I don't know about you, but I have a few regrets when I reflect on my life. I'm not just talking about the bike building thing-I'm talking about regrets that haunt me....in my dreams, in my general life. Some of these regrets were from times when I didn't stand up for myself-I was one of those kids who got bullied and picked on, an outcast for the most part. Maybe this blog is my way of getting back at people who I thought were out of line and used their pushy nature to force me into a retreat of sorts, a backing down from what I stood for or identified with. This fuel for my fire isn't the healthiest of propellants but no amount of trying to pretend to evolve in some sort of phony new age consciousness can put this twisted fire out. Lets face it-some folks are prone to being bastards. I regret all the times I have been such a bastard and possibly hurt some folks needlessly . Whew, now that that's over I can tell you the next tale of woe. A phenomonon that is a part of any sort of profession has been the tendency of folks elevating their favorite such and such to sainthood. There are some really great craftsmen in our trade that deservingly command huge respect for the impeccability of their craft and unflagging dedication towards excellence in what they do. Excellence such as this is justly rewarded with the respect of the framebuilding community at large and the buying public. Some of these builders attain the status of demi-gods , almost other worldly 'saints of the torch' in peoples eyes. The problem starts when these builders see themselves the same way that their fans do and practically float on air above the rest of us , ocasionally bestowing us with their wisdom and grace. I guess this kind of makes me want to vomit. What are we ? We are blacksmiths , welders, filers, sawers , cursing loathsome beaters of metal into bicycle frames. While some of us can make art out of the tubes, lugs and paint , the thing that all of us are presumed to produce is of course, something to be ridden- a bicycle. What I fail to fully understand is why there has been a trend toward making bicycle frames that look impressive but that are in effect impractical objects du art that might collapse if ridden off a curb a few too many times. Some builders are so hell-bent on becoming the 'saints' of the trade that they are failing to become good bike builders. I feel that the blame belongs to some of the builders that are cultivating a 'Concours d' elegance ' approach to marketing , a real promotion of exclusivity for the folks lucky enough to get one of their shiny rolling exhibits . While I do belive that there is room for art in bicycles I also feel that it needs to be tempered by the original identity of the bicycle , a form of transportation. Many of the top craftsmen in the buisness build this way-the art is merely an expression carried by the fully functional and reliable bicycle. The builders that go for the aesthetic touches without making sound decisions in regards to the bikes fit , ride or durability are pretty much taking the M.T.V. approach to building :" Who cares what it can do, what is the most important is the visual aspect and what kind of status it can represent." You know what I think.......make up your own mind what kind of bike you want to be on when you are going on your next ride.