Note: Manivelle N°46 and N°47 were made for a duo, Sylvie and Jean Louis, who followed the whole experience together. The story you will find on the pages of both bikes is therefore identical
Let’s start with a flashback, almost 4 years ago. A Sunday in Ottrott, with a soccer field as a backdrop, the one that hosts the start and finish of the Circuit des Myrtilles every year. Thomas and I, with a table and two bikes (the very first gravel bikes we built, ours) to talk about our business. Just next to it, there are more tables, to drink and eat once the cyclo route has been ridden. At that time, we knew absolutely no one from the local FFCT events community, and we were a bit of a UFO with our handmade bikes. Two people stop at our little show. They are Sylvie and Jean-Louis. We speak well, they are surprised by our project, they adhere to our values, they end up talking to us about a project for a big trip in 2024. And that they may come to us for the realization of their travel bike.
Time goes by and our business grows, we become more seasoned, the order book fills up and the promises of “I’ll come and see you” don’t weigh the same anymore, we now know that they are often light words. February 2022, a couple calls us to make an appointment for the realization of two bikes: the famous Sylvie and Jean Louis. The objective: to realize to her, to him, the bicycles which will allow them to realize the big journey of which they spoke to us on the soccer field. Departure in July 2024, first destination: New Zealand, duration: undetermined.
“On the way, we’ll see a lot of friends from all over Europe, that we met during all these years of cycling”, says Sylvie, with whom I share a coffee at the bar of the Ateliers Éclairés association. (third place where our workshop is located). It’s delivery day for the Manivelle N°46 and N°47 today. Sylvie and Jean-Louis came by train from Mutzig, to make the return on their new bikes. Jean-Louis arrives with his old bike in his hand. He explains me that it is his son, come from Paris for the occasion, who will ride on it to accompany them.
Jean-Louis talks about luggage and equipment with Thomas. I continue to chat with Sylvie and Clément (the son) at the counter, enjoy Sylvie’s anecdotes about her travels, her bivouacs, or even her “Warmshowers” welcomes. We almost forget that there are bikes to see, and Jean-Louis comes to ask us if it is the moment.
We enter the workshop, the two bikes are waiting under their respective sheets. We ask them if we reveal them together, or one and then the other. They ask us to start with the one of Sylvie, we make fall the sheet.
His face is beautiful in the dim lighting of our delivery moments, I take pictures. Sylvie gives us “wow”, she seems to be pleased by her new partner, and she takes a little time before simply saying thank you, then asking us her first questions.
Jean-Louis’s turn to discover his Manivelle, who wears a dress in symmetry of Sylvie’s Manivelle. He has a personality, at least a way of expressing his emotions, quite different from Sylvie’s. Very restrained, sometimes anxious, in any case, if a smile comes out, like when he discovered his raw frame before painting, it is a great reward. He turns around, touches it. Then smiles, bingo. He asks his son to bring his old bike next to him, as a rite of passage, as if to verify that he is still ready to change.
We go outside, the weather is nice, and our two cyclists of the day take in hand their new Manivelle. We make pictures, and a friend of theirs joins the procession. This delivery is very particular for us, intense because our eyes are permanently in two places at the same time. The presence of the son and the friend transforms the delivery into a festive moment. Sylvie and Jean-Louis ask for a picture with Thomas and me. More beautiful emotions, which will come out one by one in our heads when we take back the tools to give life to your next handmade bikes.
Thank you to all this joyful troop for this beautiful day of delivery, for the future invitations to come and have a coffee at their place, for the past postcards received regularly during the making of the Crank N°46 and N°47, and for all the nice moments of exchange
Have a nice life, both of you!
Fork: Custom Manivelle (steel) // Frame: Custom Manivelle Columbus Zona // Transmission: Shimano GRX 2×11, 46-30, 11-36 cassette. Shimano 105 mechanical levers // Brakes: TRP Spyre // Wheels: Hunt Superdura, Dynamo Son // Hanger: Ritchey Venturemax // Headset: Stronglight // Saddle : Berthoud Marie-Blanque // Tire: Schwalbe Marathon Plus // Stem: Ritchey // Seatpost : Manivelle x Starbar // Handlebars :Berthoud // Mudguards : Berthoud // Luggage rack : Custom crank // Bottle cage : Crank // Lighting : Busch&Muller //
Delivered to the workshop on 24.02.23