At this point in our series: Race to NAHBS! It is has been well established that Curtis Inglis is one of the most terrifying men in the handmade bicycle scene. But Curtis does fear one man: Don Walker. Bob Parlee agrees with Curtis that Walker is a formidable beast. Despite his reputation as a gigantic, walking nightmare in a kilt, Don Walker came across as pretty even-keeled in his interview, even showing a vulnerable side — he is scared of recumbents.
11 NAHBS-Related Questions:
BR: Are your plans for NAHBS a secret, or can you tell us a little bit about what you’re showing?
DW: Sure, I am doing 3 track bikes, 2 road bikes and a road tandem. The tandem will be the main focus of my booth.
BR: What about the booth, anything extra-special-crazy in the booth department?
DW: The backdrop will be the same as last year, but I have been playing around with display for the bikes themselves. Oh, and I will have 2 new “collectors” t shirts on display.
BR: What do you see as the hot trend at NAHBS this year?
DW: I am thinking it might still be Cross bikes, but it could swing over to more utilitarian style rides, you know, grocery getters…
BR: What is the lamest frame building trend ever?
DW: LUGS! Just kidding. Probably internal cable routing.
BR: What is the most challenging or horrible thing you’ve had to do as a frame builder?
DW: Challenging; Make a bike to be ridden in a major international competition in 2 and a half days. I must have done it well, it ended up with a Silver Medal! (1994 Commonwealth Games, Shaun Wallace)
BR: What is your favorite type of bike to build?
DW: Without a doubt, it’s Track bikes.
BR: As a frame builder is there anything you absolutely will not to? Like a not-without-a-gun-to-my-head type thing?
DW: Recumbents. Those things just scare me.
BR: Sum up your entire bicycle building philosophy in one word or less. Kidding. How about three words?
DW: It MUST Win!
BR: If you weren’t building bikes, what would you be doing?
DW: Making something with my hands. I used to be an aircraft mechanic, so maybe wrenching on something…?
BR: Who is your bike-building idol? Who do you look up to?
DW: This is a trick question. There are so many. I would say despite the total difference in style than how I build, it would be Roland Della Santa with Richard Sachs a whisker behind…
BR: This one is important. Of the people showing at NAHBS, who is the last frame builder you would ever want to fight? Like physically.
DW: Oh Lord, without a doubt it would be Don Ferris. That dude was an Army Ranger and could kill people with a toothpick like 37 different ways. Its a good thing he’s on OUR side….
Visit Don Walker Cycles website for more information.