The 2013 North American Handmade Bicycle Show has wound down, much to the relief of everyone involved who dedicated their time and energy to making it a success. Marty Walsh of Geekhouse Bikes will look forward to getting home, but I daresay he’ll be busy when he does. His Hopedale is now a highly sought-after example of the versatility the market wants from a modern bicycle.
Marty’s lineup this year includes some interesting directions that prove the advantage smaller builders have over the major corporations: an ability to adapt more quickly to market forces. The Geekhouse Hopedale has previously existed as a pure road frame, but has been reconfigured this year to keep going when the asphalt stops — answering the rider’s demand for more from their investment.
And why not. Why should our riding be dictated by whether we’re atop a roadie, ‘cross bike or even an MTB? Frames like the Hopedale enable us to explore further afield, to take the fork that leads to a gravel path or fire road. In the same way that MTB manufacturers were forced to introduce a ‘freeride’ model to their range, expect to see more ‘real-world’ bikes on — and off — your local roads this year.