At the end of January, in fact, the last hour of January, my sister-in-law give birth to a little baby girl (see 1st photo on the right). This joyous occasion made me purchase a plane ticket and fly to Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts where my new niece and her parents reside.
The awesome thing about this neighborhood in Boston is that it is about 6 miles from Somerville, MA a.k.a. home of Independent Fabrication. So, during my stay in lovely Boston I traveled by subway to 86 Joy Street to see what exactly goes on in that place where the finest handcrafted frames are created.
Lucky me was picked up at one of Boston’s many Dunkins Donuts by Mr. Matt Bracken, President of IF, and whisked away to the IF compound. Matt and his dog, Charleston, gave me a very thorough tour of the workshop. He started at the wall of tubes (see picture under the “Live the Dream” sign) where each tube is hand picked to fit a customer’s individual needs. I then followed Matt around the shop as he explained each step of the bike-making process. I, of course, noticed the interesting contents in the trash can and had to take a photo. The can was filled with Dunkin Donuts coffee cup after coffee cup proving that “IF runs on Dunkins.”
I met most of the fine men and women on the back of the IF catalog and had the opportunity to stand and stare at them while they worked (I am sure they loved that). Under the picture of the array of Dunkin Donut cups you see Finn holding the one and only custom comfort bike designed for a show that IF will be attending. I think I may put that bike on my Christmas list.
Below the custom step-through frame you see Cliff working on an XS frame. Below him is a white arrow pointing at another XS. This frame is a special work in progress that, when completed, will be featured in Wired Magazine.
I took about a million pictures while I was at IF, some of which are on our Flickr page.
I am completely amazed with Independent Fabrication. Not only do they make absolutely stunning bicycles always paying attention to detail and handling each bike with loving care but they totally rock in the customer service department. They most certainly score bonus points with The Bicycle Escape for inviting me into their “home”, teaching me about what they do and making me feel welcomed.