Looking over these photos from the Friday after Thanksgiving, I noticed something interesting: Almost everything pictured here is hand-made. The dress I am wearing was made by my mother. The hat and scarf were made by me. Even the bicycle was hand-made by an Italian frame builder for Bella Ciao. This combination was not intentional, but once I noticed it, I found it striking.
While my framebuilding days are not yet on the horizon, I do have enormous respect for bicycles hand-made by others, and an insatiable curiosity about the process. Whether independent framebuilders such as JP Weigle, Peter Mooney, Royal H. and ANT, or small manufacturers such as Mercian, Rivendell, Velo Orange and even Pashley and Bella Ciao - I am impressed by the sheer amount of work and consideration it takes to get the design, the construction, and the finishing just right. The more I learn about the process, the more overwhelming it seems. In a world of homogenous, mass-produced goods, it is amazing to witness what our minds and our hands are capable of creating.