I recently found myself heading up to Portland at the last minute for OSCON so I thought I'd try and swing by Vanilla to see Sachas new workshop. His email reply caught me pleasantly off guard.
"Are you bringing a bike? he asked.
When I told him I'd only be in town for a few days and shipping a bike was impractical, He offered to find me one so I could join him on a ride. So with pedals/shoes/helmet in tow, I met Sacha and two of his friends, Scott and Tony, at the Stumptown Coffee a few blocks from the workshop. Sacha gave me the choice of riding his speedvagen, or his white SS vanilla. Since the SS had no pedals and an adjustable seatpost, it was the sensible option. In retrospect, I'm kicking myself for not trying out the speedvagen. I am, at times, a complete idiot. They led me on a nice loop across the river, through PDX, up along a ridgeline and back, then stopped for breakfast at a place called Gravy (more on that later) before heading back to the shop. Not once did they poke fun at my pedaling squares or lame jokes. Decent guys, everyone of them. Seriously. I truly felt welcome from the moment I met them all at Stumptown to the time a left. It could be that since they were all much younger and better looking, I posed no threat, but I'd like to believe that Sacha simply surrounds himself w/ like minded people. Creative, unassuming and passionate about what they do.
It took every fiber of my being to not ask how the project was progressing or when I could expect my frame. It's not my first custom frame. I've learned to be patient in my old age.
( my wife just fell on the floor laughing). Anyway, the trip made me realize just what a bargain the speedvagen really is... No other builder has thought about, tested and then implemented what Sacha has done for cross. Custom tubing from Columbus, custom brake posts from Paul, Custom rear drop-outs (Saw the CADD of these...Yumm), custom seat collar. It's all there. My initial guess is that the bike will build up to be between 16 and 17lbs depending on what wheel set I'm on. Oh, and that's w/out carbon bars/stem/cranks. Crazy light for a bike where the only thing I'll worry about thrashing are the carbon rims.
Thanks Sacha....(and Tony And Scott).
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