[CR]How can you put a price on this?

Example: Component Manufacturers:Avocet

From: "brianbaylis@juno.com" <brianbaylis@juno.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Feb 2008 17:16:46 GMT
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]How can you put a price on this?

How can you put a price on this?

Dear Friends on the Classic Rendezvous list. It has been some time since I have been able to take time to write about the extensive goings on be hind the scenes at some of out premier classic bike events. Things are n ot tremendously different now in terms of the time to write; but this ev ent was by far one of the best gatherings of world class people who happ ened to bring some bikes along with them of the same caliber. Additional ly, the CR people who made it to this event were high in number and that added an extra dimension to the fun.

For a show like this, the distractions from my regular work begin severa l months in advance, and continue in the form of catching up for a few m ore after wards. I had fully intended NOT to go this year primarily on a ccount of the fact that I've moved my personal working space three times now over the past 9 months or so. Money is short, I'm behind on EVERYTH ING, and there are still plenty of major distractions forthcoming for me . My new workshop is being built soon and a house renovation also. I nee d to focus. These events make it impossible.

I intended to take the train up from San Diego once the powers that be p ut the squeeze on me to show up. I knew that the only things I would be able to bring to show would be whatever bike(s) I might be able to finis h before showtime. I don't like bringing customer bikes to shows for obv ious reasons. The potential for shipping damage is always there, amongst other things. In this case I had no choice, other that to bring the str ay sister frame to the bike I built last year that took home a few prett y bike trophies. It was just the frame, which is a least not a big deal to drag around compared to a bike. I planned to finish the frame for Kir k Pacenti to had to him at the show to take home. I got the frame built but didn't have enough time to paint it, so I brought it in primer so Ki rk could see the bike and the work and know for sure that now it's only a matter of one of my famous 5 minute paint jobs before it's really fini shed. I had planned on bringing Sterling Peters' brand new frame that is a stunning Eggplant and periwinkle frame with gold pin striping built w ith Bates style fancy lugs and a modern Campagnolo component group. The bike is a real eye catcher and I'm positive it would have gotten some at tention at the show; but things changed at the last minute. The landslid e over the train tracks in Northern California canceled the train ride. I had to book a flight and ship stuff on the Greyhound bus in order to g et there. So I had to leave my best bike for the show at home, so I toss ed one of my old track bikes in a bike case and brought that along as th e only bike on display. One bike, two frames. Minimum effort and expense considering the circumstances. Booking an airplane and shipping boxes u p tripled the cost of the travel to get there compared to had I taken th e train. Off to a good start.

A last minute change in dog sitters resulted in Joe Bells' family taking my dog while JB and I were up in Portland. My dog is a recent replaceme nt I got from the pound after my 16 year old Dalmatian finally passed. T his was my first trip out of town, so I didn't know what to expect from her, but I knew she was in good hands. My dog is an 11 lb. cocker spanie l (cocker spaniel lite) that was a cute little ball of buff colored curl y fur when I left her. Anyway, I finally got things sorted out at was on my way to Portland. As Carlos (Sir Maldoror) was giving me a ride to th e airport around 7am Wed., we encountered a stray peacock that was strut ting across the onramp in front of us. Carlos recognized that as a good omen (which it is in some cultures) and I knew inside that there was goi ng to be good and positive things happening at this event, on a number o f levels. I was not wrong!

I made it to Portland without incident, arriving around 12:30pm. The cit y of Portland is well laid out for a situation like this event. The "MAX " light rail takes travelers from the airport to the doorstep of our hot els for $2.05. Outstanding. It didn't matter that is was colder than a w itches tit and pissing rain. I was checked in and warm and cozy within a few minutes. No one else was in town yet that I knew. I grabbed a bite at "Burgerville" once I settled in and spent the balance of the day gett ing some much needed rest and watching the news on TV. I finally went to sleep, anxious to begin meeting all my friends and a bunch of new ones over the next few days. I knew that at breakfast I would be hooking up w ith Bruce Gordon and a few others for some sort of "Breakfast Adventure" . My dreams were sweet as visions of the peacock passed through them.

I shall continue this story and follow it to completion as I go. There i s much to tell that will explain why I go to these events in spite of th e distraction to my work and the expenses involved in doing this stuff. One simply can not put a price on these experiences and I'd like to shar e some of the best ones with the rest of you who are not in the same pos ition as myself. My involvement in this business goes way back; and many of these priceless moments happen when people I haven't seen for almost 30 years or so or I've had very little contact with them, enter the pic ture. Some of them are names you will not know but should; like Mark DiN ucci for example.

I shall continue this later. Please stay with me on this. I promise some priceless moments on many different levels.

Brian Baylis
La Mesa, CA