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Le Cirque du Cyclisme

timv's picture
2007.06.08 12:00 pm
2007.06.10 3:00 pm

This weekend Greensboro, NC, hosts the 10th annual and final Cirque du Cyclisme, an international celebration of vintage and handmade bicydes. Dale Brown of Cycles de Oro has been putting on this event for ten years now and it has grown to be a major happening among collectors of classic lightweight bikes, but Dale has announced that this will be the last one. (It will be continued in a somewhat different guise somewhere else--likely northern Virginia, word has it--but this is it for central NC.)

The weekend begins wth a reception and a fixed-gear ride on Friday afternoon, followed by a buffet dinner and charity auction that evening. Saturday includes morning sight-seeing rides around the area, afternoon seminars on topics dear to the hearts of classic bike lovers, and a buffet dinner. Sunday begins with the Tour de Guilford bike rides in the morning and ends with a big bike show and swap meet at Lewis Recreation Center.

Most of this stuff might be a bit hard-core if you aren't a serious nut about old bikes, but the show and swap meet is cheap and might be very interesting even if you have only a casual interest in cycling. Here's a list that Dale emailed out a few days ago of craftsmen who will be at the show and displaying their wares:

Brian Baylis, the amazing artisan craftsman, from La Mesa California:

Joe Bell, arguably the best bicycle painter in the business, from San Diego, California

Bilenky Cycles, renniasance masters of many styles, from Philadelphia, PA http://www.bilenky.com/Home.html

Peter Johnson, ex top racer and sculptor-in-bicycle-steel from Redwood City, California http://www.classicrendezvous.com/USA/Peter_Johnson.htm

Darell McCullough, renowned one-man master builder of Llewellyn frames, from Australia:

Mark Nobilette, master builder of Rivendell and his own brand, from Colrado

Richard Sachs, the "dean" of American bike makers from Chester, Connecticut:

Jamie Swan, master machnist and custom craftsman from Northport, New York

Peter Weigle, reigning king of custom Randoneur bikes, from Lyme, Connecticut

Sasha White, new phenom custom builder from Portland, Oregon

And many more, he adds. I do want to make a point of mentioning two others:

Mike Barry of Mariposa Cycles in Toronto, the father of pro cyclist Michael Barry as well as being a wonderful craftsman and a truly charming gentleman: http://www.mariposabicycles.com/recent.html

Chris Kulczycki of Velo Orange in Annapolis, MD, who has begun supplying unique bikes and parts in the classic European touring style and who keeps a terrific blog about his business adventures and love of cycles and cycling: http://velo-orange.blogspot.com/

Regarding skating in any of the weekend's rides, I know that Dale has strongly discouraged skating in the Tour de Guilford rides because of the terrain and lack of traffic control. It should be noted that Dale has generally been extremely enthusiastic in supporting us skaters, so take that warning seriously. Having ridden it on a bike, I can vouch for how fast and bumpy and scary the Lake Brandt Rd hills are myself, even on 700mm wheels and with really good brakes. The Saturday sight-seeing rides might be the best bet, but please ask Dale first. They're slow-paced and social and the in-town ride was reasonably smooth and level when I did it last year.

Also, note that Lewis Recreation Center, the site of Sunday show/swap, is part of the same recreational complex as our regular skating loop in Country Park. I skated over to the park and did 4 or 5 laps after the show last year, and I'll join anyone who wants to do that this year.



roadskater's picture

Inline Skaters Welcome at Cirque du Cyclisme & Tour de Guilford

Thanks for the write-up, Tim. I remember when there was doubt about whether we should be there.


We've done a lot of rides with Dale over the years since, so after talking with timv tonight I checked with Dale by email to see if we'd be intruding, and the official quote is:


Sure, you folks are welcome at any of our gigs! Y'all come!


It will be even more important for us to avoid crowding these folk as they may have classic bikes that are not easily replaceable, and of course, none of our body parts are easily replaceable either.


I think I'll be at the fixed gear ride. No gears is a gear, right? The site says any kind of bike is OK. As timv puts it, fixed gear rides are typically going to be on flatter terrain.


As an aside, one guy had a fixed gear the first day of the Tour to Tanglewood, but I'm not sure about the second day. Also, the unicyclist that came one year was using a fixed gear I guess!


I think we will likely do the 9am Saturday ride too, if we get enough sleep, and maybe if not. It's free.


As for Sunday, we'll take a look at the route for this year if it's up on the Tour de Guilford site. If we have the bucks and fresh enough legs, maybe we'll do that.


And seeing the show for awhile would be nice, especially if we don't make the Sunday ride.


Thanks again, timv, for your contributions. It's good info that will be around a long time to help people find out about classic bikes (vintage, fixed, etc.).

timv's picture

Skaters Welcome

Nice job following up on that, Blake, and chapeau to Dale for the blanket welcome. I blistered my heel a bit during my 26-mile sweatfest yesterday afternoon, which will somewhat limit my skating this weekend, but I'd probably want to use all these bicycles I have around here anyway. I look forward to seeing all who make it out.

Hi timv, I feel bad that I

Hi timv, I feel bad that I missed the final Cirque du Cyclisme. Such a great event. Vintage bikes never ceases to amaze me. You said this will be continued in a somewhat different guise, any updates on that?
timv's picture

It's happening right now!!

How close are you to Leesburg, Virginia? It was moved there for 2008, and this year's edition is being held this very weekend, June 5-7.


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