2.01.2011

talk is moving into action

well...
it is finally happening
my Bakfiet on the Cheap is underway
my effort to find all the right parts never happened
but
I was able to gather some parts to be RE-CYCLED-RE-USED-RE-PURPOSED

Adam and I have been talking about bike projects for decades
years ago we had a friend who had a studio on The Hill
it was an old Carriage House that was used as art studio space by a variety of craftsmen
Russel was a sculptor who worked in metal

we never build anything
we talked about it
but we never built anything

then a decade later Adam gets back from visiting family in Amsterdam and tells me he is building a box bike... or as the Dutch call it a bakfiet

he mentioned it... I mentioned some resources
Adam shrugged his shoulders not taking any concern for my long list of URLS and different terms to search GOOGLE
no... Adam had poked his head around a few bakfiets in Amsterdam and thought he had a good idea how it all worked

sure enough... weeks later with no more discussion on the topic I am visiting Adam
and what do I see
Adam has in fact built his bakfiet
not only had he build this beautiful box bike
but Adam was using this hodge podge that looked like it was constructed by a Dutch Fat Albert and the Gang

I rode it...
it worked...
it was fun....
far from perfect
but most definitely a smile producing experience
I though I wanted one
after that ride I knew I needed one

so... I talked to Adam about building a bakfiet
Adam said sure... bring over a few bikes and we will build it
I tried to talk about design
Adam just shrugged his shoulders and said sure... bring over a few bikes and we will build it

sure enough... I have a number of old bikes
but... I really had an idea in my head
unlike Adam who used whatever bikes he could find in a few weeks of looping around the alley's of Capitol Hill
I had an idea... I did not know why... but I knew that it was the standard convention for the bakfiet to have a smaller front wheel
Adam ignored this convention

I also felt that I would like Disc Brakes in the front
so... I started looking
piece by piece I collected all sorts of part bikes that people were throwing away
if I were crossing town and I saw a bike in someone's trash I would stop my car and back it up
toss the bike in the back and then get back on course

never did I get what I wanted
I was looking for a 20 or 24 inch wheel with a disc option
what was I thinking?
buying was not an option... this project is all about RECYCLE REUSE REPURPOSE
I knew I would be able to get what I needed

eventually I got rid of all that stuff
thinking that none of these bmx frames and whatnot would help me get any closer to where I needed to be
well... that front end never did produce itself
but...
I did have the back end of my Jamis Exile that I broke at Schaeffer Farms last august

it made sense
a monster needs a monster bike
a beast needs a beast size bike

I would go with what I had
a 29 Inch Rear Wheel and a 26 Inch Front wheel

what bike would I use for the front?
at first I thought I would use my old Kona Explosif or maybe my old Rocky Mountain Blizzard
but each of those had suspension forks... actually the explosif has no fork at all
and I wanted this rig to have disc in the front

so I put out the word to the DCMTB listserve
no luck
I came up empty
brother can you spare a dime

no dice rock slice
NOTHING
well... almost nothing
Vince emailed me saying he still had an old trek fram
a bike I had salvaged from the trash on the way to a team meeting
it was low end crap from the days of seven speed
no wheels
but it had most of what I needed to get the rest of this thing together

to my pleasure Vince happened to be coming into the city and delivered the bike to my porch almost as fast as he had replied by email

so...
today i did it
I went over to Adam's house with a Honda Element filled with scrap bikes
all sorts of bikes and bike parts looking to be reanimated


Kona Humma Humma Nuka Kuka Ah Pua Ah

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