Well, I guess it's my turn at the plate. My name is Tim O'Donnell and I am Shamrock Cycles. Many of the builders you have read about, and will soon read about in the coming weeks and months, are single man operations. I am no different. I build em all and paint em as well. Some of these builders found themselves working in a shop building because they had a passion for building and chose that path. Richard is a perfect example. Other builders, like Zank, discovered building a bit more organically. Life was headed in a different direction and events or serendipity intervened and they ended up leaned over a bench with file in hand. I am one of the latter.
My father worked construction for 38 years. He worked his entire life outdoors in mud and shitty conditions because that was the only thing he knew. He accepted that and he busted his ass to be the best he could. The old man taught me carpentry, brazing, welding, etc. I started building furniture in college. Largely out of necessity. I had no money but an apartment with nothing to put in it. While nothing terribly impressive at the time, I took a staggering amount of pride knowing that I had created something. I continued to build furniture, and my skills and abilities slowly grew. To this day I still build furniture and virtually every piece of furniture in my house came from my hands. Once my wife put her foot down that our house could hold no more furniture I started restoring old motorcycles. I knew jack shit about what went into restoring a motorcycle. In 2000 I bought a basket case 1966 Triumph Bonneville and set about bringing it back to life. I enjoyed the process and ended up restoring a few others. The process re-introduced me to metal work, painting, and torch brazing (something I hadn't done since high school).
At some point around 2002 I had moment of clarity. I was still riding and racing bikes, I had mechanical skills, I had torches and bottles out in the shop . . . it was the time to try and build a bike. I built a lugged frame for myself, which I still have and ride. I continued to build frames and continued to do things the right way and strive to improve. Flash forward to now and building frames is what I do. I am supremely fucking proud of what I do. I look forward to my day and I sleep like a baby at night knowing I am exactly where I want to be in my station in life. I don't want to be all things to all people. The bikes I build are bikes that I would want to ride and those folks that agree with me will find me.