In any doubt that the world increasingly revolves around cycling?
In case you missed the news, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel – no doubt an extraordinarily busy woman – is finding the time to open the world’s largest bicycle show and take a two hour tour of it. Frankly, that could only be topped by a visit from Barack Obama. Interbike comes a few weeks later than Eurobike, so never rule it out…
Nevertheless, it’s a comforting thought that one of the world’s highest profile politicians and her advisors believe Eurobike – and by proxy the bicycle industry – is worth her time. Unsurprisingly, the people at Eurobike think so too: “The cycle industry is getting more and more important and it is a very important political sign that Angela Merkel visits Eurobike,” a spokesperson tells BikeBiz.
And let’s face it, you don’t just happen to be near Friedrichshafen – it’s an effort to get there.
But it’s worth it. Once you’re done with spotting world leaders, there are more bicycles and related products filling Halls A1-B5 than you could conceivably take in over the four-day show – it runs August 28th to 31st.
That’s not all, there are seminars, and countless business meetings to be had. As usual, there is much talk around e-bikes. Considering their value to the German bicycle industry, no wonder. Even if you’re an e-bike-phobe, fear not – Eurobike also has just about everything else under its capacious roof.
Getting Eurobike underway for the sixth time will be the Demo Day. On Tuesday, August 27, trade visitors and journalists will once again be able to get a special peek at the newest innovations in the bike industry the day before the official start of the show. More than 130 exhibitors and brands will show off their innovations in the Allgäu, including racing, recumbent, folding, mountain and city bikes – each with and without electric drive. Five different courses will be available.
Then it’s onto Eurobike proper. As anyone who’s been before will know, the halls are pretty much bursting at the seams with cycle product as it is. Is there any chance of expansion – or even extending Eurobike by an extra day? The show organisers are adamant, however: “We don’t discuss about an extra day.” However, “We could offer more space in our mobil-halls, in the zeppelin-hall and in the openground.”
While you’d be hard pushed to know it while you are traversing the show, the number of UK exhibitors is actually declining, down to 42 this year from 43 in 2012 and 55 in 2011. There’s no sign of reduced interest in the show, however. UK visitor numbers are largely fixed – at 1,212 in 2012, up from 1,147 in 2011 and a whopping 1,279 in 2011. Speculatively, that drop could be a sign that British companies have been tightening their belts since the heady heights of 2011 and cutting down on staff numbers visiting. Despite our nation’s economic health, overall visitor numbers are massive – 43,700 trade visitors turned up last year, followed by 20,500 cycle customers on the public day. There were 1,889 media types at 2012 too.
Eurobike started more humbly, 21 years ago, as a MTB show. Much has changed since then, not least the way road and urban cycling has overtaken mountain biking. MTBs will be strongly represented across the show, not least at the Eurobike Demo Day, dirt area and a multitude of events in the open grounds.
Eurobike has a final message for the UK industry: “Come over and have a look, you will like it! There are cheap flights from Dublin, Edinburgh and Standsted with Ryanair to Memmingen and there’s a free of charge Shuttle Service to the fairground – lasting just one hour!”