Saturday, April 26, 2008

Bikes Exhibit at Portland Airport

I came across this video when I was searching for something else (I was looking for handmade frames built for women, by women - Sweetpea is one of two such companies in the US). I wonder if we could convince Airports Fiji to do this in Nadi International... don't hold your breath :)

Portland, Oregon (USA) has a long history of frame building and the organisation that runs the Portland International Airport have commissioned an exhibition of bicycles handmade in Oregon.

The following was an article written by Jonathan Maus on

The exhibit which will run for six months and an estimated 3.3 million passengers will pass display bikes.

Since the exhibit is located beyond security gates, only ticketed passengers can view it. I joined a video crew today that was working on a project for the Portland Development Commission (a partner in the exhibit) to gain access and snap some photos (my slideshow is below).

I was full of Oregon pride as I walked up to the display. Passersby peered into the glass, studying the placards that described each of the ten bikes in the exhibit. One guy was so excited by what he saw, he chased down the rest of his group, and dragged them back to show them what he'd found (they were amazed at the 16.75 pound hardwood bike by Renovo).

The photo didn't come out, but a nice statement about the exhibit was written in stickers on the glass. It said:

Combining engineering skills, precious metal craftsmanship, cutting edge design, and a passion for cycling, these Oregon bike builders create functional works of art that appeal to today's rider.

The ten examples shown here represent only a few of the builders working in Oregon, but they share a common goal of providing one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted machines with a unique ride.

Each bike had it's own placard that provided details on the builder, the type of bike, and interesting tidbits — like the material used, or the builder's inspiration.

The ten bikes on display were built by: Cielo Cycles (Portland), Vendetta Cycles (Corvallis), Keith Anderson Cycles (Grants Pass), Stites Design (Portland), Jeff Jones Custom Bicycles (Medford), Renovo Hardwood Bicycles (Portland), Dropout Bike Club (Portland), Ahearne Cycles (Portland), Vanilla Bicycles (Portland) and Bike Friday (Eugene).

It was also a welcome surprise to see such a diverse range of bikes represented, from a tall "freak bike" built by Mark Veno of the Dropout Bike Club to a cargo trike built by SE Portland resident Bill Stites.

The exhibit was installed with help from River City Bicycles and was made possible through a collaborative effort by the Port of Portland, the Portland Development Commission, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, and Sweetpea Bicycles.

If you don't plan to fly out of Concourse E at the Portland Airport in the next six months, my slideshow below will have to suffice for now. (The PDC should have their video footage available soon as well.)

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