· Started working in bicycle retail shops at a young age in Fort Worth, Texas.[’83 to ’87]
· Worked for a few years at General Dynamics, while working part time in a bicycle pro shop.[’87 to ’89]
· Rode cross country in the summer of 1989, looking for a bicycle frame building shop to work for and ended up getting a job at Fat City Cycles in Somerville, Ma. [’89 to ’94]
· Helped start Independent Fabrication in Somerville, Ma.[’94 to ’02]
· Started ANT in an art studio while working my way out of IF. [’01 to ’02]
· Left IF and started ANT full time. [’03 to 2014]
- Jan of 2015 closed up ANT and worked for Seven Cycles as a TIG welder
- Left Seven in Aug of 2018
- Restarted ANT Sept of 2018
- Worked for Hot Tubes painting part time for about 6 months
- Now nicely working part time making ANT bikes, teaching frame building classes and also doing local bicycle repair and frame repair…whew that’s a lot of years in the bicycle industry!
I, like a lot of people, got into bicycles as a child. I started kind of late, but always wanted a bike. My dad got me a bike that was too big for me [bad idea, always buy a bike that fits] and that made it very difficult to learn how to ride especially when he was yelling at me. I taught myself how to ride on my best friend’s bike as he had a smaller bike [one that fit]. I worked my way up to my bigger bike and all was good. I was not a good jumper, but I could ride a wheelie a real long way. My first real interest in something special was this Columbia high rise that my neighbor had in her storage. It had these forks that had a triple crown and the fork blades were the handle bars too! She sold me the bike and I was hooked on having my own ride.
Around 1971/72 my brother and I saw this movie called “On Any Sunday”. This was a fun documentary about motorcycle racing and riding. I was impressed by the stars of documentary, “Steve McQueen”, “Malcolm Smith” and “Mert Lawwill”[who went on to be a mountain bike pioneer]. All of these men had a certain respectability about them and seemed to have fun at life, while being serious about their work. In the opening credits there was this bicycle race. The kids had converted ‘Hi-rise/stingray” bikes into “BMX” bikes with pie plates for number plates. After seeing that I converted my old bike to a BMX bike [there was a bike section in the grocery store that had some knobby tires, BMX handle bars and grenade looking grips!] and wanted to be a motorcycle racer [originally I wanted to be an Architect]. So it was really a love of motorcycles that got me into bicycles!
After that I was pretty much like other suburban kids in that I wanted motors and liked the smell of gasoline, but unlike my friends I began to memorize what exactly made a machine work and what the differences were. I rode bicycles to get around and pretended to be on a motorcycle. I was also like other kids in that I was in a young family and we had a real bad diet [hamburger helper, cool-aid etc…], watched too much TV and was pretty removed from reality.
All this changed when my mom [after graduating from college and becoming a teacher], became interested in a more hip lifestyle. She left my dad and after a few years of disarray we sort of moved to the country and started growing organic food, using wood heat and kind of became redneck hippies. I began to get interested in alternative energy [solar] and more economical living that was more environmentally friendly [was anti-nuke]. So the bicycle was now transformed into a lifestyle and political statement of the current state of affairs. I was a bit of an odd duck now in high school. I rode a bicycle. When I was a freshman [’79/’80] my mom was very nice to buy me a Schwinn Spitfire five. This was my first bike from a bicycle shop. It was a curved tube electro forged frame with a rear drum brake and a very wide range 5 speed freewheel. It was stated in the catalog that it was inspired by the resurgence of interest in California. I liked it because it had a motorcycle look to it…like a flat tracker.
It did still take a bit of time though; to get the motorhead out of my system. I bought a motorcycle [Honda CL100] and my dad gave me a car [Ford Pinto]! Also my stepfather “Ruff” was a motorcycle fanatic. He had a bunch of Norton’s and eventually became a BMW mechanic and rider. So my interest in motorcycles and car culture was still in my blood [I still had and rode motorcycles up until I was 24]. Over time the car and motorcycle I had in high school broke down and I just rode my bike everywhere. I started to get into shape and traded my Spitfire in on a Schwinn 12 speed Super leTour [I could not believe that it was a 12 speed!cool] and later a FUJI 18 speed S-12-S [18 speeds!]. I lived for down hill runs and high top speeds. [After getting fit and buying an Italian road racing bike, my fastest speed, drafting behind a gravel truck [no helmet] on a downhill was 54.5mph] I can not say that I was real productive when I was in school and did not do the work needed to get into college. I spent a lot of time bothering the guys at “Bolen’s Bike World” [a concept store Schwinn dealer]. At that time I had declared to the guys at the shop that I wanted to have a retail shop dedicated to the commuting cyclist! After high school I went to a 23 day Colorado Outward Bound school course in the Utah Canyon Lands. I wanted to go there because I read Edward Abby’s “Desert Solitaire” and that it was being planned to put nuclear toxic waste in the area. When I got back I went to a community college for awhile and got a part time job at a bike shop “The Wandering Wheel”.
