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Race To NAHBS! ADHD Interview: 11 NAHBS-Related Questions For Don Walker Cycles

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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.

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13 years ago

Has anyone else notices that ALL of Don’s bikes pictured here, and everywhere else for that matter are always huge? Are they all his bikes?

13 years ago

Finally a bike builder with some clear answers! And some damn good looking bikes aw well.

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