Even though the next handbuilt bike show is a half year away , I have been giving it quite a bit of though as of late. After thinking up all sorts of really questionable plans of action I have decided to make my booth a museum of my last 33 years of cutting and welding metal together. Maybe my career has not been as notable as some ,but nobody can deny that I have been at this trade for a hell of a long time. I'm ready to let my work tell the story of the crooked and makeshift path of what I have done these past decades-I'll do this and let folks decide if what I have done has validity or merit in this year of 2011.
What my work won't tell folks is that I started out building frames as a way to broaden my skill-base in the bike business , not much more than that. Maybe getting a nice custom frame for cheap had a big part in the venture , not to mention getting to build a frame for my sister, a far better athlete than I. Other things that a booth filled with old bikes cannot tell are the years of working in a one-car garage with only a few tools-at one point building six frames that were ridden in the 1992 Olympics by the Guam pursuit team......not a record setting performance but still , it was a few of my frames cobbed together in a little garage on the world's stage of sport. Another thing not told about my career by the display would be my entry into mountain biking in 1980 by way of a separated shoulder and a twisted ankle , followed by my exit from road racing by way of a broken collarbone, dislocated finger and about an acre of road rash. Another fact not gleaned from looking at my old bikes is that I spent the first ten years trying occasionally to build a cyclocross frame - only to fail miserably.
I'm doubtful that folks coming into my booth would know that I completed Paris-Brest-Paris in 1995.....something I still can't believe I was able to do. All those years of riding all day and into the night trying to qualify for a ride I had not a clue about.....those years and all those miles are behind me- I strain to remember much of it. At a show a couple of years ago I displayed all the medals for the rides I did and perhaps one or two people over the course of the whole show gave any indication of interest.
I guess whatever I have done is largely forgettable and insignificant in view of some of the things people have done with their lives. All the same, I'm going to put it out there-1978 to 2011 , an exhibit of a life spent crafting and cursing , riding and crashing, bleeding and dreading, coaxing unfriendly alloys into things that people can slowly or rapidly destroy with glee- Two-wheeled entropy experiments that have survived to maybe not tell the tale, just show some of the twists and turns of a life spent doing strange stuff with metal. I hope you all come and see.