Overall I'd give my adventure in the MN vintage world a big thumbs up. Why? The people of course. I met the following people, all of who are passionate about bikes in general and vintage bikes in particular.
I first met Curt Goodrich in the fall of '03 when he was kind enough to invite me to his shop. FYI, Curt is a framebuilder who does the majority of building for the top tier Rivendell frames. He has an interesting, well set-up shop in a very cool brick building that used to be a General Mills R&D lab, ( not sure how much R&D flour needs............). Curt gave me the sultans tour and proudly displayed a cyclocross frameset he'd built that was just back from painting at Peter Weigle's.
Next on the list was John Barron. John graciously asked me into his home, poured me a glass of fine wine and took me downstairs to show me his stable. He had a load of interesting, mostly well-used bikes,(that's a good thing), many of the track variety. John is an active racer and his stable showed it, including a couple lugged steel frames from some local builder named Chris Kvale. After a bit of time, John took me around the corner, turned on the lights and allowed me to enter the Cinelli Shrine. WOW !!!! three sweet cinellis on the stands, one an early 70's NOS beauty. There was a sweet Bianchi there also painted by some doughnut eater from La mesa. We had a great chat and I look forward to seeing him again.
Next up, WAS that local builder Chris Kvale. Chris was very open and generous with his time. He showed me his shop setup and explained his painting / framebuilding process. I liked him immediately. Curse the bad weather and not being able to ride with him. While there I met a guy named Tom?. Turns out he was the owner of the cyclocross frame I had seen at Curt's shop several months earlier. Serendipity in action. I also briefly met another CR dude there named Neil Berg. He was picking up a sweet repaint that Chris had done. I was hoping to get back to Chris's to do a bit more bonding, but it wasn't to be on this trip. My loss since Chris is a very cool guy.
I finally hooked up with Scott Davis just a few nights ago. Scott is an intelligent, witty guy who I really enjoyed talking to. If you ever meet him ask about all the touring he's done around much of the world. As an added bonus he has a lot of cool Italian and French stuff that he often offers to the group. I'd highly recommend doing biz. with him. Scott helped me out many months ago when he was selling campy hoods to the group.
The visit was capped by a trip to One - on - One bikes, it's easy to find since it's located next to SEXWORLD. It's a combo bike shop / café / art gallery run by Gene, a mountain bike kind-of-guy, but don't hold that against him. If you ask nicely, he might take you into the basement. Captain Bikie has some excellent photo's of theQBP Frostbike party held there.
The vintage crowd is alive and well in the MN Twin Cities. Visit with confidence if you get the chance. My apologies to the list members that offered the chance to meet with them, but that I was too busy working to do so.
And special thanks to Curt and Chris for welcoming me into their shops, even though I will soon be a part of the "competition". Their openness speaks highly of the camaraderie that we all can share.
Headed back to San Diego