I was running a few errands downtown the other day when I saw this bike locked up outside a cafe on 6th Street. I did a double take. And then a triple take. But yep, my eyes did not deceive me, it was a well loved—no, extremely well loved, Independent Fabrication. In all my years of leering at anything and everything with two wheels, I’ve never seen an IF in this condition. Keep in mind this was not wear due to abuse (well, not that much abuse) but wear due to use, and a lot of it. I have to wonder how many miles have been put on that frame.
There are certain benchmarks that I’ve thought about when it comes to Paramour. Printing up a first jersey or t-shirt (done), building the first 10 frames, then the first 100, the first exhibit at a bike show, the first out of state sale—and so on. Certainly some of those are much harder to come by than others. One of the scenarios that I’ve thought about that will be a real sign that I’ve made it, is when I’m in the shop and someone rolls up on a well-worn Paramour suffering only from years of use, and asks if they can have it repainted. Without question that’s years away—probably more like a decade. When it happens though, that will be a sure sign that I’ve arrived as a frame builder.
Of course strolling down the street on a warm March afternoon and seeing a well worn Paramour locked up outside a cafe is just another version of the same thing. And a day I’m looking forward to.