I found that I really liked working in the bike business and quit school and started managing the shop. I became very fit and started racing [really just because my best friend Mike Talmadge wanted to race]. I had always dreamed of touring cross country [an influential book in high school was the Bicycle Touring book, by Tim & Glenda Wilhelm, 1980] Mike T. and I did do a lot self contained touring too in addition to the racing and training. Even though I was very fit I was never any good at racing. I ran a club, led training rides and had a big following of friends and customers from the shop. We did have a bit of an un-official club with Mike’s family. Mike had two older brothers [Tony & Tim] and we got them into cycling. We did a lot of the touring club rides [FWBA] and caused a lot of commotion there. In Texas at the time there was a large insurgence of one day 100 mile bike tours that were mass start un-official races. I could not cut it in the USCF criteriums [about the only racing available], but these long road type events were better suited to the Talmadges and I.
I was not making a very good income at the bike shop and decided to sell out my soul and get a job at the local defense factory, making F-16 fighter jets. While I worked at the plant full time [General Dynamics] I also worked part time at the pro shop Velosports. Here I worked for Joe Young [Young Wheels]. We sold Bridgestone bikes and were in for the full program and understood what Grant Peterson was doing. Joe was also in with Bruce Gordon cycles and had sold a lot of his bikes and racks over the years. Velosports owner was Cinco and he was into Alex Moulton bikes, so that influenced me to get one too. I bought an AM7 space frame bike [full suspension] with all the works. I used to take it apart and strap it to my motorcycle and show up at a century ride. I would have my riding clothes under my leathers and had locking saddle bags to hold all the gear. I really liked riding that bike, but got over it and went back to regular ridged bikes.
I worked two jobs for two years and got out of racing. I really wanted to ride on a cross country self contained tour and find a bicycle frame shop to work for. I was really sick from working at the airplane factory. That was a horrible environment with about 26,000 sad miserable people working there. In addition to that I had an appendicitis attack and had an operation. After recovering from that I took some more time off work and went on a week long tour. When I got back I sent in a deposit to Bikecentenial [now Adventure Cycling] for a group self contained tour. I felt that if I committed to a tour then I would have to quit my job and make a change in my life. The next summer I was off for my trip. I needed to get to Seattle and was planning to take the train, but I somehow convinced my mom to drive me there.
We drove up to Seattle with a friend of ours all loaded up in a Toyota 4×4 truck king cab. We had 3 people and two dogs! We had a great time driving and camping all along logging roads from Colorado and Wyoming. Then we had to hit the highway and get me to Seattle to meet my group. My trip was to go from Seattle to Bar Harbor, Maine. We took 90 days and rode on the least traveled route. I had a great time and I highly recommend self contained touring. I only had a rough plan. I wanted to ride cross country and find a frame shop to work for. I also had intentions of becoming a bike tour leader.
At the beginning of my trip with my group of 8, we had a little around the table introduction and I announced that I wanted to get into frame building. My trip leader Nina said that I should move to Boston and get a job at Fat City Cycles. It just seemed that everything was leading to Boston and Fat City. My trip leader lived in the Boston area and her boyfriend had worked for Fat. In Malta, Montana I met Dave Blakney [Goatbike]. He and his bro Andy were riding some Fats to Seattle. Dave had worked at Fat for a few years. I told him I was going to get a job at Fat and he looked at me like ‘yea right”. I wrote a letter to Fat City and told them I was riding cross country and to have a job for me when I got there! I even sent a picture of myself. I kept meeting people that had connections with Fat City. At the end of my trip in Bar Harbor I met a woman that had a friend that just got a job at Fat and she gave me his number. On the way down to Boston I met Davis at Bath Cycle and he had connections at Fat. My mom had some old friends [Wendy and Virgil] that lived outside of Boston and I was planning to stay with them for a few days [two weeks] to get settled into the city. This was in September and a great time to fall in love with New England.
