There are some things that exist for a particular reason. Reading through Bill Strickland's recent essay - The Most Belgian - on Bicycling is exemplary of that. Of this lifestyle. Such is the same way with the tradition of the swap. I do not know much about the swap meet outside the existence of the bicycle world. Certainly I have been to many a "swap meet" here and there. A stack of dusty VHS tapes or a once piles of cow heads, eyeballs and other parts at some sort of butcher swap meet in Bolivia. Or the one in the very same Belgium that Strickland speaks of where we found a dusty baseball cap with a the name of a local cycling club on it and reveled in the strange looks that the old man gave us when we professed our love for cycling and thus, this cap of his.
That is why you go to a swap. That very moment when you find the thing that you never knew you absolutely needed — but you do — and there it is. That matching Dura Ace track hub, or the tubular wheelset that will get you going for the next cyclocross season, possibly a vintage piece of kit that is too cherry to pass up? And shoes and boots and so many of these things to pick through. A real Marianne Vos rider card? Maybe that isn't vintage enough yet, and besides I think it got bent being used as a bookmark for some amount of time.
This weekend will be the second running of the PDX SuperSwap and if it is anything like last year, it cannot help but be a good time. Possibly we can haggle over the price of a frame or two if you come out this year (they're both around 55cm) or a frame number from the early 90's? (but it was on Hinault's Coors Classic bike!) Plus, with the best cupcake vendor in town providing baked goods, how could you go wrong?
The swap will come on Easter Sunday. Themes of death and rebirth abound. However, the PDX SuperSwap is not the only thing going on this weekend. In fact, if you are here in town, join in on some of the festivities.
Saturday Morning - April 19th - 10am - Tiny Tire Enduro.
I really thought this one said "tired" Enduro. Which is cool. I would imagine that a "tired Enduro" would be something more my speed anyway. A bunch of couches strategically placed in the woods for people to lounge around on, maybe take naps. I don't see how this could be a bad thing.
It is not the case, but it will be fun. Remember that this is the guy who arranged the After Black Hammer events of days of yore. The tumbling down the hills and through the woods type fun. This one will surely involve less tumbling, or will it? Also, the last time we did a Black Hammer event I wrote about it and also referenced Bill Strickland. So, we are bringing things full circle.
Saturday Evening - April 19th - 7pm - Finding Strong Screening with Brian Vernor -
1915 NW Kearney Street, Portland, OR 97209
Then, when we are done shredding our faces off we shall head over to the office to screen Brian Vernor's latest film, Finding Strong. I have seen this short work of wonder and awe and I can tell you that it is just plain awesome. It has some of the best visuals that I have ever seen Vernor work with. Plus, it has the added bonus of being a pretty new subject for Mr. Vernor — Running.
Brian himself will be on hand for the screening and it is my hope that we can get him up in front of the crowd to say a few words. But, only if he wants to, or if we can come up with enough questions to make him sweat a little bit up there.
Any way you slice it, this is going to be a fun evening. Then you will have to run home and try desperately to fall asleep before the superswap the next morning. I know first hand just how hard that can be at times. It is like Santa Clause, you know, that Tim Allen movie. Or the one with the Rock as the Tooth Fairy.
Sunday April 20th - PDX SUPERSWAP - 11 - 4pm.
Early Entry $10. Free at 12pm.
I know I put the flyer up there at the top, but this one is instagram ready, as they say. I could go on and on about who's going to be there. Who is coming up from LA for it. Who's birthday it is for the ride. Who's bringing a pile of sick shit from SF. Who donated a bunch of coffee and who is excited to drink it. Well, that last one is me, but aside from that I'm sure that you can figure it all out. "And shoes, so many shoes."
Now, don't get annoyed with me when I remind you about this for the rest of the week.