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Content-class: urn:content-classes:message
Date: Tue, 24 Jun 2008 16:41:25 +0200
Thread-Topic: Introduction
Thread-Index: AcjWCGDLoXAbn600Q++x4HmE2LZaOA==
From: "Mark Lawrence" <marklawrence@firstreadthis.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR]Introduction

Hi everyone,

I'm re-introducing myself, having rejoined the list after a 6 year lapse.

Some members may remember me from then as a student who sold a load of Jack Taylor stuff. I knew nothing about classic cycles then but had met Norman Taylor who had an attic full of frames and trailers that no-one local wanted to buy. I reconnoitred 'Jack Taylor' on the internet and saw that Jack Taylor was a respected make, which rather pleased me because Norman had already talked me into buying one of his frames.

I think it was Norman's suggestion to use the internet - I unsuspectingly posted an ad about Norman Taylor's frames. I got about 60 replies in the first 5 hours, which was very exciting for both of us.

As a hardworking student I was slightly over-stretched time wise, but managed to stay on top of most requests. Out of curiosity, today I just went to the archives and saw some list member discussions back then were trying to ascertain my credentials (and more importantly whether I was the dreaded 'Rene Herse' conman in a new guise). I wasn't. I do remember being asked difficult questions which I couldn't answer though, and Norman was very oblique at times. Sometimes he reassured me that things would be done as requested, but then when he realised that he didn't have the right dropout or something like that, he just proceeded, because to him (and him alone) it made no difference - sorry Dale and thanks again for the Oro jersey.

Just for the record I didn't make any money out of those deals - Norman paid me in kind by making me a stem and giving me a few odds and ends, but I had a great time. Frankly I was amazed at the fuss being made by list readers then, but looking back - after a few years of cycling my Jack Taylor amongst some other bikes (last one I bought was a Follis) I began to appreciate those sentiments much better. Still, meeting with Norman Taylor, was becoming a distant memory and I was beginning to hanker after something lightweight and modern. But then last year the unthinkable happened, I had moved to Oxford where such events unfortunately are rife, my Taylor bicycle was stolen. Looking for a replacement brought me into contact with Jan Heine and Bicycle Quarterly (I was thinking of buying a Berthoud bike and he kindly showed me a review) and in the roundabout way that these things happen, I was drawn again into the American/European classic bicycle loop.

Anyway, I don't have any Norman Taylor frames to sell anymore, but happy to greet you all again.

Mark Lawrence
United Kingdom