How does a commuter time train journey on a Friday afternoon to a large city produce a smile? When it's 23 March 2012 and the city is Bristol that's how (we'll skip First Great Western) For tonight was the opening night of Bespoked Bristol 2012.
I went to last years' inaugural event at The Paintworks and was smitten. Not going this year was not an option so when I won a freebie ticket courtesy of the lovely folks at Velobici I got an early stack on Friday as well. This year the event has upgraded to Brunel's Old Station which is right outside Bristol Temple Meads station. A much bigger venue but keeping the individual feel of the show the room is stuffed full of bespoke loveliness.
Elements of the mainstream are there in Cinelli and Brooks but they are traditional enough to pass muster. I had not even made the main room when I met one of the guys from one of our suppliers, not sure which of us was more surprised to see the other. I took a swift turn round the room to see what caught my eye instantly. Pausing at Cinelli for a natter I moved on to Look Mum No Hands for a DogsBx long black coffee. On then to Velobici for a chat and a thank you for the freebie ticket. I love the kit these folks make, yes it's expensive but it's top quality stuff made with skill and love. Note to self, lose gut so new summer jersey will fit.
The nature of bespoke made bikes means Brooks saddles are a common sight but I do like to cruise round and see what else we sell that has snuck in here. One of the Mathers tourers had a custom finished Supernova E3 fitted which in its matte anodised alu finish blended splendidly with the rest of the finishing kit. A little surprised to see a Gilles Berthoud saddle on an MTB but it worked pictures coming soon to our face book page. My catalogue says Dromarti were there somehow I missed them but I am still deeply in love with my shoes guys. Brooks were showing their new panniers off on a nice Condor.
Handily tucked by the bar were South Cost Sprints running a roller racing competition which I suspect may have a post show competition once we punters have left and exhibitors unwind with a cheeky beer or two. I hd a good chat with the friendly guys from hub gods Royce about pedal car racing, cycle speedway and kids learner bike racing.
The results of “Best in show” are now on the shows facebook page. My personal choices; the rise from the ashes of Swallow Bespoke, Robin Mathers' understated beauties, Pegoretti's unique finishing and clean lines but yet again my heart was stolen by Paulus Quiros. Bikes aside; Velobici's wool clothing has me hooked and heading for panic slimming so I can treat myself to jersey, Miltags quirky jersey designs made me smile but I think Scotlands Dynamoworks get the nod for dragging my attention from hand cut lugs and a top line in Merino clothing.
Thanks must go to the organisers Phil and Tessa and if anyone wants to take me down to Brizzle tomorrow or Sunday just shout. If you have the chance and a day pass from your Cycling Permission Officer just go and visit this wonderful show