March 17, 2012

Rumors of my demise…

…have been greatly exaggerated. I’ve heard from a couple of people recently that I am apparently getting out of the bike business. Not sure how that happened – I can only assume some kind of bizarre internet-fueled game of telephone that went something like this:
Walt: Sarah and I are having a baby, then we are moving to Utah.
MTBR guy 1: Walt’s wife has twins and they are converting to Mormonism.
MTBR guy 2: Walt’s many wives are all having children and he is going on a mission to Zambia.
MTBR guy 3: Walt has been arrested for polygamy and running a Nigerian internet scam.
MTBR guy 4: Walt’s been murdered by his Nigerian love child.
MTBR guy 5: Darn, I wanted to get a bike from him, but I hear he’s out of business…

Sorry, folks, you’re not getting rid of me that easily (yes, that’s me, btw). I will most likely be building *slower* for a while as I deal with these big changes, but I’ll keep plugging away building neat frames and forks and also doing repairs and modifications for all your weird old bikes that need to be made compatible with disc brakes, or have dents removed, or get turned into singlespeeds.

I’ll have a new shop (most likely one with *heat* and *insulation* … good lord I’ve gone soft!) and I am tentatively planning to do what I’ve always wanted to – which is offer a much more awesome “experience” of getting a custom frame. I imagine it working something like this:
-Do design work with me on the phone/email and finalize everything.
-I order in your parts (or you ship them out if you’ve already got them)
-Fly to Salt Lake. The airport is #1 for on time flights in the US, and it’s super non-congested and easy to get around.
-Rent a hotel room or *possibly* stay in our detached guest house (note that we don’t have this yet, but it’s fairly likely that we will) for a nominal fee.
-Watch and *maybe* help a little (this will depend on how ham-handed you are, though) as I build your frame. If you’re really excited about building one for yourself someday, I can also give a few basic lessons in mitering, tube selection, TIG welding, and brazing. If you want a full-on weeklong framebuilding lesson (one on one) I may offer something like that as well for a few more bucks.
-We’ll assemble your frame (unpainted for now) with all your parts and you get to go test ride it on the world class singletrack right out the back door (Bonneville Shoreline Trail is ~3 miles, and the hundreds of miles of Park City/Deer Valley singletrack are a 20 minute drive).
-When the visit is over (you can stay longer than a week if you want to ride more) you’ll fly home and I’ll disassemble, powdercoat, and then ship your bike to you.
-WW new world headquarters is (tentatively) going to be located a few blocks from 9th and 9th, right near a great bike shop (Contender), tasty restaurants, and the historic Tower theater. Several breweries are an easy bike ride away as well.
-I’ll have my fleet of random (ie, you’re in luck if they fit you, and not if they don’t) bikes available to demo, too, if you want to just go for a ride instead of watching me melt metal.

Pricing is TBD on that whole package, but I’m guessing it’ll be in the neighborhood of $2000 for the frame+shop experience+vacation package. You pay for the plane tickets, of course. And if you don’t like kids, dogs, beer, or awesome singletrack, it might not be your thing…