As the name suggests, the stars of the Handmade Bicycle Show Australia (HBSA) are the frame builders who craft works of art that people can ride every day.
But a growing contingent of other exhibitors also take the opportunity to show their wares to a keen public audience, sprinkled with quite a few bicycle shop owners and other bike industry members.
After two cancelled attempts to run the show during 2020, 7th– 9th May 2021 saw first event in two years. There was clearly strong demand because visitor numbers exceeded the 2019 record. They saw a wide range of beautifully made and presented custom bikes and equipment plus parts and accessories from many supporting exhibitors.
It was the first time the HBSA has been held at the Seaworks museum in Williamstown. This venue is significantly larger than the previous historic Melbourne Meat Markets venue, so the show has scope for expansion in future years.
Nathan Lorkin Co-Founder and Director of HBSA reported, “We had close to 2,500 attendees, which was awesome. Our inaugural year in 2018 had 1,534. Our second year in 2019 had 1,632. We’re looking forward to a successful fourth edition in 2022 on 21st to 23rd May.
“I had probably a dozen and a half frame builders from overseas – North America and Europe saying, ‘Beyond covid, we’ll be there!’ In 2019 we had eight internationals, who couldn’t join us this year due to covid, but we know we could easily double if not treble the number of internationals and the vast majority of our local builders are welcoming that. They say, ‘Bring it on. Let’s showcase the craft.’ It’s a case of a rising tide lifting all boats.”
Here’s a photo essay summary of some of the craftspeople and their products on display this year.
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I’ve never actually lived in Melbourne. But over the past 31 years since starting Bicycling Australia, our first cycling media business, I’ve usually visited Melbourne, which is the centre of Australia’s bicycle industry, at least six times per year… once every eight weeks or so. That totals around 200 visits, so it’s a familiar city to me.
Most readers of the Micromobility Report would probably agree that getting more people riding bikes more often is a good idea. By extension, they’d say that getting more families on bikes, more young kids travelling to school via bike, more shopping done by bike and a host of other everyday applications, would be even better.