Friday, March 14, 2008
An Interview With Darrell McCulloch, Part III
In our last installment of our interview with Dazza, we discuss inspiration, his riding and the nature of the custom bike experience.
BKW: From where do your draw inspiration?
DLM: From everywhere, from everyone, from everything around one that passes by, and perhaps something from inside me. I like to think I am a student of the world.
"Model Engineer" magazine is brilliant.
BKW: What about your own work continues to excite you?
DLM: Trying today to better what I did last week. Not just the metal work, but also all the other things that an independent framebuilder likes to do and must do.
I call my work or way I express myself in my work/lifestyle my Ph.D. that will never be completed.
BKW: Where do you think you are going with your frame building and also where do you think frame building will go?
DLM: Better, more refined and a greater recognition as an alternative to the ones that are sick of 900 gram awful riding and looking breaking carbon mass-produced stuff.
BKW: Do you ride and how often?
DLM: Five to six times a week. I don't pull the knicks on unless it is at least two hours pedaling and it must be first thing in the morning or it just does not happen.
No coffee shop stuff. I reckon coffee shop riding is a lame excuse to get on your bike.
I ride, look around and think and sometimes huff and puff when I am motivated to lean on the pedals. I like the hills.
For while I stopped riding for a few years (insert extra workshop toil here) lost the need to ride, that passed and now I have to ride! Sundays is with mates over some climbs for four hours.
BKW: Do you race, tour, MTB or ... other?
DLM: I did a lot of road and track racing for many years, also a few seasons in France; I loved racing on France, lots of seconds and thirds as my gallop was barely detectable by modern scientific instruments. I could scamper up a decent climb as I weighed about 60kgs. Touring, not yet, but I want to cycle tour properly, but I have to build myself a touring bicycle first. Project for next summer. No MTB here, life has been too short.
I love bush walking and camping, walk in and walk out stuff.
BKW: In a few words, can you sum up bespoke hand made frame construction?
DLM: Toil, more toil, lots of toil. More complicated than it was 10 or 20 years ago. Maybe that is why some lifetime builders struggle with the niche market that it is today.
However, it is fun, and rewarding to my soul. I would not have done it any other way.
Bicycles and racing have allowed me to visit and work in 23 countries, work two Olympics as national team mechanic, travel, enjoy good times with many friends around the world. All way more than I could have expected to see and do when I kicked off in Sandgate 1979.
So the toil has a nice payoff. What do I have to complain about? I am happy.
BKW: What do you want your clients to take away when you make them a bicycle?
DLM: A bicycle that gives them many years of enjoyable riding. So with each passing year, their Llewellyn bicycle gives them greater value. Thus they Cherish their Llewellyn. That pleases me.