Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Le Cirque du Cyclisme '08

"Le What du What?" you ask?

Well, Le Cirque is an annual event where folks who love classic bicycles gather to ride, talk, attend seminars, ogle each others' bikes, and sell, buy, or trade stuff. For the last ten years it's been held in Greensboro, NC, organized by Dale Brown of Cycles de Oro, an amazing shop down there. Dale hosted an amazing 10 events, but decided that last year would be his last. So this year it was in Leesburg, VA, not all that far from me. Woo hoo!

Alas, due to changes in my work schedule, I missed most of the activities this year. But my boss was kind enough to re-arrange Sunday's schedule so I could at least spend a little time in the morning checking out the bike show/swap meet part of the event. It was a blast! The bikes were clustered by time period, so you would see things like "1959 and Earlier" bikes, all in one area, and so on. Some amazing machines all around, and it was fun to see it in a sort of evolutionary time frame. I took a bunch of pictures, but not very many look that great, in part because the back ground of the fairgrounds building was very grey and colorless. Ah well, still a lot of fun.

Probably my personal favorite, at least for weirdness, was the bike above, an Alenax owned and ridden by my friend Harvey Sachs. The odd thing about this one is that instead of pedaling in a circular motion, your feet move in a "stepping" motion, driving a linkage that then propels the bike. Very, very odd, and even odder to watch in action. I don't recall how old it is, but it's very cool. Harvey has a great collection... not huge, but an interesting assortment which includes a classic Cinelli from the 60s with unique "swappable" front and rear wheels (a short-lived Cinelli device) and a Schwinn Paramount track bike from the late 30s with wooden rims. The best part of Harvey's collection is that he rides them all... sure, some more than others (I'm guessing the Alenax doesn't see many rides), but he uses his bikes, rather than simply collecting them.

All in all, a fun event. If you want more info, check out:


If you like bikes, it's well worth checking out the link. And put it on your calendar for next year!

1 comment:

Jerome said...

Hey, just wanted to say great blog you've got here! Thanks for posting. I'm getting more and more into classic bikes and have taken a step in that direction. I sold my 2006 Specialized Allez for a 94 Specialized Sequoia. Aero manipulated aluminum for double butted cromoly. Something a little more special about riding old steel bikes, with good components and it makes you wonder why everyone seems to have gone so far astray from that. Anyway, thanks again, most appreciated. Cheers.