Meet Your Maker #4

Meet Your Maker #4




When I first heard of the Meet Your Maker ride series earlier this year I did everything I could to try to find an excuse to get to Northern California to participate in any of the rides. I was a good deal less successful than I would like to have been, that is, until this weekend. On Sunday the fourth edition of the ride took place in Marin County. Upon rolling up to the start in Railroad Square in Mill Valley, I spotted Jeremy SyCip of SyCip and Mark Norstadt or Paragon Machine Works.




The guy who deserves the credit for starting the series and making sure everyone who shows up feels welcome is Sean Walling of Soulcraft bikes, based in nearby Petaluma.


At some point I should probably ask Sean and the other builders how often they actually meet one of their bike’s owners. I had the sense that the incidence rate was low, that most riders there on a handmade frame had already met their maker, so to speak. So even though the ride’s most obvious appeal is to meet the guy who built your bicycle, the greater truth of the ride is that you get a chance to go for a ride with him, talk bikes, meet other customers of his and then meet other builders who probably haven’t made a bicycle for you.


Santa Cruz builder John Caletti is known for his immaculate TIG-welding. The ti bike above featured TRP’s cable-actuated hydraulic discs with 160mm (front) and 140mm (rear) discs and Kenda Small Block tires (35mm front and 32mm rear) tires.



The quality of the welds is high enough to make his work look like that of a veteran of Seven or Moots.









Sacramento builder Steve Rex turned out with this disc-equipped rig sporting 43mm-wide Bruce Gordon Rock ‘n’ Road tires.





As is typical of most of Rex’ work, this bike featured his Ultimate Fillet work, but also showed some very tasteful internal cable routing.


Left to right: Curtis Inglis of Retrotec, Steve Rex, John Caletti and Sean Walling.


Sean, thanking everyone for showing up, and by everyone I mean a 40-plus-strong group, the biggest for the Meet Your Maker rides so far. He also informed those assembled that there is some interest in holding even more of the rides next year.


Paul of Paul Components made the trek from Chico to join the ride. He made a point to fuel up before we rolled out.


It was nice to begin a ride without having to hit the afterburners. I honestly can’t recall the last time I did a ride where people were more excited to get into the ride and yet didn’t completely kill the pace. I could get used to this.


We regrouped. A lot.


Eric Richter, marketing director for Giro, joined us for the ride. Based on what I know of Eric, dude doesn’t own a non-ferrous bicycle.




The ride took in both fire roads and singletrack on Mount Tam, and eventually dropped us down to Muir Beach. Once there, a number of riders decided that the proper course of action included hoppy beverages. They were right, of course, but there were those of us who needed to stick to a timeline. The rider in the Santa Cruz Spokesman kit is Sean Morrissey, part of my ad sales team. He and I joined a group making a more direct effort to reach Mill Valley.



The day was not without its hitches. There were flats by the bushel, dropped tools, lost keys and at least a few near bonks. I’d do rides like this once a week if given the chance.

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  1. blacksocks

    P – So great to have you join us in Nor Cal for a classic day on Mt. Tam. Thanks for making the trek, and for always sharing thoughtful dialogue. Come back soon!

  2. Brian

    That looked like a great time! Love it when rides don’t go full gas to start and you have some conversation time. Especially if I don’t know many in the group.

  3. Doug

    Yes it was a gas! I didn’t get to meet everybody, but it was a beautiful day & those pitchers at the Pelican Inn were delish. I came up from Sacramento with Robert Ives and the Blue Collar Wrecking Crew. What a treat to be in a rolling Handmade Bicycle Show! I’m the guy wearing the Blue Collar shirt with the blue Giro in the third photo. I’m looking forward to the next Makers’ ride. (and the Grasshopper series!)

  4. tinytim

    You shoulda klunked it down repack and then regrouped at the Gustault Haus for the all important beer and sausage recovery session. That’s really the only thing those builders take super serious (in addition to making bikes really, really well).

  5. rob

    Looks awesome. Wish I could have gone. Are you going to put the route on Strava? I’m somewhat new to the Bay Area and love riding my road bike up Mt. Tam–would love to know a good route for the CX bike.

  6. Doug

    Adam, that single speed ‘cross bike is another Steve Rex masterpiece. It belongs to the always awesome Stace Cooper. And-80’s BMX is close to Stace’s heart…so, good call.

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