B.A.D. to the Bone

“Every act of creation, is first an act of destruction.” – Pablo Picasso


Photos: Billy, Story: T-Bone

I am an artist, writer, chef and I guess now bike builder. I am finding quite a few close resemblances to the art making, writing, cooking and chopper making. As we were pulling what little meat was left on the bones of this hog, thoughts of design flavor, color and stories come to mind.

In art-making we sketch and doodle to bring together the stories we are trying to tell in piece. When I write, I am influenced by my past experiences, stories I’ve heard and organize them into image-building wordforms. When cooking, I dash and splash together flavors from different locales to make a unique flavorful masterpiece. In bike building, we pull together ideas from other influences and bring them together to make a unique yet appropriate scoot.

As a writer, I can’t help but think that if this frame can talk what would the stories be? It sure tries to talk to me. The scrapes, rust and grime begin to tell a story. A long story much like you’d hear from your buddy in a bar. The more I try to listen to my buddy, the more it’s speech becomes slurred, nothing but blurry lines to try and tie together. Things like why there is a standard slot wood screw holding one side of the taillamp and a Phillips machine screw on the other. Or, where the scrapes on the bottom of the frame came from. Why, in the ten years this bike was on the road, the bushings and brackets for the fuel tanks were painted along with the frame?

We are about down to the bare bones now. We have all the bushings and various nuts and bolts removed from the frame. The front end gave up a good fight, but we were victorious in the end. Not that the Haynes book is much help. “Remove the fork stem retaining nut or bolt.” Did that, and removed the top nut on the forks. I thought the forks should drop down with the lower tree and come off the top tree. It wasn’t till we loosened the lower tree from the forks that it slid down the legs and we were able to remove it from the headstock on the frame. Victory!

It’s the swing arm that has us by the nuts now. Everything is now off the frame. I bend up the rusty tabbed washer for the swing-arm nut. Spray the rusty end with a liberal amount of WD-40, and start the big YANK. Nothing. I clean up the end of the bolt and notice a big glob of rusty matter at the end of the bolt and on the nut. Could he have welded the nut on the bolt? Before I get the cut-off wheel out, I will consult my buddy Carl at Cyclepath Cycle. It’s always that last nut, isn’t it? The nut that won’t budge as you grunt and grapple, or when it does you shack your knuckles really good. Blood and grease go well together.

So here we are with a carcass ready to clean up and start test fitting the new parts. The new parts we are anxious to get. Every little bit helps, if you want to be a part of something really, really B.A.D.  visit www.BADBikeBuild.com. Thank you.