It is a dream of many, a pile of steel tubes, a welding torch and a brazing rod…doesn’t everyone want to make their own frame? Well now you can.
There are some frame making courses in the UK but most of them have more of a leaning towards the road side of cycling. Well Andrew Denham (design engineer, organiser of the Cobble Wobble and founder of the Black Canon Collective MTB club and trail development project) is in the process of setting up The Bicycle Academy (www.thebicycleacademy.org) a frame building school (and open workshop) that will be based in Frome, Somerset, with the living legend Brian Curtis as the frame builder and tutor.
Andrew tells us more, “We’ll have a fully equipped workshop to teach the students that will also be used by course graduates as a drop–in facility, to enable them to work on their own projects or undertake paid work without the immediate set–up costs that are a barrier to most budding mechanics and frame builders.”
If you attend one of the courses the first frame that you make will be donated to a charity that is making bikes for people in Africa. Andrew again, “It’s fair to say that the first bike you build will be the worst bike you build (although functionally fine), so why not give it away to someone who really needs one?”
You really need to visit the website to get the full low down on what is going on, but I should also mention that the business is looking to be funded by Crowd Funding. “We’re going to try and raise enough money to open The Bicycle Academy workshop by pre–selling course places, and offering some very special custom frames and limited edition goodies in exchange for funding. If we reach our target then everyone wins and the project can really get started.” If any of you know or have heard of Kickstarter and understand how that works then you will get the jist of this idea. The Bicycle Academy’s crowd funding begins today and will run for six weeks.
If you’re interested then hit up www.peoplefund.it/the-bicycle-academy/