North American Handmade Bicycle Show the Latest to Protest Utah Governor

Credit: Dennis Macdonald / Getty Images

On February 19 the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) announced it will not hold future events in Utah, a direct response to the state’s recent efforts to strip federal protection for public land. NAHBS is the largest handmade bicycle show in the world, with more than 140 builders and exhibitors. “When we were negotiating the [2017] show, Governor Herbert hadn't begun his assault on public lands,” said NAHBS founder Don Walker in a statement. “His agenda for the state of Utah has the ability to curtail the recreation of our exhibitors and their customers.”

NAHBS’s decision is in solidarity with Interbike, the largest bicycle trade show in the U.S., which announced on February 16 it would not include the state of Utah in the RFP process for future show locations, and with the Outdoor Retailer show, the largest outdoor industry trade show, which is also looking for a new home following 20 years in Utah. The outdoor industry, including Patagonia, Arc'Teryx, Polartec, The North Face, and REI, has been at odds with Utah state leaders over land use in the past, but hit an unprecedented level of discord February 3, when Utah Governor Herbert signed a bill asking President Trump to delist Bears Ears as a National Monument.

For 2017, NAHBS will hold the show as scheduled, March 10–12, at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, to support the small builders and craftsmen who had already booked airfare and hotels to travel to Utah. But it will not return "unless serious changes are made by government officials."

The full text of the North American Handmade Bicycle Show's press release is below.  

Aligning with the recent actions taken by other brands that exhibit at Outdoor Retailer as well as the conversations regarding the future of Interbike in the state of Utah, NAHBS will not be calling Utah home to the show in the future.

“When we were negotiating the show, Governor Herbert hadn’t begun his assault on public lands. His agenda for the state of Utah has the ability to curtail the recreation of our exhibitors and their customers. If not for signed contracts, booked airfares, hotels and the builders depending on the show taking place, we too would be relocating” said Don Walker, founder of NAHBS.

“Our goal is to spotlight frame builders and the cycling industry partners that support them. NAHBS moves the location each year to accommodate the needs of builders across the country. Regardless of our schedule we would not chose to bring the show back to Utah unless serious changes are made by government officials.”

This news and the subsequent backlash from industry leaders occurred a month before the 13th edition of NAHBS is set to take place. Unfortunately moving the show this year is not an option. March 10th-12th NAHBS will take place in Salt Lake City and NAHBS look forward to spending time with all the small builders and craftsmen that the show was founded for. We hope that Utah will come support these businesses in light of recent events.

About NAHBS:

NAHBS Showcases the talents of individuals around the world whose art form is the bicycle. We are a meeting space for frame builders and consumers who are passionate about custom-made bikes.

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