Heartland Velo Show

I stopped in at the Heartland Velo Show on Saturday for a brief look around. After parking my bike with the 20-by-2020 bike valets and buying a ticket from show organizer Bina Bilenky, I wandered around taking photos and talking a bit with various builders and other exhibitors.

Capricorn randonneur

Capricorn sport-tourer

Capricorn old-school MTB

The weird Speedhound drop-out system

Bilenky all-rounder

Bilenky de-coupled and packed for travel

If I had to pick a favorite (which I don’t, but will anyway), it would be a toss-up between the Capricorn randonneur and the Bilenky all-arounder (though I do keep a special place in my heart for the Capricorn 26″ MTB since it’s a pretty faithful version of the first several mountain bikes that I owned and raced).

The bottom line

First, a lesson. I just bought a day pass and wandered around the general exhibit to gawp at things, take a few photos, and chat a bit with the exhibitors. In the future, I’d probably spring for the extra entry fee and attend a few seminars.

Second, a valediction. This is a new show, and was therefore necessarily somewhat small. And it was…but it was also well-curated and interesting. I look forward to it growing, both in the exhibits and the seminars. There are a lot of great builders and small bike companies in the Midwest, whether in Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis, or the wilds of Michigan (and I bet Iowa too…).

Third, a criticism. I would have liked to talk to a few more vendors and exhibitors, but while their booths were there, they were not. Now, I know that one has to leave the booth now and again for natural breaks and sustenance, but you really should have someone in the both all–or very nearly all–of the time. I know you’re bike geeks like the rest of us and want to wander around and talk to people too, but it’s much harder to ask you about your latest whatever if you’re not there. If you must circulate, bring a second person.

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