Hope you all have a great turkey day, and take time out to appreciate the people around you.
In the fall of 2007 my buddy Brad was in the process of starting his new frame building endeavor, Capricorn Bicycles. The stars aligned as I was a broke ass (not super poor, but I did have to wait till payday to buy a bottle of whiskey every two weeks) warehouse employee at QBP, and could never dream of affording a custom bike; and Brad was just starting his business and was still building “practice” frames.
I was lucky to catch him during this period, as while his skills and distinct aesthetic weren’t quite what they’d become, he was willing to do things that he wouldn’t normally do.
I laid down my wishes: a bottle cage mount w/ reinforcements, clearance for 32c tires, a rear fender mount, double brake capability, and it’s got to have some stainless steel hearts and “C’s” on the fork crown. This bike was the culmination of many of my ideas about track bikes that would eventually gel to become the All-City Big Block.
I first built and rode the bike unpainted to check everything out. Once we knew we were good to go, I decided that if I was going to play the matchy matchy game, I was going to win. I had everything powdercoated to match: the Campaganolo Record cranks, pedal cages, bottle cage, stem, bars, seatpost. Balls to the wall.
And since it was 2007/8 and skids were the jam, I rallied the piss out of this bike. Thousands of skids, nose bonks to fakie (I’m sure a major contributing factor to the damage), bar spins with 650c wheels, dirt trails, alleys, etc. It’s got a few dents, and been on plenty of adventures.
I’ve always ridden it, but after the Big Block came out I kind of put it away for a few years. For the last 18 months though, it’s been almost exclusively my around town whip and with the change to some better feeling tires, I’ve been super stoked on it.
This is the bike that started a lot of where my life has taken me.
So, yesterday I was coming home from brunch and noticed a couple of lines near my lug points. Right away, I knew the score.
I need to do some more investigation, as I’m really hoping that it’s just the thick powder cracking near an area that receives stress. It’s a bit of denial, but we’ll see.
Bikes break if you ride them tough. It’s as simple as that. People talk a lot about steel bikes being forever, but if you get after it the way that folks around here get after it, ain’t nothing forever. But it can be fixed.
I of course called Brad, spoke with him and got the OK to tell the story. We’ll see what the options are, but I’m sure as hell not going to let this bike become a wall hanger. It’s a piece of my personal history and puts a smile on my face every time I ride it.
The Cappy will rise again.
I am super pumped to bring you two new Bike Jerks designs, just in time for the holiday shopping craze.
First up is this banging little number done by the famous Adam Turman.
Adam Turman X Bike Jerks
If Adam Turman needs an introduction from me, then you’ve been living under a rock. He is perhaps Minneapolis’ premier screen print artist and his work has adorned many City Pages covers, local brands (Surly Beer), and he’s always the belle of the ball at ArtCrank.
This design is just sick.
I’ve also got a new one by our homie Reid III. This time he brings his signature style to an eagle originally drawn up as chest piece.