1). You may not recall, but when I was planning my first custom frame, I had the pleasure of talking to you as you were about to start your year away from framebuilding (while in the midwest with your better half). I remember you were in the middle of deciding whether to go back to grad school, and since I am in the field you were thinking of studying, I gently encouraged you toward grad school. But it sounds like things have worked out in a good direction, and I think you will be happy with this. Not too many people can do what you already know how to do. And you certainly have a number of fans over here. Also, I can speak from experience, there are some real advantages to not being in the same field as one's spouse (she can't second-guess me over dinner, and I can't second guess her). In any event, it is good to see you thriving.
2). Separate idea, more of a business idea. My first sport was running, and I run the Boston Marathon every now and then (didn't run it this year, but did it last year, and may do it next -- and several of my clubmates ran it this week). I suspect I am not the only runner who also has a thing for bikes. Have you and the other local custom builders ever considered having a local Boston-area builders show during the Marathon weekend? Most of us are in town for 3 days, and we can't spend the whole time at the Expo and eating pasta. If there were a small bicycle show within walking distance of the Expo, I suspect it would get foot traffic from folks who otherwise couldn't travel all the way to Boston for a visit. A quick count off the top of my head of builders in the Boston area includes you, Mooney, of course IF and Seven, and a couple famous guys are just down the road in Connecticut. Just a thought.
Yrs, Eric in Seattle
Huh? What? I was shocked. I had sent them samples of Long Shen lugs. How long have companies in the Far East been casting bicycle lugs at 1.2 mm wall? Many, many years. I asked the guy "you're telling me that you don't have the capabilities to do this, even though you are making precision castings for aerospace and medical?". The answer was "Yup". I started making other calls. Most didn't want to talk to me due to the small volume. Honestly, I think that was the issue with the first company as well, but rather than turn me away for that they used a technical hurdle.
So that left me a ways behind. In a positive twist of fate, about the same time as this was all happening a few cast items came back into production and I am thrilled to be back using those. Part of what was driving the project in the first place were these head lugs going away. Now that they are back, I'm happy to modify those as I need to and press on.
I'm not saying the project is dead, but I need to focus on building bikes for the time-being.
yo zank - what's your take on the public's (at large) view of hand-built frames atmo?
i mean, there's a large segment that missed a preceding era or three and have no
depth when it comes to understanding the niche. these days, most folks view a
racing bicycle as those used by pros. it's been a long time since framebuilding and
the sport ran together. do you ever get the, "if your bicycles are that good how
come lance uses a trek?" stuff thrown at you? does it matter to you? do you have
a reply to folks who feel this way? i wrestle with that framebuilding has this quaint
and ye olde crap placed on its doorstep and have developed my own filters. what's
the company line at your place.
and, just because it's friday in oz and i am feeling casual i have to add:
massachusetts fikcung rocks imho.
A career in medicine was something I thought about as early as high school. Of course, I was encouraged to do engineering though because "I could get a good job right out of school". All I had to take in addition to my engineering course load to basically be pre-med was bio. Then I met my wife-to-be in college. She was chemistry/pre-med and we met in a physical chemistry class that was a combined class for ChE and Chem majors. Anyway, we then married when she was in her first year of med school. I lived vicariously through her every step of the way. I enjoyed volunteering. I thought medicine was eventually going to be my path. I came to a tough realization though. My heart wasn't in it the way my head was. After working through a lot of inner turmoil, I figured out that one of the big reasons I wanted to do it was to prove to myself that I could. Yikes. How selfish is that? All the while I was loving the bikes. In the end, the decision itself was easy. The path to making it was not.
I'm feeling you regarding scaling up for bigger production. That makes sense. I was always amazed with how efficiently and to such high standards Seven was able to make bikes during my time there. Giving this more thought over the past day or two, I suppose a fear I have is the business would lose the identity and purpose that I want it to have. Maybe it's easier in my mind to justify not going down that path using the excuse of how hard it would be to scale up rather than just confronting the realization that deep down I just want to preserve the business as it is.
Geez, you guys are giving me lots to chew on here.
I'll have to hunt around. There are so many awesome bikes that have been made over the past decade. I'll get some up for you. Here's one to start though. The bikes of Sven Nys at Treviso Worlds. I loved how simple and purposefully specked the bikes were. The tools of a master.
Great to hear from you! I certainly remember your advice. I was lucky to have a number of great people to bounce ideas off of. Thanks for taking the time with me.
That's an interesting idea. I've always wondered about having an event concurrently with another event or a race. I can certainly see the up side. There are a whole bunch of like minded people in town. But the thing that worries me is would it be too easy for the attendees to blow off the framebuilding event if things weren't going perfectly with their race prep for example. Other folks have suggested doing something the same weekend as D2R2, but I have similar concerns. Maybe the only way to find out is to try it.
there are things when I build a frame I don't like to do and their are others I wish I could do all day long. Do you have a process or a part that you feel stoked to accomplish or one you could do without?