Austin Power!

This weekend past, Austin hosted the 7th Annual North American Handmade Bicycle Show, showcasing the talents of some the best builders of handmade bicycle frames in North America. Starting life in Houston in 2005, the show has grown from strength to strength, and this year’s show was the largest ever – a testament to Austin’s active cycling community, who provided the necessary volunteers and endless enthusiasm.

NAHBS 2011: Fatties & Thinnies- no bicycle was discriminated against.

No one bicycle was discriminated against, and indeed hidden amongst the gems were both fatties and thinnies. Nor were the construction materials any less diverse – bamboo, steel, aluminum, titanium, and even kyrptonite (okay, okay, I lied about the last one).

NAHBS 2011: The Panda bicycle made from bamboo.

Be sure to visit the NAHBS site for pictures of the award winners, and other highlights can be found here courtesy of Biking in Dallas and the Bicycling Magazine.

Dallas' very own Daltex.

Frames on show from the Canadian bicycle design group Naked.

An absolute beauty from French group Krencher.

Colorado bicycle group Mosaic.

The show also gave BFKH the opportunity to check out the cycling infrastructure in Austin. We were particularly impressed with the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, a soon to be fully completed 6-mile European style cycle-track that runs through the heart of the city.

A BFKH member on the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, a soon-to-complete 6-mile cycle track in Austin. Image cropped to hide excessive drooling.

Texas cycling hero Lance Armstrong (born in Oak Cliff) himself, has been quoted as saying;

There are times I ride in Austin, and I’m afraid of cars…. Imagine what the beginner cyclist must feel like?

Armstrong setup shop, literally, in downtown Austin in a bid to promote and harness the cycling culture in Austin. With the opening of Mellow Johnny’s, Armstrong has said that he’d ‘he’d rather encourage rookies to start riding than sell a faster bike to a veteran cyclist’.

Mellow Johnny's Bike Shop in Austin

If you missed this year’s show, next year NAHBS will be showcasing the finest in Sacromento, CA.

Do Say: “Check out the lugs on that beauty”

Don’t Say: “I’ve never seen so many men in skinny jeans and beards”

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