Bespoked was back in Bristol and so were we. Our racks covered the cobbles on the entrance to the Passenger shed and we stood in glorious sunshine.
Barely a day seemed to have passed since we last came here two years previously. Aside from the size of show – now encompassing two locations; bikes and frames at Temple Meads, art and accessories at the Arnolfini centre – little has changed.
The people still arrive in droves. Framebuilders stand proudly next to their creations. Artists, pragmatists or both (Artmatists?). I spoke to writers and travellers, letterpress wizards, social business entrepreneurs, activists, tourists, roadies, crossers, enduro riders, downhillers and flâneurs; riders one and all. If I’m honest, it’s the only show I really get excited by. It’s where effort, efficiency, glamour and soul collide.
Personal highlights were meeting Nick Hand and enquiring of his travels in Europe. Of talking Roubaix tyre sizes with Robin Mather (….and yes, I concede, 25mm tyres were uncomfortable). Of discussing the anthropology of Canary Wharf and social traditions in the Netherlands with Arianne of Blacksmith Bikes. Of catching up with the Boneshaker team and inspiring me to put pen to paper again (it begins today!). Beyond all that, it was simply being there and contributing, more important even than the opportunity to showcase our products.
If we’re invited back next year, we’ll happily come, racks in hand (metaphorically speaking) and ready to pick up where we left off. In the meantime, we’ve always got the pictures to reminisce.
With thanks to friends and colleagues who helped (there are many). I was at the Odoni-Elwell stand Friday and Sunday. If we chatted, I was very pleased to meet you. If not, let’s catch up next year.