I have been blessed in my life with the ability to do a few things well. I am also blessed that there are certain people who appreciate my past work. I was asked just yesterday if I got tired of receiving emails from people telling me how much they love the bike that I built.
Actually I am humbled by it; after all there are many people in this world who dedicate their lives to the service of others, and probably only receive a fraction of the thanks I get for having built a few bicycle frames. I am sometimes embarrassed by it, but to say I was tired of it would be to take this appreciation for granted.
I was amazed and deeply touched when I was presented with this bike on my birthday 2009. The parts were donated by twelve people, from different locations all over the US; most of them I have not met. The bike was assembled and delivered to me by long time friend Dale Brown, who owns Cycles d’Oro a bike store in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Last week I made a few minor changes to the bike. I replaced the saddle with a Brooks honey colored leather saddle; I felt this complimented the color of the frame which is a metallic red. The original paint incidentally.
I found some gold brake cable housing that went nicely with the gold decals; I re-taped the handlebars with some tan colored cork tape, which I cord-whipped to secure the ends. I covered the handlebar end plugs with canvas to match the tape, and finally I put several coats of clear shellac over the tape and end plugs which I think is a nice finishing touch.
I built the frame in 1983, it is size 53 cm. Here are some pictures.