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  #196  
Old 09-12-2013, 02:25 PM
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MattTuck MattTuck is offline
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Nice touch on the brake bridge for the 10th anniversary bikes. Just saw that pic on your blog. Very cool. Joe Bell probably hates you. that's like 100 little dots he's going to have to paint.
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  #197  
Old 09-12-2013, 05:29 PM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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Nice touch on the brake bridge for the 10th anniversary bikes. Just saw that pic on your blog. Very cool. Joe Bell probably hates you. that's like 100 little dots he's going to have to paint.
When I told JB what we were doing his response was "so you are taking it easy on me then.....?"

He's the man.



Dave
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  #198  
Old 11-04-2013, 01:36 PM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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Thanks Again Joe.

Hey All -

I've been pulling a few blog posts out from the past and revisiting them and this one means a lot to me............not because I think it's particularly well written or the words are good but because of the people involved. Some of you may have read the original post back in 2011 but I'll bet most haven't.

Forgive me for cut and pasting the entire original post here along with the revisit. If you'd like to see it all in context you can find it here -

http://www.kirkframeworks.com/blog/2...nks-again-joe/

__________________________________



Thanks Again Joe.

November 4th, 2013

This is my second in an irregular series of re-runs of blog posts I made in the past. This one is from August 2011 and for some reason I’d been thinking about my BMX racing days and how they formed and cemented my future in the bicycle business.

When I was 17 and moved out of the house and 1500 miles away to Florida it for some reason didn’t feel like a very big deal to me. Now, looking back on it, it seems a bit nuts and I’m surprised my parents let me just pick up and take off and go so far away with such a weak ‘plan’. But they did and I ended up in Niceville, Florida. I found the local BMX track and with it an entire community and southern family. The southern good ol’ boys took me in as one of their own despite my being a Yankee. It was at this time that I met the man who would become my coach and dad away from home. He looked after me and gave me a firm talking to when I screwed up and even though he had no ‘right’ to do this it felt right and I learned so much from the man. The man just commanded respect. We all called him ‘Hardman’ for a reason.

After I posted this story Joe’s now adult children got in touch with me and I was a bit worried that my words about their dad would be misunderstood. It was a very emotional time for me hearing from them and more stories about their dad and of course to hear of his passing away. This past summer Joe’s son Joey came to our 20-10 Gathering and spent a few days turning over the pedals with us. At one point during one of the rides Joey and I were pedaling along side by side and it seemed like no time had passed let alone 25 years. Joey said something like – “ who would have ever thought 25 years ago that you and I would be riding road bikes together in Montana of all places – Pops is no doubt looking down and smiling”. I know I was smiling.

Thanks again Hardman.

__________________________________________________ ___

Here’s a link to the original post if you’d like to read it in context –

http://www.kirkframeworks.com/blog/2...09/thanks-joe/

__________________________________________________ ___

Thanks Joe.

August 9th, 2011

Over the years, between racing and framebuilding, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and working with some wonderful people. As some of you might know I started in this business by racing BMX as a young man. At the age of 17 I left home and moved from Central New York State to the Panhandle of Florida and right into a hotbed of BMX racing. I lived in the very small military town of Niceville (I couldn’t make up a better name) and raced my BMX bike all over the Florida Panhandle. At some point I met a good ol’ Southern boy named Joe who had a kid that was also racing. Joe was a 45ish year old (but very high mileage) little bearded man who had muscular dystrophy and I later came to find out was also an alcoholic. His southern accent was so thick I couldn’t tell what he what he was saying a good part of the time. He walked with a big limp and could barely even ride a bike but he had a real eye for good riding and knew how to motivate a young man like myself to work harder and ride smarter. There were times when he knew I was having trouble making ends meet and he would tell me to come out to his place for some sprints and training on his back yard track and then to stay for dinner. It was really just his way of getting me to stay for dinner and have a real meal. In time he became my coach and I traveled with he and his family to events all over the southeast chasing fame and glory and really tall trophies.

I wanted to be one of the big names like Greg Hill or Stu Thompson but in retrospect I didn’t have what it took to do that. But Joe believed in me and put a huge amount of time and energy into my training and racing. Many long nights at the track (racing was done at night, under the lights, when it was cooler) with Joe having me do starts over and over and over again until they looked just right to him. He had a very good eye and knew when it was being done right. We started having some bigger successes and traveling farther to events and attracting attention from teams that wanted me to race for them. This was what might have been the golden age of BMX racing, before freestyle became so big, and the big bike companies put a huge amount of resources into racing. Lots of money was changing hands. I dreamt of being on the receiving end of that money and Joe was doing his best to coach his son and I to that end. The only real way to get there was to win enough to get the attention of a major factory team that would pick up the expenses for racing and travel. Racing 3-4 times a week and traveling 6-8 hours each way on weekends becomes very expensive, very quickly, but was needed to reach that top tier.

