Words and Photos by Danielle Baker
I fell in love at the SF Bike Expo. The Expo embraces bikes, culture, and cool. It catered to both my bike geek side and adrenaline junkie side and it did so with the romantic scent of cow manure in the air. SF Bike Expo, you complete me.
Scraper Bike Team
Scraper bikes and the Scraper Bike Movement (http://www.originalscraperbikes.blogspot.ca/) embrace true two-wheel revolution. Baybe Champ works with a team of youth living in dangerous communities in Oakland. In an effort to promote education, fun, and healthier lifestyles he challenges their creativity and equips them to repair, build, paint and decorate their own personal scraper bikes.
"Whiskey Drunk Cycles is, at its core, a group of buddies who like to build stuff." It's that simple. Modeled after 'Keith's Bicycle Track' from 1901, the Whiskey Drome is a turn of the century velodrome. The operators of it remind me of everyone I've ever seen at a Clutch concert and something about their beards and work overalls makes me want to hang out in their garage and bang stuff.
Fixie freestyle is fantastic. Yep, you heard me. I've taken my share of flack from fellow mountain bikers because I own a fixed gear bike, but regardless of how you feel about fixies, fixie freestyle deserves your respect. As one mountain biking spectator came to realize next to me "I couldn't do this this stuff on my hardtail". No you probably couldn't.
The All Fixed Comp is organized by Josh Boothby. Google him. Do it.
Bringing some culture into the event, Josh worked with a number of different artists to create the course for the fixie freestyle comp.
The 4th Annual Ball Whackers Ball
Bike polo is possibly the least expensive bike sport to set yourself up in, and possibly the scariest. At least it seemed that way for me, but I'm not a team sport kind of person, nor do I like balls flying at my face. I have a lot of respect for the boys and girls on the polo court. The majority of that respect was directed at the girl who played with a full bushy mustache, the ex world yo-yo champ, and the spectator who showed me the big red welt on his stomach where he 'caught' the ball.
Do you know what the trick to building huge dirt jumps is? Rodeo dirt. As the main event at the SF Bike Expo you couldn't walk past the AT Showdown without seeing action. The jumps never seemed to be quiet. Over the days leading up the Expo I watched dump truck after dump truck of dirt being hauled into place. There is a lot of love that goes into building dirt jumps and some real devotion to building dirt jumps that will only exist for a weekend.
As the event came to an end on Sunday, I felt as though I'd just completed a round of speed dating, having sampled so many different aspects of our industry in one weekend. I think I may have made a love connection.