When you see these older frames what are you thinking and feeling? “Wow, things have changed”, “Man, why did I do that?”, “i see how much I’ve improved”, “Dude, that was awesome. I’d forgotten bout those. I gotta do that one my next bike”
i don’t attach any emotion or self-examination to these old bicycles, or even to the ones i made last year. they’re all just things i did along the way. i’d be lying if i didn’t say i notice the seeds planted and the evolution of the style(s) over the years. but that’s about it. i have logged in all but mebbe 20-30 of them, so if a serial number is supplied i can find out when i made a particular unit. it’s often telling when i see the names attached to each order, as well as the names above and below it. more than the frame specs, the pages of my composition books resonate as markers of the time passed. all of the f’building can eventually run together into one big stew, as in – this is what i have done with my life. but the fact that nearly every last one has a personal connection attached is much more significant a memory atmo.
Do you classify (informally or formally) your bikes into eras or periods?
my life and approach to my bench routine definitely changed after my first of 5-6 trips to italy in 1979. when i saw what i saw, and juxtaposed it all against what i had expected (rose colored glasses, and all that…). it was a humbling experience. i am glad i witnessed what i did when i did because it enabled me to work towards being much more detached from the romance so many (including my young self) folks assign to this trade. so, yeah – my pre italy frames and my post italy ones definitely can be said to be where a line in my life’s sand is drawn. and since then, many more lines have been drawn, crossed, and never stepped back across. ps this sounds like a larry king live answer, huh.
Do you think your bikes are much better now than they were 20 years ago. Or just different?
without question atmo. not only are they exponentially better as well as exponentially different, i am too in many regards. i am still an ISFP and will always be one, but when the years tick by and you find yourself with a body of work, the richness of it alone is hard to ignore. the ebay-ed frames and subsequent chat about some of the early frames is an interesting exercise in self-indulgence. it allows me to be a voyeur on my own past, a past that i don’t peek at with any regularity. the real test for me is to let it all go so i’m not trapped by it. for the most part, it’s quite easy to ignore, but it’s always there if/when i slip off the vanity wagon. its best served in short doses so that one (me, or you…) is not tempted to glorify it, or worse, assume all was better than today.