And now here they are! The most daredevil group of daffy frame builders to ever whirl their wheels in the WACKY RACES. Competing for the title of Grinduro’s wackiest frame builder. The bikes are approaching the starting line.
First, is the TBA GXC driven by Tom Sturdy. Next is paratrooper Will Barcode on the TBA Splat Grav. Flying through the air is the Rad Roamer piloted by Ted James. Maneuvering for position is Andy Carr on the Spoon Customs Fat Tracker and right on his tail is Pi Manson on his Caledonian Carrier.
Sneaking along last is the unmistakable Petor of Dear Susan Bicycles riding his award winning ‘Mike Rotch’...
"Grav, Grav. And double Grav!"
There’s no escaping it. The line-up for this years Grinduro frame building contest heavily resembled the Wacky Races start line. As a relatively new member of The Bicycle Academy team it was my real pleasure to join the chosen builders on an adventure around Arran Island.
Things were already getting pretty wacky before we set off. Grinduro comes hot on the heels of Bespoked - The UK handbuilt bicycle show. Just as we’re recuperating from one frame building sprint race we start another. The logistics associated with coordinating five disparate bicycle builds, all undertaken by different builders, in different parts of the country, to a tight time scale means that most of the builders were excitedly working right up to the wire.
As I left the workshop to collect the rental van I noticed Andrew (Founder of TBA) and Tom (Head of Education at TBA) performing a mesmerizing double dance with several cans of Spray.Bike decanted into a squirty bottle. A questionably painted bicycle frame and a columbus carbon fork come out the other side . Don’t ask questions, they got the job done. In the queue for the rental van my phone buzzed repeatedly with WhatsApp notifications from the builders…What time is the ferry? When are the tyres being delivered? How long is the drive? Can we ream and face a headtube in the ferry car park? Creative problem solving is an essential skill for every frame builder… not just because time planning is often an inherent weakness.
This is an extract from an article written by The Bicycle Academy for The Radavist - Read the rest of the story here.
Photos : copyright Adam Gasson & The Bicycle Academy
Words : written by Jack Watney - The Bicycle Academy