My art-ride for Nuit Blanche 2011…

Ever since my trip to Copenhagen last year (where I re-learned the joys of cycling) I have been cycling nearly everywhere in Toronto, all the time, on my Schwinn Hybrid I purchased at Canadian Tire.  Sturdy and economical; it’s been a faithful steed. However, with respect to speed and weight, it’s kind of a pig.

Earlier this summer Kris was showing me his home built bikes and the sleek designs of single speed/fixed gear bicycles. After seeing his blue beauty and watching him blow by me on straight-aways – despite my gears – I wanted one.

Luckily, he had an extra old steel frame and fork I had a vision…

Piece by piece, I collected all the parts I needed while, concurrently, working on the paint job and design of the Tiger bike. Since it’s an older frame the bike had a lot of idiosyncracies that most bike shops downtown weren’t familiar with. So what should’ve been a month – at max – job, turned into a 4 month build project. Through it all, I was lucky to have a dedicated design team for moral support and technical expertise. Eventually, I had to turn to the pros at Cogs cycle to take care of the tough stuff: the cutting and threading of the fork, bottom bracket work, and access to old-style stems.

The design team: "Uncle" Peter, Me, Tiger, Kris Hernandez

Today, I rode the Tiger for the first time. I stopped by Bike Sauce to pick up a cheap seat post, saddle, and kickstand. (If you haven’t been: the staff are knowledgeable, the volunteers are helpful, and there are PILES of parts) Afterwards, I bombed around the downtown core eager for my coming night ride…

In Toronto it’s Nuit Blanche tonight.  And the Tiger bike is my ride.

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