July 9th, 2018
As I write this I'm listening to Gregory Alan Isakov: Amsterdam. It returns me to a day in 2014 when I was sitting in a cafe in Moab. I had struck up a conversation with another traveller. We'd been talking about music and he mentioned Isakov who would occupy much of the my life's soundtrack in the upcoming months. It was February, and I had just left my job as the head mechanic of a small adventure road bike company, and I was searching for the next step. In the meanwhile I soaked myself in music, feeling the harmonies of songs new and old. Feeling the freedom of being on the road, of having everything I owned in an old dodge cargo van.
Before leaving I had started a blog, and called it Allrounder: Love all Bikes. On the surface it was this bike mechanic's love letter to the things he held dear: 700x32 tires, a specific mechanical road disc brake model that had managed to go virtually unchanged for a decade, to images from early century Tours de France, videos of Merckx, to current Paris-Roubaix cobbled road dramas, to a cure for back pain called the Gokhale method.
But underneath it was a dialogue with the current state of the bicycle industry. For everything they said would be new and better, Allrounder would say, but THIS! In writing, sharing pictures, and music, I could hear myself more clearly and I liked this person I was hearing.
Moab seemed a good place to be. The expanse of sky and the unwritten script of the desert, you could hear sounds and you could hear silence. It was a time to honor what I brought to my job, gave to it, and what I had learned. You want to start over, and sometimes that means you want to forget everything. The desert is a nice place to be.
I suppose I find myself now in a similar state, feeling like I need to latch onto the mission statement. My hope for Color Wheel was to offer affordable bicycle painting to show how old frames had all the potential to be great allrounders, bikes you could use for just about anything short of extreme. But after a few years of trying to improve on the only real good option, powdercoating, I'm still lacking the space, time, and cash to make that work. And with the baby, I don't want her near any of that. And the bills don't stop coming just because I'm trying to figure it out. So we've had to hunker down, get humbled a bit, and admit what we're capable of, and focus on what matters most.