Observation Stevil Checks in with Francis Cycles

One of the folks attending/competing at this fall’s challenge is Joshua Muir from Frances Cycles who is known far and wide as a builder who makes stuff that leaves people scratching their heads asking ‘how the hell did he do that?”

Lucky for me, he opened his doors to me recently and gave me a preview of what he might be armed with as he arrives at the ball;

Joshua, clearly thrilled by my interruption of his work.

Walking into the gated backyard of a house that appears to have all of the markers of a happy commune, I’m first greeted by a creme colored duck, and then though the roll up door of a small shop tucked into the corner of the backyard, I get a nod from Joshua who is busy brazing away on a fork clamped onto his bench;

He puts down his torch and warmly extends his hand to shake mine. While he seems to be a man of few words, it’s clear that he is passionate about what he does, and looks forward to putting the final touches on his entry for the Challenge, which he mentions almost seeming to remind himself, is only four months away.

It was just a few years ago that Josh took the Green Tortoise bus to Eugene, Oregon in order to pick up aHuman Powered Machine for a local messenger company he was working for at the time. As he rode the bike back down the coast with his two Labradors Soupy and Bellow, he began thinking about, if he could, what changes he might include to make a better bike.

With a lifelong background in tinkering, and a sharp eye for detail, in 2006 Josh launched Frances, and hasn’t looked back since;

Before I departed, Josh pulled out a current project, which though it doesn’t have any connection to September’s show, (because for now, that’s still a bit of a secret), I shot a few images of just to highlight his skill with metal and fire;

Besides Frances Cycles, there will be a good number of other incredibly talented frame builders and designers displaying their wares this fall in PDX, and with a little bit of luck, I will be there in both body and mind, decked out in all of my Levi’s finery.

By Stevil Kenevil