Joe and I met with some smaller regional team managers at some of the big races and while their offers were better than nothing they wouldn’t pay as much as we needed to make a go of it so we held out for something bigger. Then Joe got us a meeting with Gary Turner. Gary Turner was the ‘GT’ of GT Bicycles and they were the 800 pound gorilla at the time. If anyone could afford to send us around the country racing it was going to be Mr. Turner and his company GT. I was very nervous and was scheduled to race my preliminary motos that morning before our meeting and knew I’d better kick some butt so I could tell Mr. Turner that I was doing well and had a good chance of winning that weekend. It’s hard to ask for money when you stunk it up just an hour earlier. My morning races went well and soon it was time to meet with Mr. Turner. Joe got me cleaned up and told me to come with him. It was obvious to anyone that knew me that I was very I was nervous. It was certainly obvious to Joe and he told me to relax. Joe knew better than I that winning races was only part of what Turner was looking for and that I needed to look confident and relaxed so that I could give good interviews and represent GT well. But I was not confident and relaxed – I was gripped. The time came for us to meet and Joe and I started walking across a big grassy area outside the track – I think it was in Memphis – to meet Mr. Turner. I could see Turner from a long way away and we waved a hello and Joe slowly limped his way across the clearing. Joe then stopped and turned to me and looked me right in the eye. I couldn’t help but think, ‘what the hell are you doing? – let’s not keep the man waiting’. Joe looked me in the eye and with the thickest southern drawl one can imagine asked me a question. “ Dave, do you know what a ‘buddy’ is?” He then answered his own question with “a buddy is a wart on the dick of a dawg” and had the biggest -eating grin on his face.

What the hell was that about? I’m so confused at this point and we start walking toward Mr. Turner again. We get close and there are smiles all around and Joe reaches out his hand to Turner and greets him with “Hey Buddy, howz it going?” I started laughing out loud. In fact I could not keep a straight face at this point. All my nervousness was gone and suddenly it seemed so much less important. The meeting was fine but in the end went nowhere but I will never forget Joe and how he took care of me and taught me how life worked. In that one short ‘Buddy’ moment he taught me that some things are not as important as they might seem.

In time I moved away from the area but went back and visited a number of years later and Joe wasn’t doing that well to be honest. His kid was off at college and without the focus of racing he’d fallen off the wagon and was drinking again. Not good. That was nearly 25 years ago now and I suspect that Joe might no longer be with us at this point. He’d lived a hard life and had some very bad luck……….but he taught many of us so much. Thanks Joe. I think of you often.

Dave
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  #199  
Old 11-14-2013, 02:36 PM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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Friend of the Frameworks and customer Gary just sent me these photos of riding in Israel and the Sinai Desert and gave me permission to share them. I would love to try riding in terrain like this someday.

dave







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  #200  
Old 11-15-2013, 08:58 AM
roguedog roguedog is offline
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Oh my.. that last pic looks awesome. (and nice n warm )
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  #201  
Old 11-15-2013, 09:19 AM
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sparky33 sparky33 is offline
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Wow.
but I feel thirsty just looking at it.
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  #202  
Old 01-11-2014, 03:34 PM
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paredown paredown is offline
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Thanks for the details on your framebuilding, and the blog posts kept me distracted most of yesterday afternoon.

One day, I hope I'l be back in the market for a shiny (or matte) new bike...

Dean
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  #203  
Old 01-11-2014, 04:50 PM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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Thanks for the details on your framebuilding, and the blog posts kept me distracted most of yesterday afternoon.

One day, I hope I'l be back in the market for a shiny (or matte) new bike...

Dean
Cool - I should be here and would welcome the chance to build for you.

dave
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  #204  
Old 01-11-2014, 10:30 PM
ivanooze ivanooze is offline
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amazing..
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  #205  
Old 01-14-2014, 11:50 AM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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I made a blog post this morning I wanted to call your attention to but want to save you the silly clicking around so here is what I blogged at my site today. Thanks for reading and for your support.

___________________________________



The year 2013 was more a year of looking back at the previous ten years than it was looking forward to the next ten - while 2014 promises to be much different being solely focused on the future both near and far.

There are a number of things in the works that will be phased in this coming year and while there are a few I’m ready to talk about, the others I’ll keep under my hat for now.

