Wednesday, March 31, 2010

In the Beginning

I came home from the 2010 North American Hand built Bike Show and a Gentleman that I had been talking with locally (Gary F) decided to pull the trigger on a new Sport Tourer.

As many of you know Touring bikes are my passion. Steel is the absolute best material for a touring bike. It gives a comfortable ride and most people that tour aren't concerned about a few extra ounces. (since they are piling on 20 to 40 extra pounds in the way of a tent,sleeping bag and cookware.) What they are looking for is a stable ride. That's where I can deliver.

The beauty of a Sport Tourer is it can be loaded for a credit card tour or the racks can come off for a quick ride on Sunday morning with your friends.

So in the next few weeks I will be making some entries of this bike as it is being built complete with pictures. The picture to the right are the various tubes that I will use to build Gary's bike as well as the lugs, the crown and the bottom bracket. So stay tuned and see Gary's new bike as it is born!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Love Sundays

It's 6pm and I'm exhausted as usual. We had our group ride today out of my house. Well I should say "Our" house. Who's "Our"? My wife Margie and me. Sunday is ride day for us. I go out for a road ride with my "Amigos" and Margie goes mountain biking. Now it would be nice if Margie went road riding with me or I went MTBing with her. But I don't belong on a Mountain bike, at least not at the speeds she rides. I tried mountain biking for a while, but I just kept going over my handlebars and landing in a heap with the bike on top of me. Now as I mentioned before I'm over 50 years old and it just hurts too much.

Margie on the other hand belongs on a mountain bike. It has become a part of who she is. She races in the Route 66 series and is busy getting ready for this seasons racing. I spent a bit of time this afternoon designing a 29er single speed for her. I'm looking forward to getting it completed and watching her ride it.

Getting back to my ride this morning...Everyone met at my "Our" home at 8am and we headed northwest into the hills. It's very nice riding through there with the exception of riding through a few snow flakes. We had a good turn out for a chilly day. About 15 of us in all. Today I rode the bike above with a few changes. I put on a set of road tires, installed a compact crank with a different saddle and seat post.

I found this group about 4 years ago. There were about a dozen riders and they always did the same ride. Today I'm in charge of the email list and I have 60 riders that I email every week. We ride from a different location every week generally taking turns "hosting" the ride.

I am by far the weak link in terms of strength in this group. They are forever waiting for me. I'm trying to change that this summer starting with dropping 25 lbs. that I really don't need. I'm down 10 with 15 to go! For the past 3 years we have all gone on a biking vacation together. This year we are going to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As always I'm looking forward to spending time with my friends.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I am Bowen Bicycles

So... This is it. I'm a blogger? No, I am a blogger! Actually I am a custom bicycle frame builder located in the state of Connecticut. Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a business like this off the ground. I work day in and day out and no one knows I exist except for the local bike group. I've been doing this for 3 years now. My bikes are showing up one at a time out on the roads of this state. And don't get me wrong, I'm having a lot of fun building bikes. I'm not having fun however trying to market them in the traditional ways. That's why I decided to blog. It's going to take me a while to decide just what I should and shouldn't say. I imagine I'll give you a look inside my small shop. It will take me some time to get comfortable with this. I don't consider myself a writer by any stretch of the imagination. Here we are just starting Spring. It's about time, don't you think? I don't know about you but I enjoy the area where I live and most of all I enjoy my friends and family. I don't like winter so much but it makes me appreciate the warmer weather.