On the 23rd of August 2018 the frame building world lost one of it's icons. Dario Pegoretti is one of the most important bicycle frame builders of our time, he was a long serving artisan, and an artist famed for his vivid custom paint jobs. A pioneer of new technology and a protector of the old craft, there are few who can rival Pegoretti's expertise.
I was lucky enough to meet Dario a number of times, and just before opening The Bicycle Academy in 2012 I spent 4 days with him at a residential workshop in Verona, Italy building frames with a group of other students. This turned out to be more of a lesson in Italian culture than frame building; Dario was a man with a passion for the way he chose to live his life, and those of us lucky enough to spend any time with him had a richer experience for it.
One of my favourite nuggets of wisdom from Dario was something that he shared over dinner in October 2015, the last time we met. I had flown to Milan for a meeting with Columbus and then my wife and I drove to to Dario's workshop just outside of Caldonazzo to meet with him and Gianmaria. We ate at a lovely trattoria whilst debating all things frame building. Dario's attitude towards the new wave of frame builders was refreshing; rather than being hung up on the notion of having to 'do your time' as a newbie, or defaulting to the assumption that well made frames aren't a likely outcome for those at the start of their frame building careers, he was always optimistic and embracing of those starting out, also challenging them to get to the heart of the bicycle design; "the hardest thing is not making a bicycle well, but making a bicycle worth making. You have to consider 'why should someone buy this bicycle?'!".
I'll miss his sense of humour, his sarcasm and his attitude. He did his own thing, he did it very well and he did it with real passion.
Our thoughts go out to his family, close friends and colleagues.
Word by Andrew Denham