I was hairy; sun faded and flat broke when I got to Boston [about $30]. I did have some money coming though. My brother helped me out with a little money [$200], my mom sent me my last scraps of my savings [$80] and on the way down to Boston I managed to sell my last bike back home [my Moulton!] for $800. [My mom and Joe Young got the sale together for me and I sold the bike to a guy in Dallas, making the deal while I was on a pay phone in Maine in what seemed like a Hurricane!] I had a lot of help from many nice people to get myself situated in Boston and I owe a lot to all of them. I made an appointment at Fat and headed into the city to get my job at Fat City. The person that I made the appointment with did not show, so Chris Chance gave me an interview. He said I needed to work a test day and to come back after the trade show. At the trade show Joe Young and Cinco gave me a good review [showed up on time and got the work done] and Chris was impressed with that and gave me a job. I found an ad in a food co-op for a good place to live [and cheap] with some very nice people [David and Mary] and began making friends in Boston. Chris Chance let me stay in his apartment [in Harvard Square] for a few weeks while I was waiting to move into my new place.
Fat City was a cool place and had a lot of people my age [around 25] and it had a good feeling to it. I started in the paint department doing sand blasting and sanding primer. Not long after I started the other paint assistant “Rick” asked me to buy him some Rum for the Butthole Surfer’s concert he was going too. I asked him if he had a car or if he was going to be driving and he said “no, I will be riding my bike”. I agreed and wouldn’t you know he got drunk and climbed up on a speaker and fell off and broke his hand. That kind of sucked for him as he was out of a job for awhile. I took over as paint assistant and got good at it quickly. When Rick was ready to work again he was not too keen on going back to blasting. Rick eventually went on to work in another department.
I liked painting and did all I could to get very good at it and it eventually paid to be in painting because no one else wanted to do it. Finish work is hard. It has to look perfect, you’re at the end of the line and you have to make up lost time for the rest of the shop. Sales people would often tell customers that “their frame was in painting”, but it had not even had a tube cut! So when it did get to painting I would work a miracle and get the bike out over the weekend or overnight etc…so lots of late nights and overtime in paint.
I did manage to find the time to explore Boston and the surrounding states. I started riding off road in the Middlesex Fells and Lynn Woods with co-workers and went on a lot of self contained tours. I toured all over the New England states and up to Montreal. I really liked my new surroundings as that bikes were more accepted than they were in Texas and people actually road for transportation. I felt a lot safer here too as that it is ok to ride a bike at night, go to a pub, have a pint AND not get beat up! People did not yell at me or throw things at me. Boston was fairly small and it was easy to ride, walk or take the train. Boston has a lot of bicyclists, students, artists and musicians, so that makes for a lot of good social activity. You can go out and hear free music every night of the week!
I had a love hate relationship with Fat City. I really loved my job and working, but I was stuck between my manager and mentor in the paint shop “Dean Dodson of D&D East” and the management of Fat [Chris and Wendy B.]. We had these weekly shop meetings where we were made to feel that our opinions really mattered [they didn’t]. We were all overworked, underpaid and felt taken advantage of, because our love of the bike. Often our pay checks would bounce and our health insurance would go unpaid [without our knowledge] [However in hind site, I think we were just young and idealistic to some extent]. Chris was wishy washy and Wendy really ran the show, but they did give me a job when I needed it, gave me some help and most of all I was now in an environment where I could learn the trade.
While at Fat City I was shown the basics of T.I.G welding and brazing. I practiced at it and got pretty good at T.I.G. welding. I tried to move over to the welding department, but was told I would have to take a pay cut. I declined as that I was not interested in that because I really did not make that much anyway. They really wanted to keep me in painting, because no one wants to do it. We all worked very hard at keeping Fat City going, but in the end it all came crashing down. In Oct. of 1994, after 13 years, Chris Chance and Wendy sold the company to the holding company that also owned Serrota cycles in upstate New York. In theory it was a good idea to merge the companies, but in reality it was a hurried deal that was confusing. Chris was really burned out in the business and to his defense he had a lot of years of struggle with hard to deal with employees [a high turnover rate] and his family and Wendy’s family who invested wanted their money back.
I was offered a job at the new merger and was somewhat interested, but declined for a variety of personal reasons. The shop was in a mess emotionally and it took some work to get a deal together to get a clean break and a severance package with the new owners. We all started talking [mostly Ben Cole & Lloyd Graves] about starting a new company and one night a bunch of us met over at my house to get some ideas of what to do. We started with about 16 people, but it was quickly whittled down to a core of 6.
