Good Parts of NAHBS part 1.

Resolved media issues aside, here are the good parts of the show: The bikes. Also pals I had not seen in years. Also Pals I only knew from the internet, also new people I met. Anyhow, the show was much bigger and much better organized than I expected. Not sure on how many builders were actually there, but it was many. I am out of the loop enough I have not heard of many of the newish builders and possibly some of the semi-established ones, so there was plenty to see. There were are fair bit of weird booths for clothing, hat and bag makers, some larger component people had pretty large presence, to go along with a bunch of the smaller Paul Component, White Industry types. Kind of a weird mix, but pretty satisfying. It also was a consumer show, which was not connected to a race, which I have only been to a few of its kind, none remotely as big or as organized as this. So anyhow, some pics and some words:

Best thing at the show, Rick Hunter Semi-long superfat bike, also my best picture for the show. I think he calls this his fat high plains drifter, he made it for Scott of Porcelain Rocket, who makes really nice frame bags for bikes. He outfitted the bike completely with white super Xpac fabric with some glowing green interiors. Very nice. Clearance for 4.7 big fat larry tires, 170mm hubs front and rear, fillet brazed frame, removable rack, semilongtail, Aida approved, that is Rick Hunter smiling behind the bike:
My Favorite Photo from the show

I like that the rear rack is removable, I like that it looks like you could, with a few changes, retrofit a rack like that on a pugsley.

The semi long tail fat bike with either 29x3 or 26x4 or 5 tires was a thing, there were three of em that I saw and liked. This was my second favorite bike at the show, this was a really utilitarian show bike:

Moots IMBA "chainsaw" bike

I have this saw, therefore the bike should be rightfully mines

While the saw part was awesome, the demountable Ti-handled work tools up front were pretty keen too. I am sure there are a million photos on Google under "moots imba" go forth and seek. Other really notable things were the insanely wide Ti handlebars and another Porcelain Rocket bag. Scott had bags on the two best bikes at the show. Well done pal. Here is what he looks like, if you, like me, are a flickr follower of his but had no idea what he actually looks like:
Me and porcelain rocket Scott.

The third bike along this line was this very sweet shorter tailed well racked Ti-Black sheep:

and without child


Note the cool fat tired tandem back there. That was thing too. There was that one, this nice SNS coupled Engin one:


and ludicrously awesome AMPierce Tandem that I did not take a photo of. I am not a tandem person (yet of course) but 29x3.0 Tandems seem like a great idea.

Finally, I wanted to add a few grainy photos of another 29x3.0 bike that I really loved. This Retrotech.

Curtis and I think the new owner and the bike with the best MTB in show prize

Aida and I checking out the bike earlier IMG_1238

The split top tubes, the cross bar, the paint and the tire clearance were all perfect. Curtis is also one of the undeniable nicest guys in the framebuilding game. Great stuff and a well deserved best mountain bike prize.

OK more in the next day or two. The rest of my somewhat limited photos here: 2013 NAHBS on flickr, if you want to want to get a sneak peek or see em all large.


Quick Update on the Resolution with NAHBS

So since that last post went mini-viral, I wanted to kind of reiterate what went into that getting posted in the first place and how Paul Skilbeck and I came to a resolution. After a couple unproductive email exchanges after I put up the post initially, Paul called me and we got down to some resolution on where things went sideways and some legit apologies.

So I think I have been clear that I was not pissed at getting rejected for the media pass, but more because someone was walking around with my name and blog on their media pass.
I do acknowledge that stuff like this happens often at shows, and I was expecting a quick apology and resolution when I went to talk to Paul in the press office.
The fellows at the desk sent me back to talk to Paul, which I don't think he was expecting as he was dealing with resolving a pretty time sensitive crises. He probably did not have a full grasp of exactly what the issue was at the time and basically acted in a way that I misinterpreted as a complete blow-off which truly angered me and spurred me to write that post. I was with my daughter and did not really want to stick around beyond a quick resolution so I bailed out quickly as well. There were some other extenuating misinterpretations that probably exacerbated the situation in the Media room Saturday morning. I think we got to a point where Paul genuinely apologized for the error in the media pass and I certainly apologize for getting that spun up. I am not sure that my original post is that inflammatory, but certainly combined with some blog comment name calling and I suspect a fair bit of impolite direct email, and massive traffic, it did get out of hand this afternoon. Combine that with me not being able to moderate comments or monitor page views and that leads to me getting a pretty interesting phone call from Paul tonight, that ultimately lead to understanding, apology and resolution. I think we both are at the point we should have been quickly Saturday morning in the media room, but with a much more interesting journey between than we intended. That is pretty much all I will say on the matter anymore, feel free to comment, I will close em up if it goes all sideways again. Thanks for reading. Tomorrow some pictures, really...

