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Thread: Don Walker Cycles

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    Default Don Walker Cycles

    I have been thinking about this moment, half dreading it actually, for the last month or so. I don’t consider my writing (or lack thereof) skills could possibly be up for the challenge of what lies ahead for Smoked Out. Sure, I wanted to be included, but, how does one really tell their story without boring the readers to tears, or at least that’s what I think will happen when I tell my story. If you get real bored, which I suspect will happen about 3 or 4 minutes into the read, go grab yourself a nice adult beverage and see if that helps you finish my post.

    I grew up in Sacramento, Ca., a city in which I absolutely loved, up until the mid 90s, but that’s another story. I learned to ride bikes in front of my house on Whitney Avenue on a Columbia brand girls bike that was new probably 15 or so years before it was handed down to me. That bike was bulletproof, as my older brother Russ (6 years older) and I would make ramps out of wood and bricks and jump that Columbia. It got ghost ridden too, more often than not, and would hold a perfectly straight line until it ran out of steam and then would simply tip over. “They don’t build ‘em like that anymore” would be a perfectly appropriate quote in this case. As I grew into the rambunctious teen years, almost all of the neighborhood kids were buying road bikes and doing weekend organized rides, metric centuries and stuff like that. I was probably the youngest to want to do that. I convinced my old man to buy me a new bike. So in the spring of 1980 we went looking for my first 10 speed bike. I ended up with a Windsor Carerra Sport. At $250, it was a decent bike for a guy who wanted to do weekend rides, but it definitely wasn’t a racing bike. So I rode quite a bit and started hanging out at The Bicycle Barn on Arden and Watt in Sacramento. During one of my visits a salesman named Larry Robinson took an interest in how much I had been riding and basically talked me into racing. Back then, I was considered an “Intermediate” in category. I raced through the first season and mainly was a pack finisher. I discovered I wasn’t all that great on hills as the other kids, but there was no way in hell they could drop me in the criteriums, so that’s where I mainly focused my training. It was then that I discovered Hellyer Park Velodrome and with the urging of my friends in the Bay Area, I started racing there and a true love affair began with the track.

    Sometime in these early years, I read an article in Bicycling magazine about a guy who had built his own frame, but out of aluminum and it really intrigued me. So when I started lining up at races, I started actually looking at the brands around me. Lighthouse, Lippy, Colnago, Celo Europa, Holdsworth (which I would later own one) and other brands like Dale Saso and Della Santa… all of these in the junior and intermediate ranks. I think this was the first time in which I actually dreamt that “one day I will build bikes”. I continued racing throughout my junior years with a few small wins and several top 10’s, but it was time to graduate high school and move on with my life. I took an airframe & structures class in Southern California and was hired to work structures on the B1-b bomber. I got married at 19 to my H.S. sweetheart and gave up cycling for a life in the working world.

    It only took a year or two, but I got FAT. The once svelte, fast kid was fat. I began training January 1st 1989 and by my birthday in September, I had lost 40 pounds and went from a Cat 4 to 2 on the track and the cool thing was that working in aircraft had given me a skillset that I could use in making bikes.

    Now, here’s where it gets interesting. In 1990, I met Al Wanta, a builder in Santa Barbara. I had broken a frame and wanted advice on fixing it or replacing it. I must have called him 20 times in a week or two asking dozens of questions. I think he got tired of me calling and bugging him when he finally said “you sound like you have a real keen interest in framebuilding. I am getting a new jig, would you like my old one?” I told him I was a starving aircraft mechanic and couldn’t afford it and he said “No, I’m giving it to you!” “Oh wow! Sure, thanks!” So, now I had the first piece of a large puzzle. It took another 6 months of studying the Paterek Manual daily before I attempted the first of 3 or 4 total abortions. I got a rideable frame on #5. I was determined to make a go of this passion that’s been inside since my youth.