We had the basics…Lloyd and Ben worked in Tacking [frame building] and finishing [aligning/brazing etc…], Sue Kirby [welding], Jeff Buchholz [fork building and tool making], Steve Elmes [Marketing/sales] and me [painting/shipping]. We met with John Barmack, an employee ownership consultant and C.E.O. to discuss possible being our manager and C.E.O. We wanted to be an employee owned company and have some control over our shop and destiny. He said that we could not hire him, because we had no money, but that he would like to be involved in how things went.
We had all been living like cowboys…no savings! We started making a plan on how to get things going. We did have a little money saved here and there and had our little severance packages and started selling our Fat Chances and other personal effects to get some capitol. Jeff started working for “Halls Wheels” building wheelchairs and used the shop to start building basic tooling. I started looking for space to rent and doing odd jobs to stay alive. We managed to get some Grant money from the city of Somerville to help pay for a feasibility study and business plan to be written. This would be done by our group and the ICA group [a non-profit group to help employee owned companies]. We met every Monday for an 8 hour meeting for 6 months! We finally came up with a name for our shop too [after 200 names], Independent Fabrication! We all liked it, but the consultants we had did not like it…did not think it was sexy enough, but the name represented our group for what it was. These meetings were tough and we argued a lot [only the beginning!]. Also during this time the 6 of us were trying to get our shop and tooling on our own. One day we got a call from this guy [Bill] who made a folding bike called the Nexus and wanted to know if we would make it for him. We talked about it and met with him. It turned out that he was involved with this very funky situation of the “Nexus machine and gallery”. This was the world of “Peter Lindenmuth” who was an old machinist that did one off work, prototyping and worked with Artist. His operation was in an old building that was raised up to make a tall ceiling basement, where he had his machine shop. The whole place was a mess! A lot of stuff packed all over and with dirt and cat hair all mixed in. Peter was a saint and helped a whole lot of people. His parents had been artists and he grew up in the art world, but became a machinist. At one point I believe in the 1960’s Peter had a machine shop and art gallery on Charles Street in Boston. That is where the name came from and every time you called on the phone he would say “Nexus machine and gallery”! So we rented space from him.
We had a small space for an office and had access to the machine shop in the basement. I had my home phone forwarded to there and that became our business phone. The rent included a peanut butter lunch, a weird dinner [prepared by Peter] and a lot of cheap red wine and port. 6 months after we were let go from Fat City we had our first frame ready. I needed a place to paint it and decided to make a cold call to “Hot Tubes” in Worcester, Ma. Hot Tubes was “Toby Stanton’s” shop where he did frame building and painting. I asked him if I could do some work in his shop for a short while and pay him for the time in his shop. He liked me and gave me permission to come out and use his shop. We both thought it would be no more than 6 months, but it turned into 1 ½ years! Independent Fabrication owes a lot to Peter Lindenmuth and Toby Stanton for their help.
It is hard to get into all of the details of what went on, but it really came down to a lot of work, a lot of arguing and somehow it was fun too. Not long after we got going with the frames our welder Sue quit! She was older, had two kids and just could not work for free. We had all been on some un-employment, worked odd jobs etc…to stay alive and work on the new company [without compensation]. I was quick to take over on welding as that was what I wanted to do anyway. I got good at it quickly and it made my life a lot more interesting as I was very good at painting and did not have a lot of room to grow in that. Next Ben had to leave, but we added Jane Hayes [former Fat] to do book keeping and we also got John Barmack too.
I liked the early days the best [’94 to ’97], but it was hard work. I welded frames all day to get them ready for Lloyd to finish that night. Then I would take the previous finished frames and go home take a shower and then drive an hour out to Hot Tubes and paint all night. Sometimes I would stay a few days painting and sleep on the floor of the shop. I got to be friends with Toby and would stay at his place sometimes, but mostly just work all night. Toby would always tell me “Does anyone else at IF work this hard”? I said everyone works hard, but he did not believe me and said I should work for myself. I heard that for years, but stayed loyal to my ideas of IF and to the fact that eventually IF would borrow money and I would do my part to pay it all back. I struggled for years at IF and had so many arguments and long meetings. All of the founding members of IF were hard headed and had strong opinions. I think that with all the difficulty we put each other through we burned the idea of it out of our system and burned ourselves out too, but at the same time given the circumstances I think that this was the only way that the company could have been started.
