I pretty much wait all year to get this email. It’s short and simply reads;
“The bikes are ready. When can I expect you?”
Usually BrittLee and I drop whatever we are doing the next day and hop in the car. The drive up from NYC takes about three hours. Richie’s shop sits right next to his house, which sits on a spring fed pond. All three are in the town of Warwick, MA. Once you’re off the highway you drive up through the woods up a six mile climb where a sign warns you that you are entering a “densely populated area”. This is your welcome to the town of about 800 where some of the best frames in the world are made.
At this point we usually haven’t seen each other since Cross Nationals. After the hugs we sit on his deck. Drink coffee and catch up. Yeah we’re here to get the bikes but that some how seems totally secondary.
Britt and I take the canoe out on the pond and go for a swim. Then we have some lunch. It feels like we’re visiting a family member we haven’t seen in a while not our team manager.
Eventually we stroll down the short path that connects Richie’s house to the workshop where he builds his frames. The preseason gathering is starting to draw to a close as we pack up the car. With new bikes on the roof morale is at an all time high. I can happily stop riding my road bike for the next five months now.