For the third year in a row, I headed down to Conyers, GA for the
Southeast Bike Expo
. After checking in, I headed
over to the Niner
I announced my arrival, and got this response:
“I didn't think you'd come down here with that handmade show
going on back in Charlotte”, said Niner Mike.
“What can I say, I'm loyal” I replied.
When the date was announced for this, I said I'd be there. After
the handmade show decided on their dates I stuck to it (and
eventually figured out how to cram in both on the same weekend.) This
kind of event is more my speed anyway: socializing, riding, and
sharing beverages with industry insiders. Since I got there right
when they opened on Saturday, I decided to go for a walk around to
check things out. When I heard a few people asking questions about
the new ROS9
I asked Mike if he had any for people to ride.
“Nope. Do you have yours here?”
I did, and he asked if I would leave it there so he at least had
something to show to the general public.
See, I give back sometimes too.
So I took off, wandering around to see what's new. I ended up
talking to old friends, and even made a few new ones. The next stop
was to introduce myself to the DeFeet
We chatted for a bit about the latest products, and after a little
bit I went back to wandering around. That's when I ran into Bruce
Then I hung out with the Industry Nine
crew and chatted about all things Pisgah (and of course their wheel
I spent more time talking to people this year than I did taking
photos, and while the conversations were interesting, I'll keep them
private for now so no one gets butt hurt.
Anyway, knowing I had to get back to Charlotte that evening, I
decided that I should go for a ride. Not really needing a new bike
(or not even being remotely interesting in trying one), I grabbed The
Executor from the Niner Tent and took off on the trail. Riding on
the course that was the site of the 1996 Olympic mountain bike race
is always fun, and being on a familiar bike made it even more fun.
The most fun I had was in the very beginning, when there was a
small crowd on the trail.
There was a couple (husband/wife), testing out the latest in
fatbike technology that took off right before me. On the climb up, I
managed to pass the dude and we exchanged pleasantries. His better
half was up ahead, and she made a u-turn to go back to check on him.
She said, “This is a fun bike!” and asked him how his was.
He was having a hard time, and she was schooling him on the climbs.
I had a good laugh for a little bit and slowly pulled away. After
that it was wide open.
It was awesome, made more awesome by the fact that I brought along
The rocky section was fun, but the fast(and dry unlike last year)
singletrack was even moar fun.
Riding alone even gave me a chance to stop and check out the
It was an awesome day. The weather was beautiful and warm, the
beer was cold, and the riding was quite awesome. I was worth the
drive, and I'm glad I went. I said my goodbyes at the SE Bike Expo
and hit the road. I had to mosey up the road to get to a Saint
Patrick's party with some real Irish folks back here in town. I know
St. Patty's Day was yesterday (and I'm not Irish either), but getting
a chance to hang out with Irish Luke before he moves out to Seattle
was something I didn't want to miss.
Besides, because of his new shirt I was Irish that day anyway.