As the years went by, I felt IF was becoming nothing like I wanted in any way. I was more envious of “Grant Peterson’s Rivendell” [started the same time as IF]. That was more like what I wanted in product and philosophy. I had always been in a more practical mode of biking and had a difference of esthetic appeal that was just not accepted at IF. When I wanted to come up with my “Club Racer” bike [built around the long reach brake] I had to argue for weeks and weeks with everyone in the shop. They wanted for me to base it on a short reach brake at full extension [so you could more easily get a pre packaged parts kit]. Eventually I got my way, but I felt it was a waste of my time [and the shop’s time] and I was really sad from all of the arguing. This was a defining moment in getting myself out of IF and on to my own work, however I was in debt from getting IF going and I did not want IF to go out of business. So I just kept on struggling with it all. All this time I was welding, painting, shipping and doing some selling and traveling…a little bit of everything, also I tried being the production manager too. We now had employees and I had a real hard time getting people to show up on time or do a good job. We had a high turn over rate for many years.
A few years later [around ’97?] I went to the core states US pro championships with Toby. He had a gig as a Saturn coach and had a free hotel room to stay in. I had worked an all nighter just so I could take the weekend off. I was really sad and wanted to be building bikes for transportation [that was my original intention anyway]. Toby went off to do his coaching thing and I walked around in the huge crowds of core states. I was getting a little disgusted with it all. I had a VIP pass and went to a huge area with TV monitors [to watch the race] and thought this blows and went off to look at local Architecture instead. But then I saw this guy on a cargo bike [with a cooler, hibachi and a watermelon on it] and his companion on a cool city bike! I yelled out “hey let me see your bike”. His name was “Simon Firth” and he worked at Bilenky Cycles [note: Bilenky tried to make high end commuter bikes in the ’80s called Sterling]. Simon invited me to come with them up to “Lemon Hill” to watch the race, have a BBQ and drink some local brew. Lemon Hill was a cool spot and we did have a BBQ…on the cargo bikes!
After that I really made an effort to get myself out of IF and start making what I wanted to make…bicycles for transportation! But it still took more time.
I got lucky and made friends with “John Taquiri”. He owned an industrial building that had live in Art studios. I rented a space from him and began to set up shop. It still took me a long time to get going and get the tools set up to make bikes and I was still reluctant to leave IF for some reason. At IF, things had improved and got worse at the same time. We were pretty healthy, had better pay and such, health insurance etc…but it was still in a bad way with marketing and design and I was arguing a lot on how the company was run. I had hoped that the company would be more of a co-op [equal ownership equal voting], but it was more of a traditional company with a trickle down system. I was the second largest stock owner, but I still wanted to restructure the company like a co-op. The group as a whole just would not go for it. I was kind of doing two things at once. I was trying to make IF the place I always wanted and I was setting up shop to work independently. In the summer of 2000 I decided to take a 5 week leave of absence from IF and do some thinking.
I wanted to do this cross country urban tour city to city with a take apart fixed gear bike, using bus and trains to each city. This essentially was the first “Light Roadster”. I was inspired from a photo of a “Rene Herse” bike I had seen a photo of. It is a picture of the frame builder in a lab coat with this bike that looks just like my LR with a front platform rack. This inspired me to make the bike and the D-rack. I set it up with Phil hubs, King HS and a Brooks saddle. I also had these Japanese aluminum fenders that really were the final touch. This was the look that I had wanted but did not know it.
In Sept. of 2000 I took 5 weeks off from IF and I did not really have a set plan, other than to go from city to city visiting frame building shops. I started by riding out to Worcester [45 miles] to see Toby at Hot Tubes. I had my fixed gear bike with the D-Rack and a large messenger bag on the front with minimal gear. I had just sold my road bike [the original Club Racer prototype] and one of my single speed IF cruisers, so this gave me some funds to relax with. I stayed at Toby’s and talked about things then moved on to visit my friends Mike Ausberger and Leni Fried out in western Ma. Mike had a shop called “One Off Titanium”, once a bicycle builder, but now making hand cycles. I had a lot of fun hanging out with them and stayed for several days de-toxing myself from IF. Next I took a bus down to Philly to see my friend Simon at Bilenky. No one knew I was coming to see them in this trip! I just showed up hoping that people I knew were in town. Finding Bilenky Cycles is a trip in itself. I would say that that part of Philly is the roughest town I have ever seen. I was glad that Simon was there and after work he rode with me over to his house. On our way to his place we found in the trash this huge album collection [vinyl]. I took as much as I could carry on top of my bag and Simon took some too. I thought I would mail it back to IF the next day. I had fun hanging out with Simon and told him of my plans. He convinced me to take the train for my next trip instead of the bus. I had thought I was going to Minneapolis, but I decided to go all the way to Seattle.
