Saturday, March 17, 2018

You know me ?

I'm not sure what the reason is but whatever I do in my career that might be of note is maybe not enough for some people- There's the factual building of frames over the last four decades, the participation and sponsorship of the odd bicycle race and of course my sporadic presence at trade shows. These are all verifiable and in some cases actually documented in writing on the web and every once in awhile in print. I seldom go out of my way to call attention to what I do unless I stumble upon something that resonates with a portion of the cycling community , or in the case of certain ironies that I find really funny. There is evidence of this stuff if you look for it although few people find the need.
There are other stories that do not originate from my own actions or writings that crop up every now and then- I have no idea where they originate from but they are out there and a few of them have gotten back to me personally. These stories usually make me smile and occasionally laugh out loud- the motivation for the creation of these stories is a complete mystery to me. The fact that anyone is talking about what I do at all is flattering, even if it is totally made up.
Story # 1. " Yeah, Paul is making me a titanium mountain bike frame and it should be done really soon." . This story was circulating ( albeit, a very tiny circle) a number of years ago . I do not build titanium frames. I only built one ever and it was over 20 years was not a super fun experience so I didn't build another. Here is a person who never actually ordered a frame, probably someone I have never met telling a story about a frame I was never building. Pretty funny in my book.
Story # 2. " Rock Lobster ? I heard that Paul got sued for using someone else's design and closed up shop years ago." I was told this at the UPS counter I go to nearly every week to ship out product. I heard the story from three UPS drivers in one day.......I asked about the origin of the story but didn't get a idea where the story originated. The only reason I would use someone else's design would be that said person was directing and paying me to do so. I use my own designs-not that I am God's gift to bicycle design but hey- 40 years of frame building has taught me something. Out of business ? Wow......then why am I still working my ass off ? Sued ?  Hey- nobody told me I was being sued.....this story is really a whopper and I wonder why it exists at all. Do I have a fierce enemy out there ? Does someone really want me to go away that much ? - I'm sure I'll never know.
Story # 3. "Hey, are those guys up the street at *************** Bicycle company beating up on you and giving you a hard time ? Really ?  I have built frames for at least six people working at this company. In 2000-2001 I built frames for their cyclocross team that were branded by this company. They were pretty much prototypes for a model this company introduced months later. I get my shipping cartons from this company and feel that they are my friends- I'm willing to do any work they ask me to do. Out of all the bicycle companies out there they are my closest ally.

All I can say is that the folks that came up with these stories are aiming really low.....making stuff up about a one-man operation building a couple frames a week is kind of flattering-that this fiction is newsworthy enough to eventually get back to me is a bit of a nod to my small significance in a big world. I'm not unhappy about these stories , even if they are very far off the mark. I look forward to more of the same- the wilder, the better ! Something like : " Paul moved his shop to the island of Yap and only builds frames built of the native free-range bamboo." Or, " Rock Lobster was bought by a large conglomerate that produces slow-cookers and anti-personell mines." Or, " Paul had to leave the country as he was involved in a huge Bitcoin scandal-he now is in the FBI witness protection program."
Make up your own.....hey, no such thing as bad publicity !

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