    Fast forward a couple years, after I had built about 50 or so bikes. I went on a trip to the Caribbean island of Trinidad. They have a big race there every year called the Easter Gran Prix. While there, I met Shaun Wallace of England. This meeting would prove to be very fruitful for me later that year when Shaun called me and said “Don, the UCI just outlawed the O’Bree position. Can you make me a new bike?” I was stunned, here was a seasoned pro rider asking me for a bike. “Of course I can make you a new bike, how soon do you want it?” I asked. He came back with “Well, I leave on Thursday for Victoria for the Commonwealth Games” (it was Saturday evening when he had called) I think my response was something like “ Oh shit! I won’t even have time to get the tubing in or anything.” He said he was pretty sure I could make it with whatever I had laying around at the time. He had fedexed his own drawing (Shaun has a degree in mechanical engineering, btw) and I got started on the bike. I had two days to make it. Once I finished the bike, I had missed the last call for UPS, so I had to drive to the airport and ship it on United. Shaun built the bike up, did a warm up on it and a flying 3k ad got off the bike and said “we got a good one here” and packed it up and then went to the airport to catch his flight to Victoria.

    The bike was still raw, without even having the flux removed, but Shaun made the best of it and painted it with Krylon and Testors model paint between two dumpsters behind his hotel room and put the bike back together. He qualified in the top 3, and the bike briefly held a Commonwealth record. He ended up with a Silver medal in the pursuit, on a bike that looked awful close up to it, but great from 30 or more feet away! I am always thankful for that chance meeting of Shaun and he and I remain friends to this day.

    On June 22, 1995 (yesterday was the 15th unhappy anniversary) my shop in Sacramento was burglarized. As I wasn’t a “businessman” but a framebuilder, I didn’t have insurance and lost everything. The Sheriff’s detectives took about a month to build a case on the scumbag and during that time, he fenced off about $30k worth of bikes, groups and tools for his drug habit. Since the DA didn’t have enough hard evidence that he committed the crime, they only charged him with receiving stolen property and he was sentenced to 141 days in county jail. He served half of it due to jail overcrowding.

    After that experience, I got back into the aircraft game and became a contractor, a modern day gypsy, going wherever the contract led me. I had lived in Long Beach, Savannah, Ga., Greensboro, NC, Lafayette, LA, Wichita, KS and Hewitt, TX. It was in Hewitt, that I started build again. It only took 6 years to rebuild what I had owned before. I was still hooked on building road and track bikes.

    I relocated to Speedway Indiana 3 years ago for a job offer with a company that I really don’t want to talk about ever again, but decided to open my own shop and haven’t looked back since. At this point in 2010, I have built more bikes than the previous 2 years combined. I am on pace to hit 30, but believe with a focused ad campaign, I can make it to 40.
    Now, for the bikes… I am somewhere in the high 300’s or low 400s. Mostly all fillet brazed bikes with a few out there with lugged BB’s and about 10 or so fully lugged. My passion has always been and will always be racing bikes, but I like other styles as well. I don’t really do much stainless mainly because I think it’s too gimmicky and it doesn’t make my bikes perform any better.
    Anyhow, if it hasn’t been covered here, feel free to ask questions. I will answer all!

    Thanks for your time.

    DW

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Hey DW,

    Great story, I love the Shawn Wallace bit - sometimes a chance meeting or a phone call can have tremendous affect on a person's path.

    I take it you have insurance on your new shop. Right?

    As for bikes/framebuilding, you have quite a following for track/racing bikes. Did you get feedback from riders in the early days to develop your sense of track geometry or how a track bike should ride? If so how did that process integrate with what you already knew - or what you thought you already knew? For me I tend to think of events and home tracks and then work from there, but I'm wondering if you have a different approach?

    Thanks,

    Conor

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    luv the north american handbuilt and all the friends that have come from ...

    where do you see pista and fixed gear going?
    do you see veodrome tracks being part of a city's rereation plan?

    in the naptown arena ---- pista fixed gear future? ima lookin for a reason to return to my umbilical cord ...

    ronnie
     

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Hey Conor,

    Oh, you know I have insurance now! Good Lord, I cannot imagine going through the heartbreak again, much less the fundamental issue of being irresponsible for my bikes on the road or track.

    Back in the day, I was a cat 2 on the track. I had raced quite a few different bikes; Bianchi Pista, a Toyoda branded as a LeConte, a custom Ron Cooper ( one of the main influences of my fillet brazing was that Cooper, btw!) and a couple other rigs I don't even recall. I had a pretty good idea on what made a good track bike a good track bike. It was a balance of handling and stiffness and getting those two things working for the rider in the right way. Once I started getting some bigger name riders on my bikes, (i.e. Fast Freddy Markham) I was able to get more direct feedback as to what was working and what needed improvement.
    Once I had a better feel for mass start bikes, I started working on what worked for different types of racing and different tracks.