After a 3 day and night train ride I arrived in Seattle ready for a shower! I went straight to Elliot Bay Cycles, where “Davidson” frames are built. Got a tour by a kid that worked there “Joe R”. He gave me a place to stay and I spent 5 days touring Seattle visiting frame shops such as “Rodriguez” and “Ti-Cycles”.
Then I took a really cool train [with roll on bike racks] down to Portland. I have a good friend “Howard” that I meet on my cross country ride and was paying a visit. While in Portland I went to “ACME painting” and tried to visit “Kinnises” and “Anodizing Inc.”, but they would not let me in. I went down to Eugene, Or. And visited “Co-Motion”, “Burley”, “CAT” and “Green Gear[bike Friday]”. I had a good time visiting all those shops and people were impressed with my new bike…the original “Light Roadster”.
My time was up for my trip and I took the long train ride back to Boston. I arrived in the evening and went from the train station straight to “Redbones” and had a meal and some beer. I had a great time away, but it felt good to be back and now I felt more determined to get my shop going. Yet it would be about 9 months more until I produced my first bike. I got back to work at IF and once again was trying to make that place more of what I wanted. I got a little side tracked though, with a project that I had been thinking of for a while that ended up being called “Earth on Empty”.
I had been getting increasing disgusted with how many SUV’s were on the road and felt that America was really off track with what needed to be done in our daily lives. I had this idea of making a ticket that looked just like a Boston parking ticket [bright orange] that would have snarky statements and facts about SUV’s excessive fuel consumption listed on it that I could put on peopl’es trucks. I had been joking around with this idea and two friends of mine got involved and it kind of took off from there. My friend “Mira” was a punk and an artist and also worked as a graphic designer. She quickly came up with some prototypes of the ticket. My friend “John Taquiri” who was a public artist [large outdoor projects for schools and museums etc…] wanted to help and really did a lot of work to make it happen. John financed the project and really helped Mira and I tone it down and keep it to the facts and positive.
It was truly a collaborative effort and was a lot of fun. Mira came up with the name for our new group and did all of the ticket’s content. John came up with printing and editing and much needed pushing to get things done. I came up with the plan of attack and the grass roots volunteer effort [about 100 cyclists and walkers]. The plan was to incorporate the ticketing into the national ‘Bike to work week” festivities. I thought that this would have a greater affect on why people like us would do such a thing. I also wanted to do all of the ticketing at night so that in the morning people would see hundreds of trucks ticketed. I felt that it would have a greater affect, rather than standing on a street corner like a lunatic. Since the ticket looked like a parking ticket, people would actually look at it.
For three nights we ticketed about 10,000 trucks and got a lot of attention. We were hounded by all of the media outlets [eventually made the comic strip Doonesbury!] and had a good showing of support and defensive responses from the SUV drivers. It was a great moment for me and I was very proud of what we did. It did have the effect that I wanted and it did influence people to change their ways [trading in their trucks for smaller cars and eventually hybrids, etc…]. However, this project became a bit of a monster and became a national presence. I just wanted this to be a one time thing! Get the point across and let people decide if they wanted to change, but the people that helped around the nation wanted more. I opted out of the project to pursue my bike building as a better way to influence people about conservation and a healthier lifestyle.
I decided to call my new shop ANT. I had always liked the name ANT and came up with a name to fit the acronym. I started producing bikes at my studio and my first bike was my cargo bike the “Frontaloadontome”. Well, actually my first bike was a 3 wheel cargo bike I made for a friend of mine, she did not like it and I eventually scrapped it. I mostly made fixed gear “Light Roadsters” with my D-Rack for friends and other people I knew. I made some “Frontaloadontome’s” for Redbones for their new bike delivery and things took off from there.
I met my wonderful girlfriend “Betsy” and her two equally wonderful children and moved my shop out of the city to be able to spend more time with my new family. I found a nice space in Holliston, Ma. I am now very happy with my new shop and family life. My hard days at Fat City and IF are behind me now and I can concentrate on my new ideas of how to influence people to ride their bikes for transportation and do it in style!
Sincerely Mike Flanigan/ANT