Where to even begin, six months later everything is completely different yet entirely the same. Wherever you go, there you are I guess. Despite frame building taking a hiatus while I establish my footing on the career track, I’ve re-upped the domain on Budd Bike Works for another 5 years anyway. As a gratitude to those who followed what i do here, and supported my work despite my griping, I thought I’d catch everyone (anyone) up on what I’ve been up to. It turns out that I might actually be an engineer after all and the carpet walkers have taken me back into the fold and I’m risking glances askance when I walk in a little late to the desk this morning for haven taken this time to throw a line out into the ether. What had been envisioned as a few months break from my east coast roots has been extended for the foreseeable having landed a job I’m finding so perfect for me that I’d have to have invented it if it didn’t exist. Designing tools to make consumer goods is the place i’ve found for myself in the great product cycle in the sky, to whom we owe everything held dear. It’s really enjoyable to immerse myself in new processes, and having the resources to communicate what you feel is the best course of action to get the line running. No longer hamstrung by limitations in creative output dictated by working out of a converted mortuary basement, I’m excited again about making things, not the worlds perfect machine mind you, but good little trinkets to aid a persons outdoor pursuits under the broad banner of Cascade Designs, made with pride right here in occasionally sunny but always hilly Seattle.
Looking back on the last 4.5 years and my reality back in the greater Boston, I feel like I’d been engaged in some thing of a tournament with everything riding on my ability to do what was required of the day, whether it be relocating a collector of heavy objects from walk up to walk up or executing a new frame design armed with a file, winning was either cash tip or a joint worthy of a weld laid on it. I’d known this, actually I ripped the concept of the Tournament of Life thing from a synopsis of a chapter in Freakonomics I’d heard on Radio Lab, but it’d been something I’d worn it as a badge for years already, for me it was pride in doing things the hard way that took precedence over establishing anything like a clear victory. Starting from the back row of a race after a week of manual labor, getting dealt an evicted hoarder and an insolent crew, or figuring out how to get 5 frames on my back to bike onto the bus then train with a rush through NYC in between I was generally too enthralled with the challenge to care about the fact that I might not have any money coming in tomorrow, or that I didn’t crack the top 20 in the race, or that an inexpensive powdercoat job isn’t going to help you sell any more bikes; knowing damn well that I tried was enough. Eventually though I was forced to take stock and realized I was in quick sand, and the harder I kicked to get out the further I was going to sink, so I calmly grabbed the vine of a one way ticket west extended by my employer (thanks Gentle Giant Moving and Storage) and walked away from the game. So here I am, all former foes made to look feeble with the shadow of the volcanoes, seas, and mountains on the horizon here in my new city, turns out everything leading up to now had just been training. It might not have been grad school but it turns out fighting with one arm tied behind my back looked alright on the resume anyway.
Don’t know what will become of the one man brand that was Budd Bike Works, I still dream of the whole family being part of a great endeavor with it. I’ll try to be better about keeping posted here anyway, I’ve never been a great chronicler of my pursuits but I’d love to share some of the awe that I am finding in my day to day life lately. The days are getting longer and they fill up fast with hills to ride, product launches to validate, and chickens to provide for with a whole new cast of characters in my life. Right now though I’d better get to work, pictures soon, and new endeavors for my torch maybe in the works. So to all my valued customers, yes, I am still alive, so your warranty still stands. Would love it if all of you that avowed love of your BBW to post a picture of it for me here.