    I agree with the home track and event before I even get the rider's input. A bike made for the Superdrome won't ride the same as a bike designed for Seattle, for example, even if its the same event.

    Thanks for the question Conor! See you at NAHBS '11!


    DW


    Quote Originally Posted by conorb View Post
    Hey DW,

    Great story, I love the Shawn Wallace bit - sometimes a chance meeting or a phone call can have tremendous affect on a person's path.

    I take it you have insurance on your new shop. Right?

    As for bikes/framebuilding, you have quite a following for track/racing bikes. Did you get feedback from riders in the early days to develop your sense of track geometry or how a track bike should ride? If so how did that process integrate with what you already knew - or what you thought you already knew? For me I tend to think of events and home tracks and then work from there, but I'm wondering if you have a different approach?

    Thanks,

    Conor


    Hi Ronnie,

    For a while there was a fixie boom. It was the hottest trend since Disco but burned out just a little slower. What was beneficial to the US Track Cycling program was that a few of these urban riders actually started racing track and some of them got quite good at it. But, the question is, will they stay in it or get burned out?

    If the US would take its que from other countries and have the Government fund our Olympic Sporting programs, we could conceivably have velodromes in every major city, and if that happens, we will have a much better talent pool to draw from. Indy's velodrome is part of the parks department, but its not got much support from Parks and I see it becoming privatized in order to attract new riders and re-establish itself with talent.

    As for Naptown, there is a pretty happening fixie culture, but its mostly all downtown and around Broad Ripple, but we are trying like heck to get it started on the west siiiiiide. Go Plugs!

    Thanks for the questions Ronnie! See you in Austin!

    DW

    Quote Originally Posted by ron l edmiston View Post
    luv the north american handbuilt and all the friends that have come from ...

    where do you see pista and fixed gear going?
    do you see veodrome tracks being part of a city's recreation plan?

    in the naptown arena ---- pista fixed gear future? ima lookin for a reason to return to my umbilical cord ...

    ronnie

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    nahbs rulz. never seen a velodrome. keep rockin' it don.
     

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Don, thanks for the nice read! I often wonder how people end up where they are at any given moment, and you've had an interesting path. As a builder and person following the industry, your growth of NAHBS and what it's become is truly admirable. Most of us see the public image NAHBS represents and not the person behind it. I'm not sure where you found the courage and wherewithall to try and pull off such an undertaking, but what are your thoughts about it? How did you conceive the idea? At what moment did you realize you could do it. How do you see the show evolving? Are framebuilders easier to herd than cats?
    Thanks for your time,
    Craig
     

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Slapshot View Post

    Thanks for the question Conor! See you at NAHBS '11!

    DW
    We're coming! I'll see you there.

    I'm excited about it.

    Conor

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Looking Back,
    Don Remember the morning and the Police Capture of the guy in the van in front of yours?
    I sat there there waiting for you and then saw you on the TV feed while the whole freeway was shut down.
    Tell them that story about the nervous minutes on the way to my house.

    Your "Model" still has my full support, and I am proud to have been part of the "Invention" of it, no single event has ever had the positive impact that we both crafted from our meager "Aircraft Salaries" !

    This next Show will be the first time we really get a chance to expose how important "Cycling" is to industries here in the US and around the World in my "Forte" of Joining tech.
    Our Group is bringing tools and products never available, and we owe the inspiration to you.

    Your "Model" of progress, stands apart from the aspect of just that, Progress and climbing the ladder of the future.

    When I look back at the days of thinking about how best to serve the future of cycling, and the words spoken, one point stands out.

    That is the steadfast unyielding purposeful holding on to true progress and the details of bringing it to bear, never before has this calibur been possible
    to draw with all participants being equal.

    The entire World now looks at your "Model" as the Icon of Cycling success.

    Thanks for all the past and future dedication.

    Freddy
     

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by WadePatton View Post
    nahbs rulz. never seen a velodrome. keep rockin' it don.
    Thanks Wade. Come on up to Naptown, we have one and its a blast!

    Thanks again!

    DW


    Quote Originally Posted by Craig Ryan View Post
    Don, thanks for the nice read! I often wonder how people end up where they are at any given moment, and you've had an interesting path. As a builder and person following the industry, your growth of NAHBS and what it's become is truly admirable. Most of us see the public image NAHBS represents and not the person behind it. I'm not sure where you found the courage and wherewithall to try and pull off such an undertaking, but what are your thoughts about it? How did you conceive the idea? At what moment did you realize you could do it. How do you see the show evolving? Are framebuilders easier to herd than cats?
    Thanks for your time,
    Craig

    Thanks Craig! As the saying goes, its all chicken but the bone. I just roll with the punches from day to day. It definitely has been a journey, but, the experiences all make it worthwhile.

    The whole NAHBS experience really started on the framebuilders@ phred list serve back in 03 or 04. Everybody that was a newbie back then wanted to learn to build the "right" way and all the folks on the list talked about a get together, but nobody ever pursued the idea. I got a wild hair and decided, "enough talk, lets do something about it!" I organized what was the first incarnation of NAHBS, as the Bicycle Framebuilders Expo ( BFE ). It was meant to do two things; Display our wares to the world, helping further our minimal marketing dollars and to help educate the new guys. It didn't happen. There was apparently some backlash by some members of the list over a joke that was mistakenly shared to the list that wasn't really that bad, but, I digress. It took almost a year from the initial concept to start the process again and make it a reality. I just wouldn't give up. I'm "that guy" when it comes to someone challenging me. I always rise above to prove myself. (one upon a time, some folks told me I couldn't build frames, either....)

    Early on we had supporters of the BFE ( now NAHBS ) with the likes of e-Richie, Freddy Parr, Nick Crumpton, Sacha White, Mike DeSalvo and Don Ferris. ( if I skipped your name, I'm sorry, trying to keep this from running too long) Anyhow, after several months of 5 and 6 hundred dollar phone bills from calling potential exhibitors and faxing different media outlets, we had the first show in Houston. All in all, it went semi-smooth. I think it was the fact that we got on 2 different TV stations in Houston and some ink in the local papers and even some bike mags, I realized at that point "wow, we have something that could really be useful to framebuilders here...." I went back to the drawing board and thought long and hard "how can I make this better for everyone involved?" NAHBS 2.0 happened in San Jose and we went from 700 attendees to 3000 in one year. That really solidified that the concept was going to work and I would be able to effectively market framebuilders and help the builders become more successful.

    As far as the evolution of NAHBS, I have to admit that I am still learning the ropes of being an event organizer, as really I did kind of stumble into the whole gig. I think each and every year gets better, not just in organization, but media coverage and that's what this is all about, marketing. I build new relationships with media outlets every year and because of the publicity NAHBS gets in the cities we have been visiting, new cities want to step up and host us. I have a few ace's up my sleeve for the next few years, but I cannot quite let these ideas out just yet, but lets just say it will really further help with promotion of our craft.

    And to answer your last question, OMG NO! Rounding up a bunch of individual thinkers for one weekend a year has been challenging to say the least. I would say herding cats might actually be much easier!

    Thanks for your questions!

    DW

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Freddy View Post
    Looking Back,
    Don Remember the morning and the Police Capture of the guy in the van in front of yours?
    I sat there there waiting for you and then saw you on the TV feed while the whole freeway was shut down.
    Tell them that story about the nervous minutes on the way to my house.

    Your "Model" still has my full support, and I am proud to have been part of the "Invention" of it, no single event has ever had the positive impact that we both crafted from our meager "Aircraft Salaries" !

    This next Show will be the first time we really get a chance to expose how important "Cycling" is to industries here in the US and around the World in my "Forte" of Joining tech.
    Our Group is bringing tools and products never available, and we owe the inspiration to you.

    Your "Model" of progress, stands apart from the aspect of just that, Progress and climbing the ladder of the future.

    When I look back at the days of thinking about how best to serve the future of cycling, and the words spoken, one point stands out.

    That is the steadfast unyielding purposeful holding on to true progress and the details of bringing it to bear, never before has this calibur been possible
    to draw with all participants being equal.