The biggest product news is the introduction of two new models – the final details and model names are still being worked out but I can say that I will be offering a new road model and for the first time a full-on offroad bike.

First the road bike – I’ve always wanted to build a full stainless road frameset and offer it sans paint but have always held back because I didn’t feel the tubes available would give the ride I wanted – and - I guess I didn’t really care how good it looked if it didn’t ride how I feel a road bike should. But things have changed and the good folks at Reynolds have listened to my long time pleas and now offer a full stainless tubeset, including the super important chainstays and fork blades, that I feel will make the bike ride as good as it looks. So with the tubes in the bag it’s a matter of having my proprietary front and rear dropouts cut from stainless as well as getting lugs, crowns, bridges and braze-ons on the way. I should be ready to build the first sample very soon. As for the finish – I can say it won’t have any paint but beyond that I won’t say for now. Pricing has not been finalized yet but will be once the first sample is complete. If you really can’t wait and want to get in the queue sooner rather than later be sure to let me know.

The other new offering will be a first for Kirk Frameworks as a company but far from the first for me as a builder. I’ve had many folks ask about mountain bikes over the years but I’ve always been so busy that I never made the time to make it happen. But my past is calling and I feel the need to make the time and follow the strong urge to build some mountain bikes again.

My mountain bike riding, racing and design go way back and the first custom bike I ever had built for me (a custom fillet brazed Fisher - 1987) was a mountain bike and the first bike I built for myself shortly after starting work at Serotta in 1989 was a mountain bike. I also raced on a nationally sponsored team (Team Ritchey) up until about the time I started working at Serotta in 1989. Being as tall as I am (6’4”), and having strong technical riding skills, meant that as a racer I’d have more success offroad than on and I did pretty well even if I do say so myself. Over the years I really learned what made a mountain bike ride and handle well and while I was at Serotta I was instrumental in designing their mountain bikes – the T-Max, Ti-Max, ATi, and the Ti Softail were all designs I had a large input on and I’m excited to use those skills again. Couple that with the fact that we have more than a little mountain biking here in Montana to test the bikes on and I’m pretty excited. As with the stainless road frameset the details aren’t all finalized yet but I can say the bikes will be available with 29”, 27.5” or 26” wheels depending on the size of the rider and the use of the bike and that they will all be fillet brazed. As soon as the details are finalized I will be announcing pricing – that said if you know you interested please don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll work it out.

I’ll be announcing the other company changes as they mature and am excited to out the stuff I have in the works…………..so please stay tuned.

As always – thanks for reading.

Dave
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  #206  
Old 01-14-2014, 12:44 PM
FlashUNC FlashUNC is offline
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Great news on the new models.

Any general sense on timing at this point? (ie: Is the stainless road a second half of 2014 thing, while the mtn bike is a first half of 2014 project?)

Also...can we expect to see a sample of one or both at NAHBS?
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  #207  
Old 01-14-2014, 01:23 PM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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Originally Posted by FlashUNC View Post
Great news on the new models.

Any general sense on timing at this point? (ie: Is the stainless road a second half of 2014 thing, while the mtn bike is a first half of 2014 project?)

Also...can we expect to see a sample of one or both at NAHBS?
Hey there,

I'm pretty sure that both the stainless road bike and filleted MTB will happen by mid 2014. I've set aside time for building and final testing so I'd be surprised if things aren't set in stone by mid year.

I will not be attending the show again this year - I find I'm just too busy working on bikes that folks have already put money down on to take that much time away from the bench to only make the queue longer. So like last year I'll be staying home and chaining myself to the bench. It's kind of a bummer to have to choose to stay home but it makes the most biz sense for me.

Thanks for the comment and question.

Dave
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  #208  
Old 01-15-2014, 10:22 AM
timto timto is offline
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First the road bike Ive always wanted to build a full stainless road frameset...
Oh man!
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  #209  
Old 01-16-2014, 04:56 PM
weaponsgrade weaponsgrade is offline
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Excited to see the new models. What in particular did you think could be improved with the old stainless tubes? (Too stiff? Not stiff enough? Too few butting profiles?)
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  #210  
Old 01-16-2014, 06:59 PM
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David Kirk David Kirk is offline
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Originally Posted by weaponsgrade View Post
Excited to see the new models. What in particular did you think could be improved with the old stainless tubes? (Too stiff? Not stiff enough? Too few butting profiles?)
IMO the existing c-stays were all too thin and flexi in an effort to save weight at the expense of performance and the s-stays were way too thick, too heavy and too larger in OD.

Super stiff s-stays and wimpy s-stays are not the was I like to go.


dave
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