NAHBS - the bad press review- Update with Resolution!

Update: After this got blown up on the reddit and the twitters and such to an unprecedented level (at least for this blog), I talked to Paul the communications director for a while tonight on the phone, I think we are good now. Some simultaneous time crunches and misunderstandings led to this not getting resolved as we both probably wish it did Saturday morning. I am good with Paul, I will write a bit more about this in another post tonight with the photos and such from the show...

I went to the 2013 North American Handmade Bike Show in Denver this weekend and had mostly a good time. The people running the media credentials were not a part of that good time, they pretty much invited me to use my tiny angry pen to give em some bad press, and since I am a blogger, I am contractually obligated to come through, so here it is:

A week before the show started I applied for media credentials for the show. I was not super optimistic that they would give them to me, but they did have a blog category on their media credentials page, and I blog and I know from handmade bikes, so I applied. A few days later I got a very polite yet somewhat oddly written email denying me my credentials that read more or less in full:

Tarik, thank you for your NAHBS media credential application. Sadly this year I am unable to offer you a credential. Build up your readership and we can revisit next time you apply. Best regards and every success with the growth of your blog.
Paul the Communications Consultant
North American Handmade Bicycle Show

I am fine with that. As awesome as my blog is, I don't have enormous readership, the value is really only seen in the advanced metrics like VORB* and RIPV**, which, frankly, I don't expect everyone to appreciate. I also understand that NAHBS is a "big deal" now. I thanked them for the quick response and went on with my plans to attend the show. I had intended to try to set up a couple interviews with some framebuilders I know from way back, and try to get some high quality pictures during the Friday morning media hours for blog gold purposes, but I am pretty flexible and planned on going and seeing what I got.

So I was walking around the show, waiting in front of a pal's booth to check out his bikes and I spot someone talking to the builder while wearing a badge with some familiar words on it:

Ran into someone who was not me wearing a press pass with my name on it, the press pass I was denied as my blog was too small for NAHBS

Hey look, someone is wearing a three day media pass with the words "Tarik Saleh, Moscaline". And yet they are not me. I was more than slightly taken aback at this and was not sure quite what to do. I decided not to push them down and take the pass, but instead find out what was going on. So I talked to them for a bit. Turns out their spouse is working in some press capacity for NAHBS and they gave them a badge from someone who the media people said is not coming to the show. This actually is not really that unreasonable, I have been to many big trade shows and there is all manner of badge swapping, borrowing and the like that goes on. The fact that they gave the spouse of someone working for the show a badge that was lying around is pretty typical. What is a bigger deal is that they denied me a press pass and then printed one out and gave it to someone who is not me.

I was kind of disgruntled at the media folks, but not that angry. But over the course of the day at least 4 people (all of whom had booths at the show) asked me who was wearing the badge with my name on it, which does not really reflect well on me or my blog (Moscaline is a "really big deal"), and after telling my story over and over again, reflects badly on the show. I was pretty prepared to let it go, but after other people noticed too, it kind of lead to my resolve to go and ask for my media pass the next morning.

So the next morning I go down to the media room to get my pass, the nice people volunteering have no trouble finding my name on the pass list, but they can't find my badge. So I tell them, look here is the deal, and explain that I was denied a pass, yet there is someone on the show floor walking around with my name on their badge, could I please have my media pass. They go back and talk to someone named Paul (could not see if it was the same guy who sent me the email or not) and they come back and say, sorry, we can't give you a press pass. Ok, can I talk to Paul? Sure they say, so I walk back there (with my daughter in tow) to go talk to Paul the decider.

