Handmade Tales


Automation has made it possible to produce so many objects — from bread to shoes — without the intervention of human hands (assuming that pressing a button doesn’t count). What things do you still prefer in their traditional, handmade version?

Every morning, after reading a chapter in the Holy Bible, Barb and I take our first cups of coffee to the patio and discuss the “issues of the day”. This morning it was the current post, Handmade Tales.

“What have we purchased in the past thirty years that could be considered handmade?” I asked.

You would not believe how often my responses have been the result of her suggestion. She’s an idea machine. But this morning I was disappointed because she was stumped. So I began running some things by her:

“You know, if we were horse people we might be in downtown Greenville, Texas ordering a custom saddle from that fellow in that shop. Or if we were in Spain I might be getting measured for a new suit. But we’re not,” I said.

She took a couple of sips of her coffee, then said: “What about the tandem bicycle we had built by Green Gear in Eugene, Oregon. Would that work?”

She did it again. Without her my blog would go wanting.

We already had a Burley Samba Tandem that was serving us well, when our engineer friend demonstrated his custom built Tandem Two’sDay from Green Gear, a big brother of Bike Friday. They were expensive, very expensive, so we set the idea aside until Hugh, our friend, mentioned that we were approaching retirement age and would we be interested in taking a bike along.

Of Course!

We began visiting the Green Gear factory/shop on a regular basis. One day we weakened and ordered our own Tandem Two’sDay – $2700 – a lot of money for a bicycle. After being measured and weighed, our specifications were entered into a computer and they began cutting tubing, building wheels, brazing, and all the things it takes to make a bicycle built for two. In the process we selected the handlebars, grips, gears, saddles, and pedals. Nearly a month passed before it was ready, finished off in a powder coat black.

It is easily disassembled and put into two suitcases that easily met airline requirements, therefore avoiding the automatic $100 charge for bringing along a bicycle. However, that factor wasn’t as important as the folding aspect. In less than three minutes it folded in two places, allowing it to fit in the trunk of virtually any car…well perhaps not a Smart Car.

The folded Tandem Two’sDay afforded us to take our bike with us while relieving us of the worry of it being stolen or damaged while leaving the car unattended.

is a 47 minute You Tube video showing various aspects, many of which influenced our decision to own one.

We never looked back.

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