"If I don't believe in solipsism, who will?" - Al Batt

Friday, January 7, 2011

A Cast of Characters

Re: The photo links in the righthand column. With the exception of McLean, these are all people I know and / or have done business with. 

1. Myself. I was an industrial designer. Now I'm not. I like bicycles, perennial gardening, and living small and gracefully.

2. McLean Fonvielle: "Originally from Wilmington, N.C., McLean went to the School of the Arts in Winston Salem to study visual arts, dropped out to go to England and learn bike building. He went into a work apprenticeship at Holdsworthy Ltd. in London, under the direction of Roy Thame. In 1972 McLean came back to the States and started his business, Silk Hope Ltd., named after a little mill town near Chapel Hill, NC." He built Silk Hope and McLean bicycles. They ride sweet and are as understated as he could possibly make them. He died at the age of 29.

3. Chris Kvale: The forearms of a lug filer. Builds a handful of bicycles in winter only - mostly road bikes, all lugged, all very traditional. They are as fine as any bicycle I have seen. He has repainted three of my bicycles. I have owned two Kvales and he will soon be building another for me.

4. Erik Noren: Specializes in sometimes ornate hipster single speeds, but will build anything. He has to be experienced to be appreciated. He is loud, proud, fast and profane. His personality is everything that Chris is not, yet they are good friends. His shop is across the hall from Kvale's.

5. Hiawatha Cyclery: Minneapolis bike shop "specializing in products for the cyclist who uses his/her bike for serious transportation, as well as for recreation. We pride ourselves on our selection of distinctive, high quality bicycles and accessories for the cyclist who doesn't accept the widely held notion that the latest technology is necessarily the best choice."  Well, that's me I guess.

6. Ahren Rogers: Worked at Seven Cycles before hanging out his own shingle. Does nice work, particularly beautiful fillet brazing. He is holding my wife's mixte frame, which was a V.O. prototype.

7. Mark Stonich: Machinist. A source for shortened crankarms, 'bents, obscure bike tools, and Sturmey Archer hub parts and repair. He IS the 3-speed man.

8. Dan Ulwelling: He was the owner of my LBS, Rydjor Bike. The link is to his vintage bike collection. He died on January 8th, 2006. He was a good man as I have ever known.



Rydjor Bike Shop said...

January 8, 2006 to be exact. Dan's kids are hosting a Password tournament in his honor tomorrow. Dan held these tournaments annually and the stories from them are legendary - we'll be telling a lot of them tomorrow.

Gunnar Berg said...

Chad (I assume),
I don't think I'll be able to make it, but I know I'll pause to think about him tomorrow. My best to Katie and the kids.