This weekend brings the geekiest, bike geariest local event of the year—The San Francisco Bike Expo.
For all of you bike nerds like me, the SF Bike Expo at Cow Palace is the local motherland of all things pedal-powered. It’s the once-a-year event where all of the local bike shops unload their inventory and bike companies big and small showcase their goods.
If you’re looking for vintage wool jerseys from the ’70s (I am—please don’t steal the good ones before I wake up), then this is your place. If you’re wanting to ogle the custom handbuilt frames of small-batch bike builders, this is your spot. And if you just want to watch pretty bikers model the latest cycletastic fashion, or BMXers tear it up on a jumps course, you can do that too. Best yet, if you’re looking for a good deal on a new or used bike, there’s no better time to find one.
The Bike Expo takes place all day on Saturday and Sunday at Cow Palace (doors open at 10 a.m.), but some events started on Thursday. Here’s a list of my Bike Expo-centric picks for the week:
Film: The Way Bobby Sees It. You do not want to miss this documentary about the blind (!) mountain bike racer. That’s right, fully blind, tearing it up on NORBA cross-country courses. Probably one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. (Thursday, 6-9 p.m., Rickshaw Bagsworks Factory)
Big air mountain bike dirt jump competition. Even if you’re not a BMX rider, I think you’ll have a hard time not being wowed by this event. Now in its 3rd year, the jump competition is always a crowd-pleaser. Best to go for the finals on Sunday from 2-4 p.m., but even the practice rounds should be fun.
Pedal Savvy Fashion Show. Local bike fashion diva Gwendolyn Lee puts on this fun cycle-fabulous show. This is a great place to find local and small DIY bike designer gear. Expect to see lots of nice wool, tweed and cool fanny-packs. (Saturday, 1 p.m.)
Swap Hall – Beware: The Swap Hall is like the wormhole of the Bike Expo. It’s easy to lose hours of the digging through the bins of bike parts, looking for the perfect stem for your new bike project, or that hard to find Campagnola part to match your set. If you’re one of the aforementioned bike nerds, this is your playland.
Tickets are $12 pre-order and $15 at the door. But it’s well worth the price, considering you’ll likely bike away with some gear you wouldn’t otherwise find or couldn’t otherwise afford. Plus, it’s supposed to rain this weekend, and what better way to spend a rainy day than with a group of fellow cyclephiles?