I got back late on Monday from the Classic Rendezvous weekend in Greensboro, North Carolina. I met so many old friends, and saw a lot of new faces. Many introduced themselves as readers of this blog. I didn’t take notes of names to go with all the faces, which would have been a chore.
One name and face I didn’t need to note was that of Dale Brown, (Left in above picture.) owner of Cycles d’Oro Bike store, who organized the whole show. Dale was one of my early bike dealers when I first opened my own California frameshop in 1983. We have remained friends ever since.
Picture right: With Bill Russell from Atlanta, Georgia. With Bill's #002 Fuso.
Organizing shows like the Classic Rendezvous is a huge amount of work, all done as a break even proposition.
Break even money-wise that is, if you are lucky. The many hours of work entailed I’m pretty sure is unpaid for.
We are none of us getting any younger and Dale expressed this would be the last he would be organizing.
Hopefully, some other vintage bike enthusiast will step up and fill the void.
These types of events are a joy to attend, a whole lot of fun, and cement together a community of like-minded bike enthusiasts.
However, they are an expense for the organizers and those attending. Travel expenses, hotels, and the cost of shipping bikes adds up.
I was privileged to be invited as a guest speaker on Saturday afternoon. I spoke more about my past experiences than bike tech stuff. In between talking I played and sang a few of my original songs.
It is what I do now, but this was the first time I have done this in front of a group of bike enthusiasts. (Picture left.)
I did not know what to expect, or how it would go over. I believe there were 80 or 100 people in the room.
The sound system was not the best for a musical performance, but they were a gracious audience.
Many expressed after that they enjoyed it, and I greatly appreciated that.
Once again I came away with the feeling that I am indeed a lucky man. Lucky to have had the opportunity to have actually built frames in the 1970s and 1980s, the vintage era. And now that I have been out of the business longer than I was in it, I find it satisfying that people still remember me and my past work.
Many show attendees bought copies of my book and tee shirts, which more than offset my expenses for the weekend. Plus my wife Kathy and I had a great time, a mini-vacation.
So many approached me at the show, saying they were long time readers of this blog. Some named specific articles that had particularly touched them. That means a lot to me as a writer. I sincerely thank you all.