Wow. So I may have to reassess my thoughts on Bike to Work Day being the best day of the year. CarniVelo has the definite potential to usurp that spot (don’t worry, BtWD, I still love you!).
So what was all this CarniVelo business? Basically, it was an event organized and sponsored by Novara (our bike brand) here at REI headquarters in Kent, Wash., to highlight and celebrate the great love of bikes, riding bikes and pretty much anything else related to bikes. Novara also had their new 2011 lines on display (check out the preview here). In a way, it was an open-ended day to high-five anything/everything bike. As it turns out, there are a lot of people that like to high-five anything/everything bike. (Sweet!)
A central part of CarniVelo was the bike show, where people brought in their own bikes and put them out on display. Rescued-from-the-dumpster bikes, vintage bikes, prized collector bikes that were pieced together with passionate detail, everyday bikes loved fully for their functionality, personality bikes, custom bikes, unique bikes, big, beautiful mountain bikes… bikes, bikes, bikes and more bikes. And maybe a little bit of drool.
Beyond the bikes, we had several bike-related vendors show up, including Hammer Nutrition, Shimano and Pedro’s, along with representatives from great organizations like Cascade Bicycle Club and, as a highlight, Tim Blumenthal from Peopleforbikes.org, who spoke to the crowd (check out the People for Bikes pledge here).
Our store services were represented, highlighting the REI Master Tech and fitting program, as well as REI Adventures’ bike trip options. Bike commuters got the chance to highlight their route to work and list their “must-haves” for commuting. New chamois technology was on display (seriously fascinating), along with a preview of some exciting new Novara cycling apparel pieces. A ton of people brought shirts to be screen-printed with a special design honoring the love of bicycles. Oh, and the slow bike race was a hit, too, as people attempted to go as slow as possible on a closed course. Awesome tunes were offered up by a DJ and any hunger was satiated by a delicious BBQ feast. I mean… yeah. Wow.
Did I mention there were a lot of gorgeous bikes to gawk at? Yes, there were lots of gorgeous bikes to gawk at. In all, it was a definite hit and I’m already eager for next year’s awesomeness. For the love of the bicycle, indeed.
Take a peek at my CarniVelo slide show: