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Thread: Moth Attack

  1. #1
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    Default Moth Attack

    Thanks for the push to make this happen, I'm not always the best at talking about myself, but am super honored to take up the invitation to join the ranks here.

    I came to pick up a torch after some years of corporate frustration. I was working in retail display painting and building on a pretty miserable salary for living in Los Angeles while being obligated to work insane amounts of unpaid overtime for shitty people. I had moved from Las Vegas at 20 to take the job and escape casino life, so it served its purpose until I quit, sold my car, and rode Seattle to San Francisco with a couple friends. I was commuting 18 miles round trip on a Zullo track frame at the time, and with some not-so-great-fit advice, landed a 56cm Zullo road frame that I built for the trip. I'm all legs, so it was 1000 miles of discomfort with a tiny stem and pretty poor weighted handling. Those two bikes were absolutely my introduction to how cool handmade frames could be.

    I returned to LA from the trip with a lot of uncertainty. I knew I loved getting paid to make stuff, but didn't have any interest in returning to working for a corporate monster. I was living in a punk house with 6 people, a couple dozen bikes and zero cars. We were the place where all the bike stuff met, we all worked on organizing Bike Summer, and all we did was ride and make stuff. I picked up some messenger work and started making plans with two of my friends to drive out to Yamaguchi's course in the summer of 2006. As far as picking Yamaguchi was concerned, I had an undying love for Keirin, track bikes and Colorado, so I couldn't imagine going anywhere else.

    I spent the years after attending Yamaguchi trying to figure out where to find space in Los Angeles, money for tools, racing at the track or messenger events, and just trying to learn whatever I could from whoever would dump information on me. I built one bike in a friend's shop with him for another friend (it's still a daily commuter) until early 2009 when I built out live/work space and started building from a warehouse my bicycle mechanic boyfriend and I rented to basically make a bike dork's dream house. I was working in Bicycle Advocacy in an office by this time. It was great, and I was happy to do something cool with great people, but if I never step foot in another office, I'll be happy with that.

    I started off with only lugs, built my first all-fillet brazed frame in 2010 and haven't looked back much. I take on the occasional lugged frame for friends or returning customers, but for the most part I prefer the fillet brazing. My shop has moved so much that I'm pretty much 100% hacksaw, files and sweat.

    In early 2013, I left LA, my job of 5 years, my relationship, basically everything. I spent a couple months in Vegas hanging out with my family and unfucking my wait list. I got pretty bogged down at the end of my time in LA and needed to isolate myself and deal with all the changes and making bikes for waiting customers. I was fortunate they were pretty much all friends and extremely patient with me. I had personal things, work things, paint problems, the run of it. I moved across state lines again at the end of 2013 to Boulder, CO and settled in to sharing shop space with some friends screen printing. Less than 6 months later my dad died unexpectedly, and I picked up and moved AGAIN back to Vegas where I've been since July of 2014. It's mostly been making the best out of an awful unexpected situation, but I don't know many people who could drop everything and move across the country and keep working, so I consider myself fortunate there. My mom is a badass and my dad was my biggest supporter and definitely influenced me to work with my hands. The man taught me to sandblast at 8 years old. I'm anticipating a move back to Colorado, but am holding out for the right place and selling my dad's unfinished airplane. In the meantime, I keep myself happy in the shop and hanging out with the best dog.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Super glad to have you here Megan Dean. Sounds like your dreams are born from real and true life experience which in my estimation is an honorable way to live.
    Hearing that you make bikes with your hands, paper/pencil a torch and files TOTALLY makes my day. Given all the changes in your life, this was born from that.
    Hey! Looking forward to some FNL viewing pleasure.
    Speaking of Bad Ass >>>

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Megan, thanks for being on Vsalon and allowing us to "smoke out" your frame business. I have a few intro questions....

    Moth Attack; where did the name originate? What is your place in the market, is there a style you specialize in?

    Thanks,
    Jonathan

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by mothattack View Post
    T I was living in a punk house with 6 people, a couple dozen bikes and zero cars. We were the place where all the bike stuff met and all we did was ride and make stuff.
    I lived in "that" house too, that's where Team Mutant started - 6 rooms, $600 a month.

    And I like your fucking vocabulary, it's a prerequisite for fillet brazing, IMO.

    What music are you into now?

    PS, dogs rule!

    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Hey Megan, glad to see you here. I've enjoyed following your blog over the years and look forward to seeing some fnl. I remembering chuckling to myself when I read how you came up with your name.
    NATE

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Hey Megan, good to see this.
    You seem to do a lot of track frames, do you find your business fluctuates depending on if you live close to a velodrome? Or do the people come from near and far?
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
    Summoner of Crickets
    http://edozbicycles.wordpress.com/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/edozbicycles/
    In Before the Lock

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Super glad to have you here Megan Dean. Sounds like your dreams are born from real and true life experience which in my estimation is an honorable way to live.
    Hearing that you make bikes with your hands, paper/pencil a torch and files TOTALLY makes my day. Given all the changes in your life, this was born from that.
    Thanks! I did add BikeCad to my life last year and have no regrets about upgrading that part of my process!
    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan View Post
    Moth Attack; where did the name originate? What is your place in the market, is there a style you specialize in?
    Thanks,
    Jonathan
    I left some granola in the cupboard of the mentioned punk house while I was gone at Yamaguchi and returned to a kitchen full of grain moths. Of course, it started as a joke and then stuck at some point. It's a bit of a nod to my grandma who wanted to be reincarnated as a moth.

    I definitely come from track and my early frames were all raced and ridden on the track or by messenger friends. It's slowed a little, but track racing in the states hasn't been thriving. I still love them and their straightforward, no fuss function.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve garro View Post
    I lived in "that" house too, that's where Team Mutant started - 6 rooms, $600 a month.

    And I like your fucking vocabulary, it's a prerequisite for fillet brazing, IMO.

    What music are you into now?

    PS, dogs rule!

    - Garro.
    I can't have kids because I couldn't avoid raising foul-mouthed sailors.

    I am starting to rely heavily on spotify in the shop because I can make playlists for everything. I'm a punk kid at heart, and that never goes away. I have a habit of brazing to things that are more instrumental though. Explosions in the Sky, some ambient black metal, doomy heavy slow stuff!

    Dogs forever!

    Quote Originally Posted by edoz View Post
    Hey Megan, good to see this.
    You seem to do a lot of track frames, do you find your business fluctuates depending on if you live close to a velodrome? Or do the people come from near and far?
    That's slowed a bit these days for sure. I haven't completely figured out if that is because I haven't been near an open track since 2013, or if it's just part of the cycle track racing seems to go in. That said, most of my more recent track frames have gone to people out of state. Some racers I know from racing, some who started as total strangers. I'm enjoying the surge of road and cross though. Never a dull moment.
     

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by mothattack View Post
    Thanks! I did add BikeCad to my life last year and have no regrets about upgrading that part of my process!
    BikeCAD is the best $350 I ever spent on framebuilding.
    Eric Doswell, aka Edoz
    Summoner of Crickets
    http://edozbicycles.wordpress.com/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/edozbicycles/
    In Before the Lock

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    I like hand drawing, but if I never have to move rolls of drawings around again, I'd be happy. It was the third move out of state that got me there.
     

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Good story-
    Punk rock rulz! Big fan of hard core when I braze.

    I dig your style, I would love to see more.

    what / who are your biggest influences in this business?
    Hinmaton Hisler

    Making like it's going out of style __________________________________________________ ___________________________ SMOKED OUT

