Issue 12 - EuroBike 2008, Deutschland
If the village people ever do the Team Sprint, then this is the helmet for them!
Our annual visit to the EuroBike trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany saw a longer stay at the show, with two days dedicated to wandering the massive halls of the Messe-Friedrichshafen complex.
So as soon as the packed-full RyanAir flight landed from Stansted, we followed the two finely dressed Chelsea Pensioners through the gate and onto the show.
Whilst many were moaning about the long commute in (some even over the lake!), we stayed at the uber-convenient and tastefully named "Hymer City". Check was at 4pm, so with the bags dumped, we speed off to the show via the usual tunnel.
Walking through the two new halls being built for next year, we found a floor plan and got our bearings. Not an easy task without a Garmin, but we managed.
With only one appointment scheduled for the Thursday afternoon, we started our mission to find all of our suppliers that we were keen to meet up with including Descente, Santini, Nalini/MOA and a few others.
With an early start the next day, naturally we decided to hang out at whichever stand was dishing out free beer. But it did seem the beer was in fairly short supply. So we opted for the ace food/beer facilties of Hymer City.
The beer tent, which doubles up as the breakfast bar for the next day, is a great place to people watch and have an inpromptu business meeting. Well, more of a chin-wag really.
After some generous German food and a few beers, we turned it in.
After breakfast on Friday morning, the first thing we spotted was the Casco stand on our way through. Whilst the GB track team have been tearing up various velodromes around the world with the "standard" Casco on their heads, we both wondered if the Village People had a hand in their latest design.
Orbea was next on the list, and when we found our one of our favourite riders, Samuel Sanchuez, was going to be on the stand all appointments seemed to go out the window!
After chatting to the affable Julien Absalon, we found out Samu's ETA and speed across the halls to Santini. Our meeting with Santini was very productive with the Varese World Championship kit being the first product of our meeting to hit the website.
Another interesting item was a lightweight, transparent Windtex Gilet with mesh side panels which looked to tick a few boxes. Should be with us at the start of 2009.
Being neighbours to Santini at the show, it was nice to take a look at the Bianchi stand, with their new Ti bike looking very nice indeed.
Back to the Orbea stand and success was ours!!!!!. After collaring one of the Orbea directors to take the picture, we took a look at Samu's bike in detail. A nice piece of kit indeed.....
Back down to earth, and it was off to the Italian restuarant for lunch. It's a great place to eat, with even Moser and Merckx opting for the well-travelled Italian Cuisine.
After a few expressos to get us going again, it was off to Nalini via the Ciocc stand. Being top retro-men ourselves, it was nice to see some of the bike manufacturers offer a chrome lugged steel machines again.
With "Les Deux Dans" signed for the Cervelo TestTeam, we took a look to see what they would be riding next year. Ironic that they were on bikes from the "Big S" this year, and Cervelo next, with CSC/SaxoBank doing the reverse.
Now to Catlike, where they had plenty of special edition helmets on display including one-offs for Samu and Absalon.
The good news is Prendas will be able to offer the classy red, white & blue number worn by Absalon in the very near future....
With the day drawing to a close, we met up with Anke who is responsible for the annual CyclePassion calendar. And yes, we'll be stocking the 2009 model, with pre-orders being available now! It's possibly the best one yet too!
After a few beers at GT, then a few more at the Future Publishing do, we got into the very dark, after-show party at the Conti stand. So a great time had by all, and even a few more German expressions to add to our pretty limited vocab.
The Saturday was "phase 2" in the trip, which was a nice train journey to the pictureque city of Hamburg for the UCI Vattenfall Cyclassics. But more on than later!