Readers’ Rides: Fergus’ Bishop Randonneuring Bike

While John was catchin’ up with Ritchey before Sea Otter, he had a chance to document FergusBishop Bikes Randonneuring bike. We felt it’d make a perfect Readers’ Rides to give some insight into why Fergus loves this bike and randonneuring riding so much. Along with his relationship with Chris Bishop. Read on for some banger photos and words in this special Readers’ Rides!

I am wasting words. It’s not something I like to do, especially in written form, but in the case of describing my Bishop, I’m having a hard time finding more than two words to use. It’s perfect. Recently, while riding in West Marin, I thought about how this bike came about. Every good bike has its origin story.

I met Chris and his now-wife in 2005 when they moved into my friend’s house in San Francisco. We were both working messengers; he rode for Pelican. If you know the name, then you know it wasn’t easy or glamorous. Later that summer, I moved to Philly and lost track of him. It wasn’t until the North American Cycle Courier Championship in Chicago in 2008 that I saw Chris again. Fresh out of the Yamaguchi school, he was selling forks and stems as replacements for the track frames we all rode, and eventually, we crashed. I thought good luck! and passed on buying one. I kick myself now, remembering them being beautiful, but who could trust a new builder, let alone messenger?!

Years passed, and I found myself at the 2012 NAHBS, where Chris had just won Best Build. Maybe this was the first time he offered to build me a frame. I politely declined, as I had more than my share of existing bikes. A couple of years later, I got a job at Ritchey and found myself in regular communication with Chris where, almost always at the last minute, he needed parts for builds. Every now and then, he’d ask when I’d get a frame, but at this point, I was actually scared to own a Bishop. I told him his bikes were too good for me! Anything he built, I’d just ruin, and we laughed at my inability to keep anything nice.

I’m not sure what it was, but in 2019 I was finally ready to order a Bishop. While atop his Serrota fit bike, he asked what I wanted. I said a track bike. Seemed to make sense; it was in our history and DNA, but he paused.

Naw, he said, he’d rather make me a bike I would actually ride.

It seemed my knack for getting the bike I needed versus the bike I wanted continued. I was already dabbling in longer rides and knew I wanted to do Paris Brest Paris someday, so how about a randonneur bike? He rolled his eyes:

“I should have just let you have the track bike, he said; you know how many braze-ons are on those things?”

Two years passed until I finally received the frame. I scrutinized every detail, from getting Rick at D&D to paint the frame to the Sapim Race spokes, to the frame bags, to the 170mm Ritchey Logic double cranks with Ti Super Logic bottom bracket—EVERY. THING. My first ride was a blissful experience, some 100-plus miles of rolling greenery just North of Point Reyes. The fit was amazing, the first time I rode a bike with no adjustment or tweaking needed.

Still dreamy but very hungry on the return from my inaugural ride, I stopped at a local grocer to grab a snack. I dutifully leaned my bike against the bike rack and turned around to a powerful gust of wind in my face and a loud clang behind me. I looked back to see my bike knocked over, no doubt the very frame bag I chose acted as a sail. I ran back to find right in the middle of the top tube, where the adjacent rack broke my bike’s fall, a sizable dent.

And there and then, it was finally perfect.



We’d like to thank all of you who submitted Readers Rides builds to be shared here at The Radavist. The response has been incredible and we have so many to share over the next few months. