The Pull: Richard Sachs

The Pull: Richard Sachs

The Pull is a new podcast from Red Kite Prayer. My many interviews with framebuilders over the years have all lost something in translation from the conversation to the printed page (or pixels). I spent years dissatisfied with the outcome and honestly, reduced the number of interviews I did because the outcome was so dissatisfying, not to mention time-consuming for something that missed the spark of the actual conversation.

Rather than talk with artisans about their choice of tubing or their philosophy on fitting, in these interviews I want to discuss the concept of craft and what it takes to be good at something. Honestly, this is, in part, a reaction against the rise of social media fame, and people who are famous and rich for no reason other than being famous. Most of us aren’t that lucky, nor do we wish to chase that particular flavor of fame.

This podcast is to some degree an outgrowth of a long-running conversation I’ve had with framebuilder Richard Sachs. While I can’t be trusted with anyone’s safety with a torch in my hand, Richard is an artist with flame. In that, I see a kindred spirit to what I do with verbs. It’s fun to talk about how we keep the work fresh and what we’ve learned about how to do our jobs in this most recent phase of our careers.

 

 

The Pull is brought to you by the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, the world’s premier annual gathering of bicycle framebuilders and framebuilding enthusiasts. The 2019 show will take place March 15-17th at the Sacramento Convention Center in Sacramento, California.

 

To learn more, visit Richard Sachs Cycles.

 


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6 comments

  1. jeffs

    Nice. I miss the Paceline as my weekly goto yard work entertainment. Looking forward to you getting through the Apple red tape. Enjoy this focus a great deal.

  2. Herb in NH

    Thanks, Patrick, for this conversation with Richard. I’ve met and chatted with him a couple of times at races, and once even entertained having him build a bike for me, but was dismayed at wait times (and this was fifteen years ago), not to mention intimidated by his reputation. Hearing him talk about the brazing process struck a chord with me. I’m a metallurgist by training, and in fact have spent (or mis-spent) a significant part of my professional life relying on the capillary behaviour of various high melting point materials in a controlled solidification process aimed at producing single crystals of pre-determined shape/cross-section. Along the way, and essentially incidental, and yet complimentary, to my professional efforts, I’ve brazed and silver soldered the odd thing to either repair or fabricate something (never approaching the complexity of a bike frame however). When you get the fit between the pieces and the temperatures right, the joints seem to make themselves, and there is great satisfaction in seeing the filler material draw itself into the capillary space. While I can detail this behaviour with equations, there is much more to its realization, and the effect borders on the mystical. Richie dances right up to the edge of this and then steps back to claim it’s really just a job. He has a reputation as a slightly prickly craftsman to maintain after all, but I think I have a sense of what he’s talking about, and why he’s a guy happy in what he does.

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