Listmembers and Dear Friends,
My how time flies when you're suffering like a dog! Where DOES the time go? Some may have noticed I haven't been writing much lately. I have been desperately trying to focus on getting some framework done. It has been difficult to accomplish this year. The new millinium has gotten off to a slow start for many people I've spoken with. But as of today a breakout year is just underway. My personal focus has shifted to 80% framebuilding and 20% paint and restoration. That is the reverse of my previous approach to my personal hell of trying to be all things to all people (which is very difficult for one person to do) in this business. Framebuilding and painting are two completely different diciplines.
Having redirected a certain amount of energy to attending the Cirque this past year; I further complicated my regular routine by agreeing to help out a local musical instrument company in a painter crisis. Like they say; "no good deed goes unpunished" because the 3 hour-a-day temporary situation was an all day affair almost from the start. Within a week I had a good dose of carpel tunnel syndrome in BOTH hands. It took a month to worm out of that deal. I've been trying to sort things out ever since. I'm almost in complete control again; another couple of months perhaps.
Thanks to this list and this fine group of persons, my personal interest in vintage lightweights has grown this past year. I must be very careful not to get carried away since I have have more interests than I have time or money; but I'm hoping I've learned much from this past year sliding sideways and intend to focus promarily on framebuilding and my band. Everything else will diminish in priority from there, although learning how to actually USE a computer is a goal this year also.
As a framebuilder my philosophy will be this. I will attemp to NOT build any frames that are not built with vintage tubing and lugs. Investment cast parts will be avoided unless it is neccessary. I also plan to build a series of "Famous Frame Replicas" for my personal collection which will have to take place over the course of several years. So far I intend to build replicas of the following frames/bikes:
Early 60's Masi Special track bike (underway) Fausto Coppi "pokkerissimo" track bike Eddy Merckx Colnago hour record track bike Mario Confente road bike Hetchins Vibrant track bike w/ Experto Crede lugs
That's all I can think of off hand that I know I have, or can get the bits, to make them. I'm sure there will be some suggestions forthcomming. BTW, I recieved the first of the ultimately two Flying Scot frames I will own from our friend and gentelman Bob Reid in Scotland. It's in primer ready to be refinished, jut the way I like 'em. She arrived safely and she's a beauty. It's exactly my size save for the TT length which will require me to use bars with a short reach combined with an 8 to 9 cm stem, no big deal. The frame is very nicely constructed and features a somewhat uncommon Prugnaut lugset; dont know the model number off hand. They're the ones that Schwinn used on the Paramounts for one year around 1967 or '68 I think. Thanks again to Bob Reid for digging this one up for me; I can hardley wait to build her up and take her out to the pub. I'll lift one for you, Bob!
Anyway, a year of focusing is ahead. A year of forward (not sideways) progress and a deeper interest in cool bikes is underway. I have a list of topics I've left hanging lately. I shall make good on them in time. They include the "Dave Tesch" story, a resurfacing of the decal consortium project, and the "Masi Timeline" project. I hope everyone realizes there's only one of me; even if I do have three arms, two brains, four stomachs, and six toes per foot I'm still just one person. If nothing else, I've learned this past year that there REALLY is only 24 hours in one day and that I don't have as much energy now as I had when I was younger. Man, that's a harsh reality to face when ones enthusiasum continues to boil. Just have to suck it up and get over it. That's what this new year is for me; I'm over it, now it's time to get back to business.
I wish a happy and prosperous New Year to everyone on the list; most especially those nearly 500 lurkers whose names we've never seen on the listings. You all now officially have my permission to proceed into the new year with abandon, sucking up every bike that blows your dress up wheather you need it or not! Proceed!
Thank you all very much for being such great friends and good company.
Brian Baylis La Mesa, CA Now back to my cave to hibernate a bit longer.