2010, at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The show is dedicated to showcasing the talents of individuals around the world whose art form is the bicycle. It aims to be a meeting point-online and in person-for frame builders and consumers looking for custom-made bikes, for the sharing of ideas, and the promotion of a special industry with a rich history dating back to 1819. Since its first year in 2005, NAHBS has grown from a show with 23 exhibitors and 700 attendees, to 150 exhibitors and 7200 attendees. For more information, see www.handmadebicycleshow.com.
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