Monday, May 4, 2009
Jill's New Bike
My New Bike!
I just received my beautiful custom bike from Stephen Bilenky of Philadelpia! It's without question the nicest bike I have ever ridden. I wanted a 1 x 9 geared bike that I could ride in upstate Ithaca, NY. Disk brakes for all weather, drop bars for comfort, fenders, 650b wheels, front and rear rack capacity and S&S coupling for travel. It's my idea of the perfect bike for the lifestyle I lead. Aside from the features I wanted, the workmanship is the best I have ever seen. Rene Herse would be jealous. In addition, Stephen built much of the bike out of original lugs and tubesets from old Proteus stock ... materials left over from their heyday of frame building. The bike is the culmination of amazing talent, friendship and respect. Many friends and Stephen himself all contributed to make this happen for me. In Stephen's words this build was called the "Proteus Group Hug."
This weekend was my first real ride. Friends and I joined in on the Kinetic Art Sculpture Race. The bike is the best fitting bike I have ever had. Just hopping on and going, the bike felt already dialed in. I rode all day perfectly balanced and relaxed. I could have ridden on and on all day. As someone who specializes in pro-fitting bikes, I couldn't believe how amazing this bike felt right out of Bilenky's shop.
I own a bike shop. I've seen some of the best of past and present bikes. Bikes mean the world to me. The love, talent, and quality of the bike Bilenky built has by far shadowed everything I have ever seen and ridden. This is one of those rare moments of speechlessness. Thank you everyone for making this possible.