People often ask me "how long have you been in the bicycle business?". I tell them "as long as I can remember". My mom found this picture as she was going through her old photographs and thought I might like it. This is a picture of me on my first custom bike. For weeks, I saved up money by collecting beer cans out of dumpsters. I used the money to buy this rusty JC Penny bike from a friend's brother (I think it may have been for $5). Then I did what I always did from then on with a recently acquired bike. I tore it apart and fixed it up into what I wanted it to be.
This particular modification was done in my grandfather's work shop. It consisted of a couple of iron pipes that I cut to length, smashed flat, and hammered onto the fork blades. When my grandfather walked in and saw what I was making, one might think he would have scolded me for ruining a perfectly good bike. Instead, he broke out the welder and welded the iron pipes in place for me. Then we went down to Western Auto, and he bought me a can of metallic blue spray paint to finish it off with.