I attended the annual Cirque du Cyclisme in Greensboro, North Carolina last weekend. Among those attending was a veritable who’s who of super plumbers framebuilders. Here are a few who stopped to chat and gave me an opportunity to snap a picture.
Brian Baylis: Brain and I go way back to 1980 when we both worked in the Masi circus frameshop. Brian’s bike won an award at the show for "Best Original USA."
Joe Bell: I met Joe in the early 1980s and had not seen him since; I don’t remember him being this tall. Not a framebuilder but one of the most highly respected frame painters in the business. A bike Joe painted won the "Best Paint" award at the show.
Steve Belenky: I can’t remember when I first met Steve; let’s just say a long time ago. Steve picked up two awards for “Best Fancy Lugs” and “Peoples Choice.”
Richard Sachs: Richard was one of the first American builders I met when I first came to the US in 1979; it was at the New York Bike Show that year. At the time I took one look at Richard’s frames and realized I had to pay attention to aesthetics if I was to sell frames in America. Richard won “Best Race Bike” for his cyclo-cross entry.
Peter Weigle: Fine framebuilder, another one I first met sometime in the 1980s. Peter's bike won the “Best Randonneur” award.
Darrell McCulloch, Llewellyn Bicycles: Australian framebuilder and speaker at the Saturday seminars. I was dead chuffed thrilled when Darrell told me he used to read all the magazine articles about my work in the 1980s. Darrell’s bike won “Best in Show.” He is doing some amazing work with stainless steel lugs that he designs and produces himself.
Sasha White, Vanilla Bicycles: Another seminar speaker. It was interesting to hear him speak of people saying his bikes are “too beautiful to ride.” That troubled me when I used to build custom frames, and was one of the reasons I started producing the Fuso frame. Sasha is obviously a natural talent, with skills far exceeding what would be normal for someone relatively new to the framebuilding.
Darrell McCullock and Sasha White are the new generation of framebuilders who I believe will take the craft to the next level. That is, way beyond anything that has been done before.
In the closing moments of the show I spoke with Mark Nobilette, unfortunately my camera had already gone out to the car. Mark has been building since the 1970s and like many of the others I first met him sometime in the 1980s.
It was great to have the opportunity to meet many old friends and to make a few new ones.
Mon, June 11, 2007
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