So, I usually have some side project running along with all of my regular work. Usually something for myself or family. And it usually takes a really long time to get it done. Case in point: my new city bike/light touring bike. It's been in progress since about the first day I moved into my shop here in Portland, over a year and half ago. Meant to be a somewhat simple bike, TIG welded nothing too fancy, it was supposed to be quick and dirty and get it done style. Things don't always go as planned.
I didn't have any customers lined up when I started working on it. Then the frameset orders started trickling in. And the frame repair jobs. And the working nearly full time at my 'day job'. And the taking care of my kiddo. Not to mention that occasionally I like to do things other than working.
Customers always come first. Well, no. Actually customers come second, sorry folks. Kiddo comes first. Keeping a day job pays the bills right now. And drinking a beer with friends after work is more appealing than more working most of the time. Personal projects tend to fall by the wayside.
But I'm tenacious. I will always get things done. Even if they take a while. This frame hung on a peg at my shop for almost a year, powder coated and ready to get assembled. The parts were slowly collected from the used parts bins at the bike shop I work at. Hugi rear hub, Ultegra derailleurs, B&M head and taillights, Campy cranks and BB, Map-Ahearne bars, Paul brake levers. My box of parts reached a critical mass a couple of months ago, the last bits were ordered, wheels were laced up, and a few hours were snuck in here and there to bolt the bits to the frame. I finally finished it up last weekend.
Got to ride it around after a year and a half wait. It's a pretty damned good bike, totally worth waiting for. It rides excellently, it's very comfortable, handles a front load well, disc brakes are so good in Portland's rainy winters, and I could go on for days about how much I love generator light systems. I'm looking forward to putting a lot of miles on it. Back and forth to work, around town adventures, and a short camping trip planned for the end of the month.
So, as any bikey person knows. It was the best day of the year, New Bike Day. Always full of the promise of new places to go and new roads to roll down. Even just the experience of riding a beautiful new bike down the same routes to familiar places seems to make everything better.
More photos here.