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I have to say that I was a little disappointed by the World Of Motorcycles Expo for 2013. Vendors are creeping more and more into the show, displacing the custom bikes. That's a sure way to get someone like me to stop coming. Additionaly the entry fee was raised, and shocker, they removed the debit/credit terminals so I had to use the ATM and pay a fee just to get some cash to enter the show. Many others were annoyed at this as well.
This year they combined the motorcycle show with a bicycle show, which was cool with me as I've always been an avid cyclist. Of particular interest were the penny farthings. You know, the old timey bikes with the huge front wheels. This actually lead to an interesting confrontation with an owner of said bike. I had asked if anyone reproduces the large front wheel and was informed that yes, they are available from a fabricator in Florida for $5000. Now I normally don't poo-poo someone else's fabrication, but I was in such shock at the sticker price I blurted out "That's too expensive". The bike owner seemed very offended and attempted to justify the price by explaining how impressive the craftsmanship is. Well, having a little fabrication myself experience I made the point that I could likely build one for around $300. His response? A terse "You do that". So what did I do? I spent the next few minutes measuring out the wheel and getting some closeup pictures. I figure a little work with some aluminum C channel and a ring roller, a modern bicycle hub, and a hell of a lot of time drilling spoke holes to fit a custom bent and threaded set of spokes will get me a penny farthing rim. Doesn't seem hard. We'll see if I show up at the 2014 show with a nicely made penny farthing wheel to, you know, just show him I can do it.
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