More than 1,000 cyclists showed up to demo the wares of 40+ vendors at the inaugural Southeast Bike Expo. Things looked dicey during setup on Friday as heavy rains, high winds and tornado warnings threatened to put a serious damper on the weekends festivities. Fortunately, the rains subsided and the winds let down a bit for Saturday’s opening with conditions improving throughout the day leading into a beautiful Sunday. Much hard work and preparation went into making this a world class event and the dividends paid off as participants were all smiles both days.
The premise behind Southeast Bike Expo is to bring together manufacturers of bikes and accessories with cycling enthusiasts in a non-threatening, low pressure environment. Most exhibiting companies had bunches of demo bikes and/or products allowing the consumer to test out and compare at their own pace all for the low cost of a single event entry fee. Companies such as Osprey Packs, Niner, Trek, Jamis, Specialized, Yeti, Blue Competition Cycles, Felt, Orbea and Scott sent out demos all day long while companies such as NiteRider and Light & Motion had lighting systems available for night time rides. Terrapin Brewing was even on hand with plenty of beer flowing for post ride enjoyment.
This event model is proving to be successful in other regions of the country but the Southeast has not had an event of this magnitude despite the high popularity of cycling and large population centers. With the great success of the 1st annual Southeast Bike Expo, look for next year’s event to be even bigger and better. Hope to see you there!