    Stijl Cycles
    LocoMachine
    Tektonics Design Group
    Fern & Roby



    LocoMachine
    Stijl Cycles
    Tektonics
    Fern & Roby

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Welcome aboard. How is the team sponsorship stuff going for you?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stijl Cycles View Post
    what / who are your biggest influences in this business?
    I definitely carry my punk and messenger background with me and the influences from there. Both put me around a lot of strong, motivated, humble and interesting characters and that shaped a lot of who I am. I think it's kinda terrifying going full time in this business and I don't know if I would have considered it without the attitude I gained from that. As far as other builders go, I think it varies and often comes from personal connections I develop with other builders. You could go through the list of Smoked Out builders here and I could probably find something about any one of them that gets me stoked.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Estlund View Post
    Welcome aboard. How is the team sponsorship stuff going for you?
    I'm SO excited about the team. I got the chance to sit down with everyone a couple weeks ago and get a good foundation for what everyone expected. They were horrified when I raised a repeat concern from other builders about sponsored riders flipping their team bikes. We should have bikes and kits rolling well before cross season and they've all taken on ownership of the team doing well and making a positive impact in women's racing. We've got great support rolling in as well and are starting with a 2 year commitment from everyone. I think it'll be worth just reminding folks I don't only build track bikes.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    I was looking for an easy way to dump some photos from the mobile site, but it was easier to grab them from my computer!

    Built myself a new bike for the first time in a while. Stainless+Carbon seat tube. I'm hanging parts on it shortly, but here's with a bit of the sanding done.
    image3.JPG

    My new badass team all in one place. They'll be crushing the SF area soon.
    image4.JPG

    And another view of the coupled track frame Too Tall already posted a shot of.
    image5.JPG

    New musettes my beast is modeling.
    image1.JPG

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Welcome Megan. I am not as familiar with your work as others, so it is nice to see you here and be able to see more of your work.

    Best of luck to you now and into the future.

    Kris @ 44 Bikes
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
    www.44bikes.com · Flickr · Facebook · Instagram

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mothattack View Post
    I definitely carry my punk and messenger background with me and the influences from there. Both put me around a lot of strong, motivated, humble and interesting characters and that shaped a lot of who I am. I think it's kinda terrifying going full time in this business and I don't know if I would have considered it without the attitude I gained from that.
    Me too - all the way.

    Ever watch "We Jam Econo?"

    The opening scene here with Mike Watt says it for me.

    - Garro.

    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Yeah! I was in LA when that came out. I managed to make it to San Pedro for the premiere. It was pretty great having a bunch of folks who stayed in Pedro and grew up around that scene in the crowd.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mothattack View Post
    Yeah! I was in LA when that came out. I managed to make it to San Pedro for the premiere. It was pretty great having a bunch of folks who stayed in Pedro and grew up around that scene in the crowd.
    RAD!

    Would it be too forward to ask your age?

    - Garro.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Favorite homemade tools
    Visual influence(s)
    Best race scene

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Moth Attack

    Quote Originally Posted by mothattack View Post
    Yeah! I was in LA when that came out. I managed to make it to San Pedro for the premiere. It was pretty great having a bunch of folks who stayed in Pedro and grew up around that scene in the crowd.
    My wife Lynn was firmly embedded in the scene and saw the Minutemen along with many other seminal Punk and Hardcore bands live. She even recounts seeing some bands for their first show ever. So one thing I am blessed with: One HELL of a record / 7" collection (hers of course...). Many first pressings and rarity's are in the collection. Tuesday's are typically vinyl days here.
    Kristofer Henry : 44 BIKES : Made to Shred™
    www.44bikes.com · Flickr · Facebook · Instagram

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve garro View Post
    RAD!

    Would it be too forward to ask your age?

    - Garro.
    31. I fell into a really tight circle of local punk and hardcore kids around 14. Lots of older folks who always made sure I got places and stayed safe. Vegas has never been a place that encouraged any subcultures, but it was always a resourceful group of people who somehow let me tag along while I figured things out.

    Quote Originally Posted by fortyfour View Post
    My wife Lynn was firmly embedded in the scene and saw the Minutemen along with many other seminal Punk and Hardcore bands live. She even recounts seeing some bands for their first show ever. So one thing I am blessed with: One HELL of a record / 7" collection (hers of course...). Many first pressings and rarity's are in the collection. Tuesday's are typically vinyl days here.
    That's basically the dream. I am always jealous of my friends who were old enough for those days!

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