A record crowd of industry outsiders and confused pedophiles is expected at VFW Post 1666 in Yonkers, NY when the NAMPBS begins this Saturday, and if last year’s show is any indication, you should wear shoes with rubber soles because the floors will once again be wet with saliva. Of course, this is not because people will be drooling over exquisite bicycles; rather, it’s because they will be bored into a state of slack-jawed half-sleep by a slew of lukewarm offerings from tired manufacturers. Here’s just a small preview of what you can expect to see at this year’s NAMPBS:
The Hall of Eerie Similarities
Over at the NAHBS, each bicycle is as individual as a snowflake. At the NAMPBS Hall of Eerie Similarities, though, they’re as indistinguishable from one-another as Oreos, squirrels, or the people on the L train. Here, the byword is rebadging, and the only difference is the decals:
(Seat cluster on its identical twin, the Mercier Kilo TT. Check out the good enough welds and the paint that effectively covers the metal.)
The Hall of Empty Shells
Many of yesterday’s storied marques have been bought and sold over the years and exist now in name only. Here you can see the latest offerings from the people who own the rights to use decals that say things like Schwinn, Masi, and Raleigh.
(Note the pointy seat-tube thing on this Raleigh Whatever. Whatever.)
This is one of the fastest-growing segments at the NAMPBS. This year’s buzz: will Cannondale have a booth?
The Trend-Forecasting Symposium
When it comes to innovation, exhibitors at the NAMPBS are re-active, not pro-active. The Trend-Forecasting Symposium consists of a small room with a computer in it so exhibitors can look at pictures from the NAHBS and decide which ideas are cheap enough yet marketable enough to copy. Admission is $5 on top of the regular entry fee. Includes coffee and bagels while they last.
A General Celebration of Bike Culture
There are a number of exciting bike-related events planned in the area in conjunction with the NAMPBS. Highlights include:
Windsprints at the Piper’s Kilt Pub
You’re heard of goldsprints. Well, windsprints takes it up a notch as competitors face off on those stupid stationary bicycles with the fans. It’s like watching paint dry—literally! The first person to produce enough of a breeze to dry a coat of latex semi-gloss wins.
Notable Residents of Yonkers Alleycat
Riders must complete a series of checkpoints set up at the past and present homes of famous Yonkers citizens. Residences include those of comedian Sid Caesar, forgotten rapper Jadakiss, and Elisha Otis, inventor of the passenger elevator.
The Gimbels Ride
No visit to Yonkers is complete without doing the famous Gimbels Ride. This storied training ride is said to be one of the oldest in the US. Whether or not that’s true, one thing is for certain: you will run afoul of a woman in a BMW SUV who’s irate because you’re keeping her from her nail appointment.
So be sure to check out the NAMPBS, where the only thing looser than the schedules are the manufacturing tolerances. It’s the show that actually represents what most of us ride.