Many of you who work at bike shops have attended, or at least heard of the CABDA shows. What I believe started in Chicagoland, my home turf, has spread into three, West, Midwest and East. I have some great memories of working at the Yeti/Straight Up Cyclery booth at the Chicago show, sometime in the mid to late 90’s. 

At the time, this was the only bike trade show in the midwest, and consisted mainly of fairly local bike shops, and some midwest manufacturers such as Saris (under another name if I recall). There were some big brands there as well. But since I had become great friends and spent a small fortune at the now defunct Straight Up Cyclery in Yorkville, IL (that place is worthy of a whole story in of itself), I was asked to work a combo booth that Yeti was paying for. Straight Up was one of the biggest Yeti dealers in the midwest. While I was more of a custom steel kind of guy, aka, Curtlo Cycles, I loved Yeti and their racing heritage. So I gladly accepted and my first shot at getting into the industry-only event world was on. I studied hard all the Yeti options, models, sizing, colors, and probably knew more about them than anyone else except the owners of Yeti! I took my job as a brand “rep” seriously! One thing I do recall is throwing a few stickers and a bottle opener into my pockets when it was over. I’m a sticker fanatic, and still have hundreds from the earliest days of mountain biking. Anyway, sometime in the mid 2000’s I threw one Yeti decal on eBay. It sold for almost $70! Woah I said, I have a gold mine here!  All told I probably pocketed $500 or so dollars selling the decals. They were the real deal, before the company was sold and resold. So the crazy Yeti tribe went nuts.

Why do I bore you with all this? Because I’m hopefully heading back to the midwest show next month. I love looking at what companies are pushing, asking annoying questions about the minute details of products and just hanging out with bike people.

I’m bringing one of my assistants along, so I hope to get you some great new product info. If you are going to the Midwest show, drop me an email and we can meet for a bite to eat or just say hi, and I’ll have some STM swag on hand as well.

Check it out: