I’m back from Ballers V2.0. What a great weekend of visiting with old friends and seeing new ones. Some of the highlights were seeing Craig Ryan and Wade Patton again(Wade, I didn’t unfriend you on Facebook) and meeting JD Buchanan and Noah Rosen for the first time. I’m very much interested in how the frame builders and painters starting today are drawing on past influences and creating new directions. Those four guys seem to do it well. It was great to see the faces from last year too. Tom Kellogg, Richard Sachs, Mike Zanconato and Pals Josh, Darren, David, Wayne and whoever else I’ve forgotten plus all of the newer faces.
When we first spoke the syllables that ultimately created the Ballers event it was about trying to get the people together who make bikes with the people who buy them. In my mind marketing was a large component. In retrospect, I’m happy the event is not commercial. The star of the weekend is the friendships and the riding, as it should be, and the bikes are an after-thought. It’s mostly about the riding and the very tough route the guys and gals take. Due to my not yet fully recovered body I was not able to do much riding, but the event was worth it, though watching others ride is hard to swallow. For those that like to ride, and ride hard its a unique experience. I’m not sure of another well run event done specifically for small groups where you can ride with the guy who made your bicycle or the guy who may make the next one without feeling sold to. I think Josh, aka TooTall deserves many accolades for pulling it off. He is a real friend to frame builders. Bravo Josh!
In 2007 I hosted a mini two day”training camp” of locals in Gainesville. It was not a frame builder event but a collection of friends. We used my knowledge of the roads mainly from my riding the Horse Farm 100 and Sante Fe centuries the previous years. Most people complained the routes were too long, the truth being that I just way underestimated how far we’d go. I think it’s time to dust off that kind of event for friends and friends who ride my bikes. Lets do some rides where we ride all day and if it’s 75 or 90 miles it doesn’t matter and nobody will complain. Look for details about a January or February date. I suspect the first year will be small and not many more than myself and a few pals, but if you’re from a northern state and wanting a nice weekend of riding in shorts and short sleeves when the rest of the country is frozen I’d love the company. Gainesville is one of the best college towns I know and the roads surrounding it are great in every direction, plus it would be a great way to jumpstart building some fitness for Ballers v3.0 in 2013.
Till next time….