The puzzle pieces begin their final alignment with the arrival of my Grand Bois Parallel "MARS" bars.
With terrifying haste, they travelled from Kyoto to my door in two days. (I ordered the chainring and cog from New York state almost a week ago, and no sign of them!) Grand Bois is a classy operation: they have their own cardboard boxes, for one thing. And these bars are good-looking, and have a very promising shape: lots of reach, a totally flat ramp, not a lot of drop, and a bit of a flare. Very important to me and the stylish Japanese, they are non-anodized (or, in the words of the Babelfish translation, "Alumite nothing"). I'm going to leave lots of shiny aluminum unwrapped in the centre to show this off. At 40cm, they are wide but not too wide — this is the narrowest available size. Witness their beauty:
The other good news is that: (a) I ordered five sets of NOS Reynolds 531 tubing today from Bicycle Classics. This is an "investment in myself"; I have now committed myself to building five frames. Soon I will begin laying out on here what their design will be. They'll be good. (b) I interviewed Mike Barry tonight for a couple of articles I'll be working on, and it was great. Lots to go over. More on these articles soon.