Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bike show awards special post.

Well , the big handmade bike show of 2011 is over and all the builders and bikes have left Austin. The awards have been presented and the next show location has been announced. I didn't get to see the show and I was too busy and maybe too broke to be part of it but that doesn't mean I can't come up with my own take on the whole experience.......back a few years ago I was maybe one of the biggest proponents of this show-I exhibited my work, I played two times at the big show parties in a band and I also had seminars at all three shows that I attended. I do know this show from the inside and I appreciate all that it is.
That said, I have my own awards that I came up with for the show. I hope that all who read this will see the humor in what I am implying and won't get too offended. There will be some truth in what I write, even if it might seem more than a little sarcastic. I assume we are all adults and can get through this without any major shit storms.
Here it is, your 2011 overopinionated framebuilder awards:

1. Greatest disparity in orders vs. wait list award. This award is given to the builder who has the longest waiting time for a frame while having the least actual amount of frames on order.

2. Best spousal income. This award is presented to the framebuilder who's spouse has the highest paying job , along with best benefits that allows the builder to operate without having to actually make a wage.

3. Most complete disregard for structural soundness in pursuit of aesthetic appeal. This most coveted award is given to the builder who succeeds in making a striking work of art that will no doubt disintegrate when ridden off even a very modest curb.

4. Best imitation of last years 'Best in show'. -No explanation needed for this one.....we have all seen it every year.

5. Finest application of paint and graphics to hide shoddy workmanship. This award is pretty much the 'bike that fooled most of the people almost all of the time' certification and there are few entries that get by the keen eye of the folks at the show , but every once in awhile......

6. Bike that starts yet another annoying trend. Not easy to get, this one. A true visionary is needed to create a piece of work that makes the inner conformist moron come out in all of us.

7. Builder that has disappointed more customers but is still highly regarded. To be frank, I have to tip my hat to the person who takes this particular trophy home-I have to be accountable for what I do......I don't know how they get away with treating good meaning customers like disposable garbage.

8. Best 'Spin' award. This prize goes to the builder who can sell literally the 'sizzle' and have no 'steak'. I guess it could be the honorary ' Snake oil salesman' award, but then that would be unfair to the snake oil trade. This could also also be called the: "Excellence in pandering" award.

9. Most prohibitively expensive townie. I always though that the 'townie' would be the cheapest bike in the catalogue..........boy, did I get it wrong or what ?

10. Bike with the least structural integrity. This award is very much in the spirit of award # 3 except for the chance that this builder didn't particularly have aesthetic or structural concerns for his/her entry . This would be the classic 'Concept bike"-Ironic in that the builder might have no concept at all of what a bike really is.

11. Boldest display of questionable 'innovation'. Here's the medal presented to the original thinker........too bad he/she has little to actually think with.

12. Most cryptic and mysterious dialect. This is awarded to the builder who can speak at length about his/her craft without anyone having the slightest clue what the hell he/she is talking about.

13. Most merchandise in booth that have nothing to do with bicycles and/or the show. This prize is given to the builder who mistook the handbuilt bike show for a garage sale. Hey, it costs to do the show......I gotta make some money here.....interested in some pre-1955 cranberries ?

14. Highest price/lowest value bike. The winner of this award would have to be nothing short of a genius-that is, if the bike actually sold.

15. First/last award. This particular prize goes to the builder who devotes 100's of hours to making a truly remarkable and special work of bicycle art that he/she will probably sell at a horrendously low price and realize that such an undertaking was not worth the time. Upon realizing this the builder decides to stop building altogether. This could be called the : "I should have been a plumber" award , named after a builder who told us all that he really should have been a plumber.......I for one am glad that he is not.

16. Mr./Mrs. Omnipresent. This award is given to the builder who is literally in everybody's shit on the internet. It could be 3 a.m. and you are posting a way to true hole saws in your lathe when some guy/gal immediately posts a way that they do in their shop that is so much cooler. This person would probably post a way to use the methane from a cow's ass to fuel his/her torch , eliminating costly acetylene tank refills of $ 30 every 6 months.


  1. Hey Paul, the real poopstorm would be actually putting name with all 16 awards!!!

  2. As always, a great read, and very true. I was hoping you'd be there this year.

  3. I'm not sure if we have actually met Paul, but I would like to now. Very funny and ironically true post; especially from those of us that actually make their living doing this. Well done.
    Chris Dekerf.

  4. I nominate Paul to take over the SOPWAMTOS Awards!!!!
    Bruce Gordon

  5. you might see me with a guitar in hand. I'm afraid the bikes will be staying home. I have to hide my shoddy work with about 700 miles distance....

  6. don't be such a chicken. The poop-storm only lasts a year and after that the people who still won't talk to you aren't really your friends anyway.


    F-em if they can't take a joke.

  7. I get an award for every frame I make! I cash a check. - Garro.

  8. Just got back from the show. Maybe Curtis and I can sit down and put names in. Both of us might be included in some of the awards.

  9. You could add.....

    17. Best Schitzoid. Most dangerous framebuilder, than can actually weld really really well, but can't actually do anything else.

    18. Best Cognitive Dissonance. Builder that everyone says is really good, but is actually really quite shit. (Similar to 7, but not customer service based)

  10. Well said.

    Closing out the weekend with the awards ceremony is incredibly uncomfortable and awkward.

  11. the awards ceremony is incredibly uncomfortable and awkward no matter when it occurs atmo.

  12. i have sixteen slightly disappointingly off-gold envelopes, some torn up fag (the UK sort of fag) packets and brown sharpie. all we need now is a man in a frock and we got ourselves an awards ceremony.

  13. Holy shit, I spit soda all over my keyboard!

  14. Sir, I would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  15. I saw a great t-shirt for show goers:

    "I suffer from ADOS*

    *Attention Deficit Ohhh Shiny"

    Love the "most expensive townie" as it should be an old beat up Raleigh 3sp ladies bike with a wooden box on the back for beers!

    Thanks for making me chuckle on a work night.


  16. Pleeze with the nominations now. It's snowy here and I'm pretty bored.

  17. I should have been there but I'm such a "wannabe" I couldn't stand it.....now if I were a REAL frame builder, I'd pick award #.........

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