Mathilda's first pedal bike in bloom.
This one took some doing but I got it done. You’d think a smaller bike would make for an easier project, but that certainly wasn’t the case here.
Lot’s of oddities. The fork blades are actually chain stays, the chain stays are actually seat stays, and the down tube is actually a teeny little double-butted top tube. And yes, that rear brake is definitely upside down. Weird.
I know this bike and its parts are a bit ridiculous. No apologies. When I showed Mathilda the completed bike, she asked about each piece. “Who made this?” Paul, I told her. “Where’s he from?” California, I said. “Who made this?” Chris, I said. “Where’s he live?” Right here in Portland, I told her. Ask her who painted her bike, and she’ll proudly say, “Rudi and Evan!”.
So many of Mathilda’s things--her toys and art supplies and clothes--arrive at our door in tidy brown boxes. They’re conjured up by nameless entities. This thing is different, and it’s obvious that she already knows it. Mathilda watched me make her first real bike, evening-by-evening, over these last few months. She saw me brazing the fork together. She asked “what the heck?” while I stripped the anodizing from the cranks and bars and brake levers. She saw the cuts on my fingers and the dried pile of flux on my studio floor slowly grow. I hope that made even a small lasting impression.
If you're interested, I documented the building of this bike in its entirety (sparing no details!). Lot's more of this one on the blog.