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By Matt Pacocha
The North American Handmade Bicycle Show was quite a draw this year for boutique frame builders and their fans — including Lance Armstrong, Brian Lopes and Robin Williams.
Armstrong was seen walking the floor Friday and Saturday. The seven-time Tour de France champion spent some time with Naked Cycles proprietor Sam Whittingham, admiring the fixed gear the Canadian built in homage to Portland. Rumors circulated that Armstrong purchased the bike for $15,000. While Whittingham would not confirm who bought the bike or for how much, he did say that it would be going to Austin, Texas, after the show.
Multiple World and World Cup gravity champion Lopes flew in for the show with his good friend Steve Blick from Oakley. The duo walked the halls admiring the fine craftsmanship with the rest of the public show-goers.
Comedian and actor Robin Williams also attended the final day of the show on Sunday. Clad in a Rapha cycling jersey and carrying an Independent Fabrications catalogue, Williams admired bikes and posed for photos with exhibitors and attendees alike. He had just checked in with IF about the SSR road bike — a 953 stainless steel model — that he has on order.
While the hall only encompassed 60,000 square feet of exhibitor space it was surprisingly packed with great stuff to talk about and look at. I’ll conclude my show floor coverage with this photo gallery, but stay tuned to VeloNews.com for more on specific builders, a brief chat with show president Don Walker, and a gallery of the show’s peer-elected award winners.