ORIGINS OF SPECIES – rock lobster
I spent my entire childhood obsessed with bicycles and riding. Bicycling has been the predominant activity of my life other than eating and sleeping and making a living. My first lightweight racing bike came my way at age 13 and with it came a tremendous amount of freedom to move about; venturing many miles from home. Out of this childhood obsession a livelyhood has emerged for me, first as a bicycle mechanic in 1976 , and as a full-time bicycle framebuider in 1988. I actually built my first frame in 1978 and kept building as a hobbyist until the onslaught of telephone frame orders made it necessary for me to quit my job and build frames fulltime. My initial inspiration to build bicycle frames was borne out of necessity; I couldn’t afford to buy a custom frame and figured that I would save a lot of money and learn a lot more by attempting to build my custom frame myself. The challenge suited my obsessive nature at the time and the process was completely foreign and fascinating to me. Many hours of blunders and frustration did little to deter me after the first frame, so off I went to build one for my sister, then another one for a friend. I just couldn’t stop; I was sure that the next one would redeem me for the previous one with all of its imperfections.Now that I have been trying to redeem myself for over twenty years, the bikes have gotten to new heights of quality. My frames have been ridden at the Olympics and at world championship cyclocross and mountain bike events in many parts of the world . Since a lot of much better riders than myself have given me input on the performance of my bikes, the development and sophistication of my framebuilding has been tremendous over my career. The thing that I have avoided is delegating any of the building process to others, except for painting. In other words if the frame has my signature on it, you can be sure that I built it. I don’t have a production line in my shop and most likely never will. I want each frame to be as personal as the one I would build for myself This ethic makes for slower delivery than the bigger companies, but it also enables me to build the kind of frames that are too special to duplicate any other way. If you are willing to wait a couple of months, it could pay off in many years of the best fit and performance possible in a bicycle. Just ask someone riding a Rock Lobster.