8 years later
how does hope look in hindsight?
if you're only 3 years old
it looks like a Barack Obama basketball found in Beer Sheva park
call me in 2020
we'll talk about 2024
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when I finally quit this nonprofit shit once and for all I am not going to open a bike shop
or maybe it's already open in my garage but it's always closed
I wrote this bit years and years and years ago and it keeps coming up like acid reflux
because it's still true
When I finally quit this messenger shit, once and for all, I’m going to open a bike shop. A big bright historic space with huge store front windows and high ceilings and wood floors. With passive solar heating in the winter, and well placed shade in the summer. I’m going to work there all the time, six or seven days a week. The shop will be beautiful, stocked with every bike tool ever invented. French, Italian, Japanese, you name it, I will have it, hung neatly on the shop walls. Everything in its place. A place for everything. I will have two Campagnolo Cork Screws with Cherry handles. I will have seven different kinds of bike tool bottle openers. I will have four brands of headset presses. The 3000 square foot work space will have work stands and tools for 5 full-time mechanics, so I can work on 5 of my bikes all at once. Two air compressors enclosed in sound proof cases. Truing stands bolted down to work benches 42.5 inches off the ground. I will have two Phil Wood spoke cutters/threaders. There will be cement floors and drains built in so I can hose it all down when the kegs overflow or the chainlube explodes or the cat pukes or the shit hits the fan. I will have shop dogs and shop cats. The bike book library will be monumental. The furniture will be well designed, attractive, comfortable and functional. There will be no non-dairy creamer. The coffee will be good. The beer will be cold. There will be wholesale accounts with everyone and everyone. Paul, Phil, Chris, Grant, Brooks, Mavic, Moots, Sachs, Sidi, Swobo....
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It was a dark and stormy night when I reached up and pulled an investment cast steel seat collar off a hook on my workbench and put it in my left front pocket before I headed out to the company holiday party because I knew there was a good chance I was going to see Steve Gluckman there as he’s on the board of directors. When I arrived early Steve was already there and when I got around to chatting with him I said “I’ve got something for you” and before it got to his hand he knew exactly what it was. He smiled and said “lost wax” and told me a bit about the process and we had an interesting conversation about bike companies and the choices they make in production and OE. I like to visualize a large conference room table at Novara in the late 90s where someone was able to convince all the other someones that these sweet steel seat collars were a good idea and I’d like to thank that someone 19 years later and say “good call”
I’ve stripped a shit load of busted bikes for parts down to the bottle cage bolts and seat collars do not go unnoticed. In 2016 we received no less than 7,547 donated bicycles. That's a lot of seat collars, seat post binder bolts, quick releases and straight-up seized seat posts. Over the past 4.67 years I’ve collected several of these steel collars but didn’t really realize they were from Novara until recently while in the men's room I read this review from November 1999 Bicycling magazine where the coolest thing about the bike was the sweet steel seat collar and then it all came together.
If you don’t know who Steve Gluckman is, this story will help and after you read that I’d like to point out that I have at least 3 examples of Steve's first bike computer in my archives. If you don’t know what Novara means...
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