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Bespoked Bristol 2011

The first event of its kind in the UK the inaugural Bespoked Bristol, which took place June 11 & 12, showcased a wealth of boutique talent from both independent makers and small-scale manufacturers of bikes, components, kits and accessories. Held at Paintworks part of Bristol’s “Creative Quarter” and attracting a near capacity crowd of 2500 visitors across the weekend, the event was originated and organised by Phil Taylor. Already a keen cyclist Taylor explains the genesis of Bespoke Bristol as a mixture of fascination with the North American Handmade Bicycle Show and a spot of bad luck: “I’ve always ridden bikes and tinkered with bikes. I used to commute 30 miles a day from Worthing to Brighton along the beach or over the Downs and used to get a new bike every year and then a couple of years ago thinking about my perfect bike I decided to make one, it was while researching making my bike everything kept taking me back to the NAHBS website. Tessa (my wife) and I had set up The Brighton Art Fair (brightonartfair.co.uk) so I decided organise the UK version…It took about a year to pull everything together. Breaking my foot helped by giving me loads of time with my foot in the air!”

 

So, how did the exhibitors rate this inaugural show? Andrew Denham of The Bicycle Academy certainly seemed impressed: “This Bike show has been absolutely awesome; we’ve been able to meet all the people that are going to be our customers and all the people that are going to help make it happen for us.” Whilst Brian Rourke of Rourke Cycles seemed to speak for all with his summation: “I’ve been going to bike shows for about 50 years now this one, for me personally for this kind of show, has been the best ever, not by close, but by miles.”

 

Photo Credit: Kayti Peschke

With such glowing words and with such an impressive line-up of suppliers and frame builders from 18 Bikes and Burls to Condor and Enigma Titanium (to name but a few) on show at Bespoke it was no small wonder that the pressure filtered down to Taylor. “I felt so responsible for all the bikes, so much so that I had to sleep with the bikes the first night! Will Norgan from Hammoon Cycles lent me some hefty tubing…We got security in the second night!”

 

 

After such a successful start what, Cyclo wonders, are plans for the future? Taylor confirms that the wheels are in motion, “We have already got the dates out for the next show – March 23 to 25, 2012 – and have booked the venue, the Passenger Shed, Bristol.” But will growth into a bigger venue see a shift away from the boutique nature of the event? “We really want to keep the atmosphere that was at the show this year”, says Taylor, “So although we’ve gone for a bigger we are not going to pack it full (quality not quantity), leaving space for a test/race track. Application are coming thick and fast for next years show and we’ve also had some interest form the US with one of the Oregon builders seeing about getting a collective together…”

 

For more information on this year’s show – and to see updates on what you can expect for 2012 –

see bespokedbristol.co.uk or for a peek at what Cyclo saw at the 2011 Bespoke Bristol take a look at our video below…

 

Bespoked Bristol 2011 HD from D2 production on Vimeo.