I explain to him again what happened and he clearly does not want to talk to me as he refuses to meet my gaze as I am talking to him. He mutters a non-apology along the lines of "that should not have happened, we will look into it". I reiterate to him that I am not pleased that there is someone walking around the show with my name and blog on their credentials and I ask him to please issue me the media pass in my name he has already given to someone else. He refuses. I ask him if he realizes that this is going to result in bad press. He avoids eye contact and does not respond. So I ask him two more times much more directly if he understands that this causes bad press, until he finally looks at me and answers "yes". I tell him, OK you got it, and walk out. Hence the bad press you are reading now.

I don't like to tell people how to do their job, but let me go ahead and make a few suggestions: The only possible correct response to the above screw up is to say something like:

" I am very sorry this happened, we made a mistake, here, let me print out a press pass for you"

That would have instantly made this go from a bad review, to a humorous aside in a positive article. It would not have cost the show anything, except possibly $22 bucks in lost revenue for that day. My daughter wanted more stickers, so I happily went and paid an entry fee so we could go sticker hunting. I don't care about the money I spent on attending the show, but I do care that the media people were unable to enact a simple fix for a pretty embarrassing error. Cross the mighty bloggers at your peril I always say. Finally, let me further go ahead and make one more suggestion, I recommend you media folks stash a few credentials for "John (or Joann) Smith, Monthly Biking Publication" to give to those people who show up without credentials but need some in a hurry. That way you won't have small blondes walking around with badges that say "Tarik Saleh" on them, or worse, having innocent spouses of show employees having to be associated with Moscaline.

For those of you wanting actual NAHBS coverage, I probably will post some nice photos of the show tomorrow, while I am not currently a big fan of the media arm of the NAHBS, the show does fill a gap in the bike world and is pretty good for the framebuilders and the public, also there were lots of cool bikes there.

*Value over Replacement Blogger

**Reader Independent Page Views


List of Stuff and Things to Join!

Hey Readers,

Some of this is local oriented, but it should be interesting for all. Just look at the photos if you are not interested. So here goes:

1. Should be in Denver for the North American Handbuild Bike Show, NAHBS next weekend. Hoping for some blog gold resulting, maybe some brief interviews if I get media credentials. If you see me say hi, I will have some TSBC pins for give away and trade...

2. Speaking of pins, the Tarik Saleh Bike Club is loaded with pins again, now would be a good time to join! tariksaleh.com/tsbc, I got some good ideas for future TSBC stuff, but need to get some pins moving...

Pin city! Tarik Saleh Bike Club - Back in Pins  - http://www.tariksaleh.com/tsbc/

3. Hey! Did you know the South West Nordic Ski Club is a non profit and you can claim tax deductions on your membership AND your donation? Did you know we finally got permission to groom into the caldera portion of the Canada Bonita? And it is groomed right now? Electronic (and traditional) donation available at http://swnordicski.org/. If you live in town and use the trails, please join up and consider donating to support our spectacular trails and volunteer groomers. If you don't live in town, we are still a 501C3 non profit and we welcome any donations!

Mustaches gone by at the top of Canada Bonita Lunch ski gone all sorts of right, 30 and brilliant, no wind in the meadow.

4. Speaking of Beer, Los Alamos has a beer co-op happening, they are having a membership drive - Los Alamos Beer Co-op - I finally got off my butt and threw in for a lifetime membership. I think this is the kind of thing that we need in town to make it livable. So local peeps, please consider it!

Ooof, in town trails are in great shape but disturbingly devoid of snow for Feb. Dammit.
I find your lack of snow to be disturbing

5. Speaking of Trails, our sweet trails are one reason everyone who moves here stays. Consider joining IMBA which is an international non-profit trail organization. http://www.imba.com/. Membership includes membership in your local IMBA club, Los Alamos Singletrack Association for Los Alamos people, you may have your own elsewhere. IMBA does great work on creating and maintaining trails and access for mountainbikers and all trail users. I have been a member for 10+ years now, and have seen great things from the organization all over the country. The IMBA and LASA crew has recently been involved (with the county, forest service and other stakeholders) in both post-fire trail reparation and in some significant plans for improvements and sustainability of our awesome trails. So join them too. If you want...

Looking down the cold cold canyons yesterday morning on the fat bike burrito run Good morning cold cold canyons

Well that is pretty much it, hope to meet some of you and see old friends at NAHBS, I will be back next week with some race reports, including where I finally win a race, and the week after that with some NAHBS goodies.

Gratuitous Burrito Shot, the other reason everyone stays here
Bacon green and espresso