Unbelievable!! The Eagle and I are back on the road!!
A little background:
In Feb of 2012, Pawel Guba did a simple straightening job on my front steer tube <link> after a pothole forced the front wheel into the larger rear one. A Polish metal-artist and blacksmith, he did the job but seemed doubtful about something at the time. Because of our language differences, I didn’t press the matter.
Well as you saw in here last Thursday <link>, I found out what was on his mind. And yet on Saturday (yesterday), I realized as I was riding a now rock-solid Eagle, the area that finally broke, has been cracking and tearing beneath what I could see for a lot longer than the last 21 months and maybe 4000 miles in and amongst some of the wheel difficulties you have seen me work through.
While Pawel somehow seemed to lack confidence in his straightening job, he was surely unaware that I had unwisely (in hindsight) run a front-rack for a thousand miles in 2009 when I rode the Eagle over the Sierras from San Francisco to Salt Lake City <link>. The impact of all the pounding on that journey had forced the front wheel so close to the rear big one that by April 2010, Shawn Raymond (pictured below) had to come up with his novel 2×4 fix to keep me rolling (Blog)!
Thinking I might try to catch Pawel at his shop on my way home two nights ago, I ended up making a pretty grand entrance, indeed. Nor did he seem surprised to see my front wheel hanging off the bike Despite the fact that he’s a brand new dad per the below:
Pawel, a world class martial-artist, who also just started a new workout studio called Impetus MMA, told me he’d have it fixed for me by the next day’s afternoon. Nor were we talking a simple tig weld. He told me he would have to run is lathe to create the tapered metal dowel and stainless steel sleeve you see pictured below. He did not tell me he would have to be in his shop by 6AM to do so! If I had known he was going to have to start so early to do the job, I wouldn’t have said it would be great to have the bike for the weekend. Whoaaa…..
I am in total awe at the job he did. Not only does the damaged area look great, but he bike actually rides better than before. And his work is so fastidious. I mean here is a guy who has won the RDS National Crafts Competition three times in a row with stuff like this:
Talk about Magic! This bike brings amazing people like Pawel Guba of Global Metal Arts forward to be a part of the amazing journey that keeps this also amazing machine on the road!!
Thank You Pawel, Agata and Alex!! And everyone else here in Ireland and in America who has helped me to be able to pedal history!
THX 4 all of U!!