[CR]Re:Mikkelsen Repair

(Example: History:Ted Ernst)

Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2007 19:12:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: <crankyrigger@alamedanet.net>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Re:Mikkelsen Repair

I had a very amusing repair with Bernie Mikkelsen. I had a custom track frame built by a less reliable local builder, and it came out with misaligned axle slots. I was riding it and haggling with the original builder, then one day an uninsured motorist backed into me in traffic. He just grazed me and bent the left seatstay. That made the original builder even less agreeable to my complaints. I called Mikkelsen, whose shop was only a mile from my workplace at the time, but he wasn't eager to get involved. After a few weeks I stripped the frame down and called him again. I told him I was leaving on business for a couple of weeks and could leave it there with no deadline. He reluctantly agreed.

Upon my arrival he interrupted his political ranting and looked at the frame. He spoke unflatteringly of the original builder as he put the frame in the vise. He handed me an auto body dolly wrapped in leather and showed me where to hold it, then he whacked the seatstay with a rawhide mallet. What was a significant curve was changed to a subtle s-curve. He then filed the axle slot and whacked the dropout with the same mallet. He charged me five (1985) dollars.

It was an experience I will always treasure. The frame ended up with better alignment than the day I took delivery, but I don't think I would take my Rivendell there for a tube replacement. I think he's pretty much a tig guy now anyway.

Mike Fennelly
Alameda, CA USA