Thursday, 14 June 2012

More Than I'd Ever Dared Hope For

The wait's finally over!
Sunday 10th June 2012 saw the culmination of a long process which began back at the end of 2011.  A minor tweak to the saddle height was all that was required, and at just after midday, and minutes after the picture above was taken, I clipped into the pedals and rolled away from Rourke’s shop in Burslem.

A few hours earlier I awoke slightly nervous. Would I like the colour scheme in the flesh? Would all the hours I’d spent pouring over the minutia of the final build spec be worth it? Nearly 8 months since I first spoke to Gareth about a custom frame I was only hours away from collection.

As I walked into the bar area in the shop, there he was, Brian II, in the exact same spot that Brian Rourke himself had used when he measured me up in December 2011. My nervousness was gone in an instant, and I was staring at, what to my eyes at least, was the finest looking bicycle I’d ever had the pleasure of looking at. What’s more it was mine, well at least it would be once I’d payed for it!

The colours worked perfectly together, but it was the small details that really stood out. There are too many to list, but two in particular are noteworthy. The first was a very special custom headbadge that a chap call Geoff Moorhouse had made for me which sets the bike off beautifully, and also perfectly compliments the frame’s second, and perhaps finest feature. I’d chosen to have the trademark Rourke wrap over seatstays finished in the raw, and they’re a real testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the man who built the frame, Brian’s son, Jason.

One Very Special Headbadge

Signature Wrapover Seatstays

I’d decided long ago that I wanted to ride Brian II home from the shop, and so once @ASL191 had taken a few pictures, I was off. As I rode through the streets of Stoke it took some time to take it all in.  I really was riding along on a truly unique machine, one that had been built especially for me. The next two and a half hours were a real joy, riding south towards Rugeley before crossing Cannock Chase and turning east towards Shifnal. Brian II handled beautifully, super stable on fast downhills, and perfectly balanced on climbs. He really was everything I’d hoped for and much more besides.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the ‘team’ from Brian Rourke cycles. From the man himself who measured me up, to Gareth who played such a large part in making the whole experience such a pleasure. Lastly and not least, a massive thanks to Jason Rourke for building me my perfect frame.

Here's one last pic, just for the sake of it....

Brian II

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