Words and photos by Mike Eliasohn
It's been a few years since I last attended what is officially the Ann Arbor/Saline Classic Bicycle Show and Swap Meet. My excuse for not going always was I had too many other things I had to do.
I still have too many other things to do (one of these days I need to retire from retirement), but at 6:35 a.m. on Sunday, April 24, I was on the road to the 36th annual show – 152 miles from St. Joseph.
At the previous shows I've attended, I've seen maybe one or two recumbents – though for bicycle nuts like me, there always were interesting cycles to see.
But this year, there were enough recumbents to be noticeable. I talked to a fellow who bought a Rans Vivo short wheelbase suspended recumbent.
There was even a bicycle shop that specializes in selling recumbents – Fremont/Elmore Cycle & Fitness (with stores in both of those Ohio towns) with several Sun recumbents for sale (all out-of-production models, as I recall).
Also a change from past years, from what I recall, there were a lot more old school BMX bikes (and probably many not-so-old-school) for sale.
Inside one building is the actual "show," with bicycles on display in many categories, which were judged. But the vast majority of the space on the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, inside the other buildings and outside, is occupied by people selling bikes (like-new, restored, in need of restoration or perfect for a rat rod or cutting up to make into a recumbent) and parts.
Two views of this amazing tricycle, one of several creations made by Rick Legato of Rochester. "This is bad ass," said one viewer. "... This is really unique." Rick, who works as an aircraft toolmaker (machinist) did the design and machining, but not the welding. The frame is mostly made from aluminum I-beam. The tricycle is for sale. The yellow bike behind it is a much modified mountain bike.
This bamboo beam bike was judged "best unrestored" bike in that category in the "show" part of the Ann Arbor bicycle show. That is, the seat is at the end of the bamboo beam, which flexes to provide suspension for the rider. The bike is a one-speed "fixie."
This sort-of Tour Easy clone was apparently homebuilt. Construction quality was good , but the bike was very heavy. If there was a price on the tag, I neglected to write it down.
In contrast, this was a genuine Easy Racers Tour Easy, apparently an early model. The card said, "make offer," and listed the owner's phone number. The owner wasn't nearby to talk about the bike.