I came out of SeaTac feeling good. The sun wasn’t exactly shining- nothing new there, it’s Seattle after all- but it was fairly warm and that’s good enough. I jumped in a cab and took the short ride down to Angle Lake Cyclery, home of one our largest dealers and home to one of the top recumbent dealers in the world. Yeah, the shop looks a little out of hand, but when you go there, you get to see a lot of bikes and get taken care of by one of the true good guys in the industry.
Same story as usual this year: Dale, the owner of Angle Lake, had bikes to the rafters and wasn’t quite ready to go yet. So, I threw down my bags, rolled up my sleeves and helped him load up his Sprinter with a bunch of Bacchetta’s, folders, a Moulton and some crank forward bikes. Long story short; we got a van packed full of bikes, a weary traveler and we were supposed to be unloaded, at the show, about thirty minutes ago. Add to that Dale’s interest in car racing of all types and you have a Hunter S. Thompson moment in the making.
In case I didn’t mention it, this is one of those really big, Mercede’s Sprinter vans- not exactly race car suspension- and we’re making the trip in half the alotted time. Now, people are always asking me, “What’s Seattle like?” Well, I don’t know. Everytime I’m there it’s a literal blur. Oh well.
If you’ve never been to the Seattle Expo and you live in this part of the country, you’re doing yourself a dis-favor. People travel from hundreds of miles away, to see what’s new and pick up great deals on overstocked bikes, clothes and accessories. Angle Lake uses it to showcase what they do best, which is basically everything that all the other bike shops are afraid to do.
We took advantage of this and had a lot of Bacchetta’s on hand. As usual, we also put a bike in a trainer, for people to sit on and pedal. This year, we used the Bella ATT. I’ll say it again: for those of you who do not think Bacchetta does long wheelbase recumbents, well, you will be in for a huge surprise! People loved the fit and adjustability of this machine.
This year, the show organizers had to utilize large tents to contain the vendors. This is Seattle. Seattle gets some rain. Tents supply top and side protection. Saturday and Sunday both, had wind and rain…see where I’m going with this? In hindsight, it actually worked to our advantage, because people showed up in droves. I handed out a lot of brochures, talked to a lot of really great people about Bacchetta and recumbents in general. I’ve done this show about 6 times now and it still amazes me how much interest there is in recumbents. Hell, even cold concrete and soaking wet carpet had them excited- not bad.
A New Mantra-
One discouraging item, is how many people said that they were interested in recumbents, but were going to wait until their back, wrist or neck failed them. They would actually admit this! After about the fifth time of this happening, I finally just told one nice person “kind of like eating junk food everyday until you finally have that massive heart attack.” They squinted, looked inquisitive for a moment and then replied, “I guess I never looked at it that way.” Maybe not the nicest way to put it, but sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
All in all, it was another successful show. Great people, great city, great hosts, the whole spiel. And for those of you who have Angle Lake in your back yard, but have never visited, I suggest you do so. However, be aware that the experience can be overwhelming, so be patient and you’ll have one of the best recumbent experiences of your life. And if you like exotic and strange bikes, well, consider this a destination shop.