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Independent Fabrications - Steel Independence

The IF bike is a go. Zoltan (I just like writing his name) called IF to see if they could make the Steel Independence for 26” wheels and they can and will. It will take approximately 6 weeks to make the frame and fork and then I imagine another week or two, once it is delivered, to get the whole bike together. The bonus in this whole process is that I will be able to take the headset, breaks, bar end shifters, front and rear derailleurs, racks, and seat post (maybe) from my old Bruce Gordon bike (anyone interested in buying the frame please email me) and put them on the new one. This equipment only has 4,000 miles on it. Then I will get new 26” wheels built and buy a new crank arm, cassette, and potentially a new seat – not sure about that yet.

Zoltan, and everyone else at Sid’s Bikes in Manhattan has been very helpful. Everyone, except for one chick, has been friendly and will shoot the shit with you while you are waiting around for the much sought after Zoltan. I like the shop and Zoltan’s attitude about bikes and their desire to help everyone who is into biking, not just the racer-types.

Since I would like to actually keep this bike I’m getting all necessary braze-on for future accommodations:

• All rack connections (I’m using Bruce Gordon low riders in the front and BG regular in the back ) so years down the line, if these ever die, the bike will be equipped to handle a selection of racks
• Pump peg although I’ve never owned a pump that needed this – maybe now’s the time
• 3 water bottle connections – the more water the better, maybe one can even be, something stronger for those endless high-altitude climbs that I am trying desperately to prepare for
• Fender braze-ons, but I won’t be using fenders on this trip
• Fork type – (will add later when I get the specs)
• Tubing – (will add later when I get the specs)

And finally, the color scheme will be metallic carbon black with a pink and white decal. This is really important stuff, since we all know that the paint and decal are the most important decision that can be made when ordering a new bike and that I’ll be stuck with my decision for a long, long time. I almost went out on a limb and got a nice orangey-rust color, but at the last minute whet back to basics and stuck with dark. Even my clothes are all black, brown, and green worn sometimes with red shoes (yes, sometimes I look like a really tall elf) so I went with the same color scheme for the bike: dark with a spot of color.

Things are starting to move; the emails are being sent. The biggest hurdle left is telling my parents that their 36 year old, just married daughter is going to South America on an incredible journey that will indelibly mark the changes going on in her life. When I leave a new period of my life will begin which I look forward to sharing with my husband, friends, and family.

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