(Above: Sean Walling, Cam Falconer and Steve Rex)
The always entertaining Bruce Gordon hosted the most recent edition of Meet Your Maker. Unlike other editions, this one included a swap meet along with the traditional ride. Builders came from all over Northern California. So while it wasn’t too surprising to see the usual suspects like local boy Sean Walling and Napa’s Curtis Inglis, Steve Rex and Robert Ives of Blue Collar Bikes came from Sacramento, as well as the boys from Squid Bikes (the oh-so-affordable frames with rattle-can finishes). Cameron Falconer of Falconer Cycles drove up from San Francisco. Paul Sadoff made the trek from Santa Cruz. Last year’s People’s Choice Award Winner at NAHBS, Casey Sussman of Mars Cycles, got a break from Oakland.
A few dozen folks showed up to do the ride which looped out over Chileno Valley and Spring Hill in the southwestern part of Sonoma County. It’s a hilly route, but nothing too terribly difficult, provided you didn’t show up with 23mm tires pumped up to 8 bar. We got lucky with the conditions, which remained sunny and warm.
Back at the parking lot outside Bruce’s shop builders set up a bunch of Easy Up tents and started emptying their rides. Tires, both new and used, dominated the pickings, but there were plenty of old parts. Some usable, some more curiosities. I even spied an old Campagnolo mountain bike brake set.
I made the rather deliberate decision to show up with only enough cash to buy snacks should I feel peckish on the way home. I also rode to the event to help avoid the urge to toss an item or two into the back of my wagon. Of course, that plan was on the verge of going to hell when I noticed an old road frame in Steve Rex’ pile of castoffs. It was one of his UF—ultimate fillet—frames and was built from the long-extinct Tange Prestige. And it looked roughly my size. Holy cow. Two birds—a Tange Prestige frame and some of the best fillet brazing on the planet—all in one frame. Then I started asking Steve about the frame. Turns out it had been crashed and there were some, shall we say, issues with the down tube. And it was on the big side for me and that long top tube ended at a steep seat tube, meaning I’d probably have to run a really short stem. It was also a crit frame with a highish bottom bracket and no clearance for big tires.
Okay, problem solved.
There were definitely some deals for bike frames, not to mention plenty of T-shirts, trucker hats, and one set of amazing hubs mistakenly laced to 26-inch rims.
The beer and donuts didn’t hurt.