If not now you do. I'M BACK, after my extended hiatus to "get stuff done." I've been lurking for a couple weeks and decided I should announce my reentry back to the list. So anyway. . . when last we saw our hero he was getting ready to start building frames under the Ivycycles moniker. Well two thing happened that has kept that goal at bay for the time being. First I was unable to keep flammable gasses at my apartment/workspace, thus making it quite difficult to join lugs and tubes with fire. Second was I found surfing. As many of you know I'm now in beautiful Santa Barbara, California where small waves lap the sands everyday. It's a great and fun sport with a lot in common with cycling as far as lifestyle and personalities. Alas this all means Ivycycles is on the back burner for the time being. Though I've still got some designs going on and I'm mitering and jigging Mitzi's mixtie.
I've noticed a lot of new names on the list so here's the whole bio
rundown. I'm an unrepentant bike nut and geek. I'm 33 (as of
tomorrow) and married to Mitzi who's a great companion and bike nut.
I play a kinda accountant for the UCSB Chemical Engineering
department, while Mitz is an Ph.D candidate in Art History here.
I've been a cyclist for about 25 years and spent 15 of those as a
professional mechanic. If it's a bicycle I've owned it or worked on
it. Right now I own about a dozen bikes with a few of them actually
classic and the others are just different. I've gone through my
fat-tire cruiser phase, my Italian and British bike phase, my
go-fast bike phase, my 70s-80s bike phase, but now I'm over all that.
You might also know one of my web pages
Now the stuff I'm interested now is small builders stuff from between the American bike booms, roughly 1915-196. I like interesting bikes like the Hurtu that was listed the other day. You guys can keep your Raleigh's and Masi's, I'll take an early Albert Eisentraut, "Pop" Brennan, or Alex Singer anyday. I've never been a very good racer so I don't really care about "go fast" bikes and I really like bikes designed to take a beating. I really like rough-stuff bikes, though so little information is available for them in the states. I also have a soft spot for older tandems and rue the day that I sold my prewar Barre tandem. I've also started looking at Japanese bikes more these days. The exception to my "go fast" rules are track bikes, I love the track since it's cycling in its simplest form. I've long gotten over my Campagnolo blindness and though I still have boxes of the stuff it just bores me now. I'll take Sturmey-Archer, Suntour, and Mavic any day over another Record deraileur to shift my gears, and Weyless or Maxi-Car to spin my wheels.
I believe a bike is more interesting with it's battle scars, restored bikes leave me cold. This is not to say no bikes should ever be restored, but bikes that show their miles are much more interesting to me. Bikes with mismatching rims, some paint chips, and a missing headbadge tells a story. Period correct restored bikes really don't tell you anything about what the bike's been through over all those years. It's really where you draw the line on "how trashed is trashed?" Also, wether you're more into history or aesthetics. I count some of the "big name" restorers as my friends so don't take these words as bashing the lads and ladies in that profession. With all that said I do have some bikes that will be restored since they have more battle wounds than scars. The ride or not to ride question is always interesting. If it's restored ride it, it can always be restored again. If it all original that's another matter. I REALLY believe in preservation of history. It not that these bikes should never be ridden, but they should be ridden very carefully and at appropriate times. And there's nothing wrong with lending bikes to a museum. The reason we have so little information on bikes made 50+ years ago is because no one ever thought about preservation then. I really believe we need to leave things for the bike geeks to come so that they will have the answers we don't. Think of how nice it would be to have the information and evidence to answer a lot of the questions that come up. Instead we have a lot of 3rd hand information, speculation, and educated guesses. We're not going to be there in person to answer all the questions in the future, but it's up to us to assure the questions get answered.
Well I think I've bored you folks tears by now, so to close I'll just say I like bikes.
monkeylad aka monkeyman (known the the IRS as Brandon Ives)
way too sunny Santa Barbara, Caifornia
PS: Some of you might note that I'm now monkeylad, but you can still call me monkeyman. Just don't call me late for beer.