Great Times at the BQ Un-Meeting 2018

The 2018 Bicycle Quarterly Un-Meeting brought together a great crew of old and new friends. We want to thank all for making this a great weekend!

On Saturday morning, about 60 riders met at the Seattle Ferry Terminal to catch the boat to Bremerton. As always, the crowd was varied – all kinds of riders on all types of bikes. Some were BQ readers, some follow this blog, and others had heard about the Un-Meeting from friends. More than a quarter were women – Natsuko was especially happy to meet so many other female cyclotourists who share an interest in cycling off the beaten path.

As we rolled into the countryside, we fell into small groups. Most of the participants had only met this morning, but already felt like friends.

There were riders from all over the U.S., even Canada. Jennifer and Lance had come all the way from the Mississippi River. They were smiling all weekend, and then they extended the Un-Meeting into a five-day tour of the islands and peninsulas that make up the central Puget Sound.

The Tahuya Hills offered three routes. No matter which option riders chose, they raved about the great roads and beautiful surroundings. The clouds lifted, and the sun came out, making this a perfect day on the bike.

As we reached our campsite, everybody shared their day’s experiences, full of enthusiasm. “Wasn’t the stretch along the inlet beautiful?” – “Did you also suffer on Old Holly Hill Road?” – “Isn’t it amazing that there is such great riding just an hour’s ferry ride from Seattle?” There was much to talk about as we pitched our tents, bivvys and hammocks.

Reed had brought his ultrasonic metal thickness measuring device. “Want to know the wall thicknesses of your bike’s tubes?” In fact, I did. We found that 1940s Vitus tandem tubing has a lot more going on than we’d have thought. Inevitably, this led to much discussion about bike frames, but also many other topics, as we found that we shared many interests beyond bikes.

Conversations continued deep into the night.

On Sunday morning, most riders headed to nearby Seabeck for breakfast. We enjoyed comparing the different approaches to the same question: How to carry the gear for a weekend camping trip on a bike without detracting from its fun ride?

The large deck of the espresso stand turned into an impromptu bike show as everybody leaned their mount against the railing.

At this point, some opted for a leisurely breakfast, some headed back to the ferry, and others extended their trip to Bainbridge Island and beyond.

We’ll have a full report in the Autumn Bicycle Quarterly, including a look at many of the unique bikes at this year’s Un-Meeting.

About Jan Heine, Editor, Bicycle Quarterly

Spirited rides that zig-zag across mountain ranges. Bicycle Quarterly magazine and its sister company, Compass Cycles, that turns our research into the high-performance components we need for our adventures.
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4 Responses to Great Times at the BQ Un-Meeting 2018

  1. fhfr436 says:

    Ultrasonic thickness testing of metals requires calibrated test specimens in order to calibrate the wave speed in various materials. These are usually used for steel (5800 m/s), so using it on titanium (6100 m/s) or aluminum (6300 m/s) would not yield accurate thickness measurements if the meter is calibrated to steel.
    http://www.classltd.com/sound_velocity_table.html

    • Reed calibrated his machine on a frame he cut apart and measured, so I’m confident that the values are correct. We didn’t have the speed of sound in titanium handy – thank you for that! – so he only measured steel bikes. I hope he’ll be back next time for more! It’s great to be able to get this information without sawing apart our frames!

  2. Sukho in PDX says:

    I’ve been to the prior two UnMeetings and will say that this weekend was quite special. The riding and the scenery was spectacular, but honestly the people I met and rode with were what made this trip truly memorable. I was also very glad that there were more women this year; hope there is continued interest and participation in future UnMeetings.

    The bikes and gear I witnessed over the weekend were so varied and awesome. So many different approaches.

    To everyone I had the pleasure of meeting and/or riding with – thank you making this one of the coolest bikey events I’ve ever been to. Hope our paths will cross again sometime!

    Sukho in PDX

    • Natsuko Hirose says:

      Finally, I was able to join the BQ Un-Meeting. It was so exciting!

      I’m glad to meet you and everybody else. It was amazing for me that there is no animosity between the different types of bike, gender, nationality, riding styles and skills – everybody just enjoyed and shared the great ride.

      I believe we all enjoyed meeting each other, riding together, camping and chatting with everybody. It is the best way and the essence of cyclotouring for me. Thank you for coming and sharing the time with us. See you next time!

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