    The entire World now looks at your "Model" as the Icon of Cycling success.

    Thanks for all the past and future dedication.

    Freddy

    Hey Freddy! Thanks for your post.

    Yeah, just like Freddy said, I was on National TV, live, when I became involved in a slow speed pursuit when driving to California. When the HP finally spun the guy out, he was only 8 or so cars in front of me. The scary part was the guy was weaving in and out of traffic and missed my front bumper by like 8 inches. It was crazy!

    As I mentioned in a prior post, Freddy was one of the supporters of the first incarnation, the BFE. He and Georgine helped a ton with the initial website and I can't thank them enough.

    I appreciate your support and words Freddy, you've been a great friend, even when times were dark after the BFE imploded on the list serve.

    As for my model, I only wish we could pull off two shows a year, but I doubt any builders could afford that much time away from the bench, let alone the logistics needed to do a 2nd show a year.

    Thanks again Freddy! Give Georgine a kiss from us!

    DW

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    DW-

    It's refreshing to hear perspective from a mechanic FIRST and not an engineer. Seems like every builder out there has an engineering background and being an A&P myself, I find comfort in your background. With that, do you feel what you bring to DWC (and framebuilding in general), from an understanding of how things work learned by fixing them instead of designing them a distinct competency? Or are those with engineering pedigrees better off in this biz?

    Also, coming from an industry of heavy regulation, procedure, and little room for error, do you feel out of place in a place where artistry, craftsmanship, and the notion of a Renaissance man seem to prevail? (I'm not saying you lack in any of these areas just suggesting that the aviation business has little artistic flavor since people depend on your performance with their lives)

    Thanks for sharing-
     

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    I hear that you're coming to the Texas Custom Bicycle Show in October, and you're going to have a NAHBS booth. I think that's very cool, but I'm also curious to hear your thoughts on that, like why you're doing it and what you hope will come out of it. Also, are you going to bring a bike? (To ride, not to show)
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by 3wfab View Post
    DW-

    It's refreshing to hear perspective from a mechanic FIRST and not an engineer. Seems like every builder out there has an engineering background and being an A&P myself, I find comfort in your background. With that, do you feel what you bring to DWC (and framebuilding in general), from an understanding of how things work learned by fixing them instead of designing them a distinct competency? Or are those with engineering pedigrees better off in this biz?

    Also, coming from an industry of heavy regulation, procedure, and little room for error, do you feel out of place in a place where artistry, craftsmanship, and the notion of a Renaissance man seem to prevail? (I'm not saying you lack in any of these areas just suggesting that the aviation business has little artistic flavor since people depend on your performance with their lives)

    Thanks for sharing-
    Hi 3W, thanks for your reply and questions.

    I didn't fix aircraft at first, I was in production on the B1-B and B-2 Bombers. (this should be a segue into how I got into making carbon fiber bikes, but....) I drilled a lot of holes in structural components of the aircraft, did hydraulic systems, pounded rivets, etc., and I think it was those initial skills where I cultivated the skills to work with metal in tubular form. But as for design, I completely immersed myself in geometries even back in high school knowing one day I might build frames.

    In my opinion, I think a hands on guy has a slight advantage due to the skillset he already possesses. I have known some awesome engineers that didn't know diddley about actually working with tools.

    I am completely comfortable where I sit in the realm of craft vs. procedure. Fortunately, in the aircraft world, there are backup systems in place. You finish the work, the inspectors view/check your work, and then the "government" inspector either buys or denies the previous two steps. I kind of think of it similar on my bikes, but I am all 3 entities. If it doesn't look, build or ride to my standards, it doesn't go out the door. I like being the final say in what goes out because I know my standards and even if its artistic, it still has to be well made.

    Thanks again!

    DW



    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    I hear that you're coming to the Texas Custom Bicycle Show in October, and you're going to have a NAHBS booth. I think that's very cool, but I'm also curious to hear your thoughts on that, like why you're doing it and what you hope will come out of it. Also, are you going to bring a bike? (To ride, not to show)
    Hi Eric, thanks for your questions.

    Yes, Glenn offered me a booth to help promote the show, and in return, NAHBS will do some cross promotion with the Texas show. I am hoping that we can drive more notoriety and business to the Texas builders. I still consider Texas my home, even more so than California.

