Hi. My name is Tess and I’m bad at talking about myself in the third person, so you get this bio in first person singular. Which sounds like some kind of support group for literary snobs, although actually this is supposed to be about me and building bikes or something.
Casual segue: I build bicycle frames. I didn’t always do that, though, I started as a bike mechanic, years ago. And in fact, I grew up in a very bicycle-friendly household. Bicycle-friendly might be an understatement, actually. It was almost more of a requirement. Bicycles were so a part of my life that I often didn’t notice how unusual it was; like a fish in water, I was so surrounded by bicycles from early childhood that I was almost oblivious to the pervasiveness of their presence in my life. It was, and still is, normal. So normal that I still don’t always realize that most people drive cars to get around.
Which is basically how I view bicycles, and as a frame builder, how I view frame design and fabrication: something so normal and obvious, something that everyone should have. Everyone should have a bike, and be able to do some significant portion of their transportation by bicycle, without it being a “thing”. That it could be so much part of our cultural infrastructure and memes that it disappears into the background. Bicycles are so capable of being a dominant mode of transportation, so variable in design and function, so wide-ranging in application; I admit I’m a little confused that they still comprise a single-digit percentage of all transit nationally.
I’m like that with a number of things, I suppose. I take certain items for granted, certain views of the world, certain ways of living, and then occasionally realize that I am, technically, in a minority. I guess I like to be a little different. Isn’t that more fun? And then I wonder, why doesn’t everyone do it this way? I mean, obviously, not identically the same way, that basically defeats the whole premise. And since bicycles, and other human-powered vehicles, can be so different and fun and awesome, and since there are still so many variations that haven’t been tried or produced in quantity or combine emerging technologies that really it was only logical to jump at the chance to learn how to create the skeleton, the most fundamental part of the bicycle; to try to offer something unique, not currently available, a permutation, the latest evolutionary cycle.
You’re here, somehow, because your needs are not being met with your current technology. And, presumably, you haven’t found another source that seems to meet those needs, whatever they are; function, form, connection, aesthetic, philosophy. And something about what I can create appeals to you.
Talk to me. I’m curious. Come in to the water and swim with me.