I thoroughly enjoyed reading Hilary’s post regarding Bespoked 2012. I too attended the show and her photos reminded me of some of the fantastic craftmanship that was on display. Melanie, my wife. took a different view, accusing me of ogling ‘bike porn’ again…charming! Rather than repeat much of Hilary’s post (and because her photos are better than mine), I will simply add some pictures of some of the other items that caught my eye.
First up, I just loved this frame respray from Argos Racing Cycles – the Union Flag appeared to float out in front of the rest of the black frame. The finish was just beautiful.
And then something completely different! Although the Bristol weather was positively summer-like, these guys obviously wanted to be prepared….the Surly Pugsley was shod with 3.8 inch wide tyres. I guess even if it didn’t snow heavily, the bike would have easily coped with the ‘challenging’ urban terrain around Temple Meads….
Next a real ‘drool’ moment for me…..the Roberts Audax…loved the paint job. Loved their tourer too. Chatted to Chas Roberts for about 15 minutes during which he uttered the immortal words “come into the shop sometime and we’ll measure you up”. Do I have the willpower to resist?!
But then, the Brian Rourke stand, and their gorgeous Audax bike in 953 stainless tubing, with the seatstays and chainstays left unpainted. How much ‘virtual shopping’ can one person do in a day?
It’s not just about the bike though! There were a number of clothing manufacturers there – hand-lasted leather shoes anyone? The Shutt Velo Rapide stand caught my eye with their ‘handmade in Britain’ merino wool jerseys.
Finally out into the sunshine for coffee and cake before cycling home. This was a bit of a ‘snatch shot’ of the wooden framed bike, but I also love the girl’s expression. She seems intrigued that wood can be used to make a bike. So was I – it would have been good to have ridden it to feel how it performed. I suspect I would have stuck with steel, carbon or aluminium though – bike maintenance seems onerous enough sometimes without having to reach for the varnish….
The exhibition proved a popular cycling destination! And the architecture of Brunel’s Old Station and Temple Meads itself provided a great backdrop. I believe the show will return to Bristol again next year and I would thoroughly recommend it – just leave the chequebook at home because it could get expensive…..!