It has been over six months since I posted an update here. I feel I should at least post this story, because of the actions of a very special group of bike enthusiasts.
In January this year I got an email from an old friend, Dale Brown. Dale owns the bike store Cycles de Oro in Greensboro, North Carolina, he sold many of my frames when I had my framebuilding business in California, back in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Dale mentioned that he was coming down to the Charleston, SC area on business and wanted to stop by to see me. As a result, Dale arrived at my house earlier this month, on my birthday to be precise. It became apparent that the “Business trip” story was a ruse, and he had made a special trip to deliver, as he dubbed it a “Tribute Bike.”
Flash back to a year or so ago, I had lamented (Probably right here on my bike blog,) that I had never saved one of my top of the line custom frames for myself. These are extremely rare as I only built 216 of them in California during the 1980s. (As opposed to my production frames that I built several thousand.)
Out of that 216, only about 15 were a size that would fit me. My chance of finding one was extremely remote as owners do not usually part with them and they rarely come up for sale.
I should mention that Dale Brown is also the man behind the Classic Rendezvous website, that has an email chat list where members talk about vintage steel bikes. CR list member Loren Youde (Who owns a Recherché mentioned here.) suggested, unbeknownst to me, that people who appreciated my work should look out for a suitable frame.
As a result, a group of twelve people for all over the US. As far afield as California, Dallas, TX, Chicago, IL, and Connecticut and New Jersey in the East, donated a frame and others donated parts to build it into a bike. They found a 53cm. frame that I built in 1983, with original paint in almost new condition.
I was blown away to say the least at the generosity of this group of people, most of whom I have never met. I emailed each of the group individually to thank them, and to let them know I will treasure this bike always.
I still have a hard time taking in the significance of what happened, and this occurs every day when I look at the bike. It is like winning a bike “Oscar.”
Dale Brown told me that he and other members of the group did not want their names mentioned here or elsewhere. However, Dale I have mentioned as I feel he went above and beyond. He assembled the bike, and made a special trip to my house to present the bike to me on my birthday. The least I can do is give his bike store a plug, and the CR site. Loren I mentioned because he instigated the whole thing.
The rest of the group, you know who you are, and my heartfelt thanks go out to all of you. The picture at the top is of my smiling self, taken by Dale Brown right after he presented the bike. More pictures of the bike can be viewed on the Classic Rendezvous site here.