I got to the velodrome fairly late into the proceedings and I can believe that the good stuff was pretty well picked over by this point. Still, even hours into it, there were plenty of options for complete bikes, road or track, frames, and more parts at cheap prices than one usually sees in one spot. Wish it was all like that, the only disappointing part, for me, maybe not for others, was the plethora of bike stores just hawking clothing at none too deep discounts. It isn't terribly hard to find jerseys and gloves for 10-30% off anywhere, even in NYC, but, did seem to be what a lot of the people were there for.
The part that was most pleasantly surprising for me was the people, who were generally friendly, fun, very enthusiastic cyclists and collectors, and were happy to t
alk shop. I'm excited to go back next year, now that I have a bit of an idea what is there, I think it'll help to go with a bit more of a mental shopping list.
Other than big stuff, fun stuff I came home with included cool espresso mugs, socks, pint glasses and coffee mugs from LionofFlanders.com, booth manned by a couple nice guys from the Gotham team. Love the demitasse (picture this in espresso cup size):
Unfortunately, the Kutztown Cutters were sold out of their very cool caps,
but were extremely friendly, knew Stacey (pres of Kissena) and despite their half joking dismissal of our home track (and T town is one beautifully smooth oval), and the fact that they were both taller than me (I hate it when people are taller than me, height is one of the few things I have working for me), I was very happy to meet them. Not to mention, they just have a very cool kit/logo:
I ended up where my search began many months ago, and after adding the price of a rental car, didn't save all that much from had I bought in Brooklyn, but I had a good time, learned a bit, and am looking forward, already, to next year, and returning wit
h a big bin and a wish list of parts.