    I am hoping to bring a bike, but I don't know my schedule yet. If I do, I'll let you know. I would like to do some riding there, even if it is just sight seeing.

    Thanks again!

    DW

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Don,
    You are mostly known as a show promoter and fewer people know that you were a frame builder first and foremost. Do you have problems with getting Don the Builder out from under the shadow of Don the Promoter?
    Tim O'Donnell- Shamrock Cycles
    www.lugoftheirish.com

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by hmbatrail View Post
    Don,
    You are mostly known as a show promoter and fewer people know that you were a frame builder first and foremost. Do you have problems with getting Don the Builder out from under the shadow of Don the Promoter?
    Tim,

    Indeed, it has been tough. When people hear my name, they think of me as a show promoter, not a builder. This has been extremely tough trying to re-establish myself as a builder. While I love the work I have done with NAHBS, my passion is still working with my hands and making bikes. I am starting to advertise here in Indy and elsewhere that I build frames, since pretty much everyone has no idea who I am and what I do, other than promote NAHBS, and I hope the results are positive. The second thing I have done has been get a good group of people around me who can run NAHBS day-to-day without much interaction from me so I can focus my efforts and energy towards building again.

    Thanks for your question.

    DW

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Don,

    Just read your bio. We were nearly neighbors during your Sacramento days. I was on Robertson near Walnut. Were you acquainted with Steve Rex then?
     

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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    I've got another question that doesn't help you separate Don the builder from Don the promoter, I hope you don't mind.

    Where do you draw the line for NAHBS exhibitors with respect to being too big or not 'handmade'? One could argue that even assembly line bikes are handmade by 75 Taiwanese factory workers. Where is the line in your mind with respect to the show, and have you ever had to turn down a potential exhibitor?
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
    Don,

    Just read your bio. We were nearly neighbors during your Sacramento days. I was on Robertson near Walnut. Were you acquainted with Steve Rex then?
    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for your question.

    Yeah, practically. I grew up on Whitney, a block from Morse. I used to go to Mira Loma, class of 85.

    I met Steve in 90 or 91, iirc. He had been building a few years before I started. His fillets make me strive to reach that level of smooveness.

    Thanks again!

    DW


    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    I've got another question that doesn't help you separate Don the builder from Don the promoter, I hope you don't mind.

    Where do you draw the line for NAHBS exhibitors with respect to being too big or not 'handmade'? One could argue that even assembly line bikes are handmade by 75 Taiwanese factory workers. Where is the line in your mind with respect to the show, and have you ever had to turn down a potential exhibitor?
    Eric,

    Thanks for your question.

    Once upon a time, I had consulted a few of the original supporters and asked them what level of production does a company have to reach to not be NAHBS "worthy". The panel and I came to a sort of conclusion that the parameters really lie within the following criteria; 1. is it made "in house"? 2. Do they offer custom geometry, fit, paint, etc.? 3. Would they be considered handmade or bespoke?

    If the answers all come back as a yes, then we would let them in. If its purely a production house that sometimes offers custom geometry, then no.

    As a side note, I turned down C'dale a couple years back...

    Thanks again!

    DW

  19. #19
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    Jun 2008
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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Yo DW,

    Thanks for hanging out in the smoked filled room.

    I think that you are for the most part a fillet guy. What is it about fillets that point you in that direction?

    dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Buckner, Kentucky, United States
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    Default Re: Don Walker Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Kirk View Post
    Yo DW,

    Thanks for hanging out in the smoked filled room.

    I think that you are for the most part a fillet guy. What is it about fillets that point you in that direction?

    dave
    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for your question.

    I got into fillets when I borrowed a track bike for the '83 track nats. It was a Ron Cooper made for a guy almost 2 inches taller than I, but it was close enough because I was in a pinch. It was fillet brazed and I fell in love with the smoothness of the joints.

    When I started building, I knew the aesthetic I was looking for, it was to be as good or better (is that even possible?) of that Cooper. Plus, I was using over-oversize and aero tubes, so lugs back then weren't even an option.

    I cruise the NAHBS show hall looking for fillet bikes because I want to see what everyone is up to in their style. I sincerely appreciate anyone who does fillets because I know what goes into them.

    Thanks again!

    DW

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