Issue 23 - EuroBike 2009, Deutschland
by Andy Storey
Another year, another EuroBike blog! Our annual trip to the biggest trade show (this side of the pond) in Friedrichshafen, Germany saw the Prendas Peloton hit the show for 3 days wandering the ever-increasing number of halls of the impressive Messe-Friedrichshafen complex.
As per usual, our trip started with a 2.5 hour drive up to Ryanair’s Stansted Airport, where we managed to drive down onto a motorway construction site and see a car covered in grass in a Dumb & Dumber stylee.
With all the checking in done online, it was supposed to be a quick fly through airport security, but as usual, we choose the wrong queue and got delayed due to a "wheelchair marathon" as we’d picked the wide access route.
Mick’s passages in the past through security are legendary with me normally in fits of laughter and aching stomach muscles, but this time even he managed to get through without too much bother to a pre-flight pint of Starproman. Well, it does taste soooo much better on draught.
We managed to avoid a number of "on board offers" from the delightful Ryanair catalogue including the Smokeless cigerettes. I mean, how is it even possible! Upon landing, we took the shuttle bus to the now infamous Hymer City.
Some of suppliers are truely shocked when we tell them we are staying in a caravan, but what’s not to like. It’s on site, and you can walk to the halls - we even convinced the "CHARGE BOYS" to stay there this year and they are a much more hip than us!
So, onto the halls, A1 - being our first port of call - affectionately know as the Italian pavillion.
Upon arriving at the Santini stand, we learned of a small party to celebrate the UCI’s signed agreement to extend their technical partnership until the end of 2012. An important agreement for Santini, which called for some great Moser wine!
It was great to meet Pat McQuaid in person. Whilst he took on the UCI at what was the worst possible point in our great sport’s history, he’s a fan at heart that has done a good job in a very difficult situation.
After a rather civilised get together, we popped outside to see some lake jumping which promised much, but in the rather cold conditions, there were not many takers. And when the rather enthusiastic rock-metal combo started playing, we made our way back to Hymer City.
Whilst taking "the tunnel" we encountered Dave from www.road.cc who kindly gifted us a bottle of Ventoux Vin Rouge. So the 2 plastic tumblers in A11 were all we needed for a "quiet night in".
An early start on Friday started with a lengthy meeting with Santini. It is great to be working with a company that value actually making the clothing that they sell. In this day and age, it may seem a bit old fashioned, but they are really passionate about it - and so are we!
One of the items on the agenda (that we can speak about in public) is the Italian Champion jersey worn by Pippo Possatto. After six previous versions, version 7 will be coming soon to Prendas. Version 6 is below, and version 7 will have the Gold lettering outlined in black for better visibility in the peloton.
A meeting with Etxeondo the previous day was also very positive, great that Prendas and Etxeondo are working together again and hopefully 2010 will see some great exclusive items!
As some of you are aware, Prendas are well known for our "RETRO PELOTON" and it seems the bicycle manufaturers are now well and truely on the bandwagon too. With some fine examples from Wilier, De Rosa, Colnago, et al Bianchi still lead the way in our opinion. Some fine looking bikes!
We were also fortunate to get to eat in the Italian Restaurant thanks to Santini, which was an incredibly nice way to spend an hour with some fine wine and food. We even got to see Gibi Simoni eating there in an all white Angel/Devil T-Shirt and jeans combo. Come to think of it, he looked a little bit like Prince with his sunglasses on!
Fast forward a few years, and as British fans, it was great to be able to see Mark Cavendish’s SCOTT bike up close and personal. It was the one with the 6 stickers on, and incredibly the two water bottles were STILL THERE, even at the end of the public day.
Keeping with the Britsh theme, we ventured outdoors to delight in the sight of an English Pub providing Bath Ale to all for free. After the success of the American-themed Landerette, the CHARGE boys did it again with this great replica. So great in fact, that they sold it for an undisclosed sum!
As a CHARGE owner (Duster Single Speed that I ride to work, down town, etc) it is great to see this company (distributed 3 miles from us) doing so well.
It was also good to see the Muc-Off stand there too with a rather helpful young lady offering product catalogs. They are from just down the road too! It’s a small world.
Whilst wondering the halles between meetings, it’s truely outstanding the size of the bike industry now. Cervelo had a big presence, as did Giant and Focus.
The Eddy Merckx brand was re-launched with a rather glum-looking Eddy on hand. Colnago had a 55th Anniversary edition bike on display and we even managed to get on the Assos stand!
This is a bit of a milestone for us, as normally we get booted off stands like this. It was interesting to get a look at what they are doing, and we were both a little startled when looking at the new generation bib shorts. Here’s the photo - you make your own mind up!
Well that is about it. As with my EuroBike blog every year, there is loads of stuff I can’t tell you about, so you will have to be patient till 2010!
On the way home in the car, Mick asked me what my top 5 bikes were, and here they are.
1) New 2010 Orbea Alma. A EuroBike award winner, and a great looking MTB with the super expensive SRAM XX groupset with some great cable routing.
2) Retro Steel Bianchi. Just great looking bikes - end of.
3) Corratec Time Trial Bike. With a sea of black carbon, some colour is always nice to see!
4) Charge Titanium Duster. Just have to get this one past Mrs Storey!
5) Trek District. No chain, but a belt drive train instead. Unusual for such a big company to do something so off-the-wall. And executed really well to boot.