Just wanted to say how much I admire your work from over here across the Atlantic. I spent a few weeks in Italy as a young teen on a class Latin trip one spring and it was one of my most memorable times that I spent anywhere. The history, culture, people, food. My wife and I are planning a trip there in the future sometime and THIS TIME I'll be able to bring a bike... Anyway - thanks for sharing and looking forward to future updates.
Thanks for the shout. Yeah, as a conservative Southern boy, my first trip over here was pretty uneventful from a concious standpoint. Mostly observation. Things were done very different here. The people were different, the food was different, the work was different, the sounds were different. All of it.
I stayed in a shell for the first few months of my academic experience in Italy. Then, as I returned to Texas, something came up from within. Something really big was pushing me back here to discover what that different stuff was all about. Today I stil do battle with it (like poor service, poor government and the like) but at the same time I love it because it makes me concious of what irks me and why. Diving into those thoughts and emotions for me is really what it's all about. Still is after almost 20 years of living here.
I wake up every day in amazement and wonder. Sometimes good, sometimes...well, lets just say "interesting". The bikes are just a means to go deeper into the culture(s) and into myself.
Will try to post more. I'm not very active around the web which is unfortunate as I love to see what others are doing and sharing.
If you're in the hills, come on by...
Hey Darren -
It's that difference that was so appealing and refreshing when I was over there. Culturally / socially, if I recall correctly, things were just moving slower. The pace was relaxed in some fashion and it was refreshing. It was one of those experiences that helps to frame and put into perspective "how" you too want to live. Maybe a relaxed bike packing trip through Italy... That has my attention!
But yes, looking forward to any future builds you share. Always great to see what's happening over there.
Yeah, I'd say things move slower here. Really slow. It's not a bad thing if you're on a cycling tour or dining out. In that context it's a beautiful thing. It becomes a problem when you kid's school has a teachers strike twice a week and it coincides with a train strike as well as a fallen government.
You'd be surprised (or maybe not) at how often that happens. When your working around the world or come from a place where things are generally efficient, it can really alter your attitude and F' with your mind. On a business level, living here requires you to lower your expections of people and services. The problem is that after a while, you realize that this type of attitude is expected in this country and thus progress loses its appeal. People resign themselves to the fact that things are broken and can never be fixed so it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Belief alters behavior. This is very different that my outlook and how I was brought up to believe and I will forever continue to struggle to integrate that part of my being into this beautiful place.
I could go on for days...
Enjoy your trip if you make it over..
I think if you get to see a little bit of "the other side" you start to appreciate things like care and attention. It really does make a difference and it shows in your work and relationships with clients. There's a gazillion of us making ti frames these days and one simple way to make that experience more positive and memorable is to spend more time with the client. It's unfortunate that most business (cycling or non) have removed that interaction.
I tried to get some tooling from a local (Italian) company. Simple stuff like reamers and facers. After no reply from two emails requests to the home office for info, I called them. They said their rep for Tuscany would call me shortly and I gave them all my info. After a day I ordered from Germany via email. Not only did I get an Italian-speaking call back response by phone immediately, I got the parts sent by express courier the next day. They'll be getting my business and that of a few friends in the future.
After two-and-a-half weeks passed, I got the followup from my local agent from the Italian company.
Not to shit on Italian companies (I am one, right?), but I get this a lot here and I assume it's the same back in The States. We've got an economy in the crapper and we wonder why.
We do need to catch up and drink that beer TOGETHER this time..!
I hope so. I have to wait and see because Sorana works and we may be in the US with my family (my grandmother is celebrating her 100th birthday!). It would be nice to come and hang out again with the group. Are you and Elizabeth coming down??
Hello there! Sad to say but yesterday here in Rome they stole my bike (inside the car). No need to say how i'm angry with those bastards. By the way if someone of you see on the internet the bike please write to me
The bike is assembled with Super11 gruppo, Hyperon Ultra two wheelset (challenge criterium gumwall tyres) enve components, brooks cambium c13 saddle.
Serial number #1712
And remember, the hurried cat gives birth to blind kittens.