Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Yamaguchi Frame Building School: The Final Post!

First off, I bring you quite possibly one of the most elegant and artistically conceived frames ever built. The precursor to the Asymmetric frames of the early 90's, built by Koichi for his wife, the Proteus Asymmetric Time Trial Frame:

Un-fucking-real huh?!

Until now the only photo I had ever seen of it anywhere was a crappy scan of the original article:

I left that photo large to aid in reading the articles. I think it gets a little dicey in the later one but you'll get the idea..

I'd been begging Koichi to pull it down out of the rafters for me all week and on the last day he finally took it out. The fact that it was covered with years of dust only made it that much more alluring since I knew I would get to caress every sinew and curve it had to offer whilst cleaning it up. If that sounds kinda sick it's because it is. But WTF ever man, that frame is TITS!

Super, super stoked about getting to see, feel and photograph that frame. Easily one of my favorites ever :-)

It wasn't long after I took those pics that I managed to slice my finger open and drop some blood on the shop floor:

Which is a good thing because frame building without shedding a little blood here and there just wouldn't be the same. In fact, if you're headed out there soon you might still see those 4-5 drops on the floor by his little desk area. I tried cleaning them up to no avail :-/

During my time in the shop, Koichi would pop off a few snaps here and there of us working. Here's a few of me gettin' mah frame buildin' awn:

It's a shame that you don't get to enjoy the sight of my pretty face in more of those :-P

Thanks man!

Lastly, I decided it would be funny to shoot a video with Kiochi instead of the usual buddy photo. While I am an unconscionably HUGE dork-tard in it, Koichi is hilarious! I didn't even tell him to do anything, he just went with it. Dude is a riot!

So there you have it. With the Yamaguchi Frame Building School under my belt I'm ready to move on to building lots more awesomeness in the shape of rad and ridiculous bicycles. For those you of interested in attending his course, it really is a no brainer! Aside from learning about how to build custom frames, Koichi's method of teaching, candor and humor are what really makes taking his course that much more worth while and completely exceeded my expectations. There was many a time where we'd be sitting there working on something when we would go on this 10 minute tangent about some random part or technique in building. He has this inexplicable way of not only spouting various historical facts I had no clue about, but he would walk over to his filing cabinet and pull out some tear sheet/photo that was on topic that he saved from 20 years ago and give you the inside story..

I spent the last 6-7 years wanting to attend this course after first hearing about it and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was a dream come true! If you have the opportunity and the means, you have no reason not to check it out. I'll be posting a list of tips of what to expect in and around Rifle along with where to go and other peoples suggestions I got but was unable to check out..

I've got another bunch of random photos from around the area which I'll post soon. Along with pics of the frame that I built. You can def see some of what's going on with it in the snaps and video but I still have all the cleaning/filing work to do since I was unable to even get a start on it while I was there. I probably would have gotten some done by now but I had to ship the frame back to myself via UPS ground since friggen Delta wanted to charge me $200 for it. Fuckers!

Anyways, lots more real soon. Including a couple of SICK things I didn't get a chance to post before my trip!



MJC said...

Koichi is a great dude! I loved listening to him talk, and his file cabinet of awesome. Get him started on Keirin and the 3Rensho days. Sooo good

smellsofbikes said...

Too late now to help you but Frontier Airlines has gone back to the civilized practice of counting a boxed bike as one piece of standard luggage, so it costs like $20.

CyclingWMD said...

Oh yeah I actually did hear about that! Only problem is that they weren't running direct flights. It was like a 4 hour non-stop or an 8-9 hour trip with a layover..

mhandsco said...

Throw a picture up here when you're done painting/coupling.