Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why do we do it ?

What a strange and potentially frustrating thing to do with one's life.....to build bicycle frames for a living. I have done a few things to keep a roof over my head-worked graveyard at a donut shop ....no I didn't put the holes in the donuts. I worked at a Mexican restaurant , a furniture store , played guitar in just about every shit-hole bar and restaurant in northern California , spent eleven years in bicycle shops wrenching and selling -I even was a house cleaner for one summer. Little did I know that I would wind up spending 40-50 hours a week cutting and welding expensive tubing together. Twenty-two years in fulltime buisness and I'm still at it-maybe you might wonder why, maybe not-hell, I'll tell you not why I do this every day. Wrong Reason # 1, to get laid. It's a common misconception ( like that ?) that lighting a torch will get you a groupie.....at least a female one. # 2, to get the respect of my parents.......that's downright laughable: " So your boy is a Velder ? Vot dose he veld.......the Brooklyn Bridge ? The Sears Tower ? .....Bicycles ! oy, soch a buisness-where did we go wrong ? # 3, to gain notoriety......as I have found, there are easier and much funnier ways to gain notoriety......#4, to make myself feel that I am better than someone else, most likely another framebuilder (s).........that kind of emptiness is way too scary to contemplate. O.K.,Here's my reason, or at least the reason for the day : I like to go to the races and see my bikes go around in circles being ridden by the most jolly folks I know-then sometimes I like to make a fool of myself and go out there,too and go around in circles-pointlessly trying to keep up with real atheletes.....I also like the bitch of a challenge that this line of work presents-how it shows me daily what a stupid moron I can be, then a minute later it will reveal that I have learned something after all these years-something that i can get excited about, something that I will notice on the next bike that makes me glad that I haven't given up yet. I like to share these discoveries with my jolly friends and see if they think that the latest edition is better than the previous one. It's not a planned obsolesence thing, Hell-I am walking and talking planned obsolesence...I'm 53 years old and battered from years of clutzy bike incedents.....what I get excited about is evolution. I guess if you don't believe in evolution, the concept is useless to you. Absence of developement, forward thinking and experimentation would kill the whole thing for me, just as lack of tradition would kill it for some other builders ( and me, too...believe it or not..) I keep at it because I know that I'll no doubt have a chance to learn something exciting every once in awhile....something that other folks can get excited about, too. I guess that was more than one reason.......

1 comment:

  1. man, i'm there. i had a moment yesterday after returning from 12 days off where i stopped and stared out the bay door & just thought, "wow, this is a hard job!" cool stuff, though. taking an idea from conception & paper and pencil through to seeing it ride away down the drive way and geting cool pics of dirty bikes in beautiful places makes my day go by! Steve.