Friday, March 14, 2008


I had to do some traveling this week and found myself in Las Vegas for a convention. A big convention, the Con-Expo show (2.2 million sq. ft. of show!)
My feet still hurt from walking, I spent 4 days walking the show and still didn't cover all of it. Lots of neat stuff, but none that really pertains to bikes, so I'll spare you the details.
The bummer of it was getting home though, my flight got canceled due to a mechanical problem with the plane. crap, 300,000 people trying to leave vegas and me without a flight home.

I spent about 2 hours on the phone with about 6 different people and went through getting booked on 4 different replacement flights, each one getting changed about 15 minutes after I booked it. Northwest finally saw the light and got a replacement aircraft en-route to get all the people they stranded out. The highlight of all that must have been the gate agent that simply turned around and abandoned her post on us. She literally flipped out and started ranting about working three hours with no break, said she couldn't take it and left the counter unmanned to go take her break while we stood there. And amazingly enough we were in the first-class/elite check-in line which is supposed to get the "good" service from Northwest. nice.

On to bike stuff. I managed to get a big frame refurb job shipped out before I left town. Long time readers might recognize this as there are a few pictures of it on my regular web-site. The owner had a little spill and wanted a couple of changes, so I did that brazing work and repainted the whole thing. Came out pretty nice.

I've been inundated with fork requests as of lately, so I've also been cranking out forks. Three of them in the week before I left! I'm not sure what's happening, but there must be a world shortage of steel forks this spring, I've never built so many.

Product review: I picked up a Chrome backpack in Feb and I've finally had a chance to get in a few rides with it. I got the Ranchero, which is their medium sized bag. Overall the construction is very good and it fits incredibly well (as it should for the price). The bag conforms perfectly to my back and doesn't move around at all when riding (even off-road). It's definitely harder to dig through than a typical messenger bag since it's pretty tall and thin (read: it's a big, deep pocket instead of a wide open pocket). But that's simply part of being a backpack instead of a messenger bag and it's also why it stays in place so good.
Every store I've gone in with it had yielded comments or questions on where someone else could get one, which seems like a good thing. Overall, I'm really pleased. The one big (in my mind, really big) thing missing is a good way to carry a u-lock in a handy spot. Chrome could really take a lesson from Bailey on all their bags when it comes to the design of pockets. The Chrome outer pockets don't hold much of value so you have to resort to storing medium-small things in the main pockets. Not having a quick way to access a u-lock annoys me, especially when it would have been so easy to sew on a low pocket for it. Maybe I'll add my own.

Well, I'm tired, till next time.



Marco Esteban said...

A lot of my colleagues were at that show last week - I'm glad I got out of going - too big, to many people, not enough beer.

Bob said...

Clearly you weren't there is you think there wasn't enough beer! Free beer at a couple of the german screen booths.

Definitely too big and too many people though.