Bike Farm hosted their 10th annual BikeCraft Holiday Gift Fair on Dec. 12 and 13. BikeCraft featured 30 vendors selling everything bike-related, from waterproof panniers to DIY books to creative riding accessories and jewelry.
The atmosphere was fun and festive as people browsed the various tables. Upbeat music filled the space, and there was even beer and hot beverages for sale.
Although the weather was wet and gray, that didn’t seem to hinder a steady stream of visitors on both Saturday and Sunday, said Amos Hunter, one of the event’s founding organizers. He is especially excited about their new partnership with Bike Farm.
“It used to be a self-sustaining thing, but since we’ve partnered with Bike Farm, it’s more of a benefit, which is great because they do really awesome stuff here,” Hunter said. “To have the event here is really special for us. It gives it more of a purpose.”
Travis Hackett and Diana Holland are volunteers with Bike Farm, the nonprofit organization hosting the event for the second year.
“We are a do-it-yourself bike collective and our mission is to demystify the bicycle and show people how to work on their own bikes,” Holland said.
They are completely run by volunteers; from the mechanics of the operation to the people doing the taxes, none of them are employees. Plus they’re non-hierarchical, meaning anyone can come to a meeting and vote, and anyone can volunteer or take on a leadership role in whatever capacity they feel comfortable.
“Our biggest program is our open shop,” Hackett said. “People come in with their bikes and we talk them through all the work. It’s great because people come in with all different skill levels.”
For $5, anyone is welcome to come use their space and tools and take advantage of the volunteers’ knowledge.
“Sometimes we don’t know how to fix something, but then it’s a great experience for us to learn with the customer,” Hackett said.
After she took a good look around, Holland was sure there have been more people at BikeCraft than last year. According to Hackett, one of the vendors even ran out of things to sell on the first day.
Dave Stoops, the owner and designer of Black Star Bags, and his sister, Laura, think there have been more people in attendance this year because of Portland’s swelling population. Other vendors agree that it has been a huge success.
Elly Blue is the marketing director for Microcosm Publishing, a company that’s attended almost every BikeCraft.
“It’s been really great,” Blue said. This is one of my favorite events of the year.” “It’s definitely on par with any other event we do, in terms of sales, but also in terms of meeting really great adorable people who are smiling.”
Blue also commented on the diversity of businesses present.
“It makes you feel proud to be in the community,” Blue said.
Lisa Pylant is volunteering at BikeCraft for the first time. Despite the rain, she is not surprised by how many people wanted to attend.
“In Oregon, rain doesn’t keep us down,” Pylant said.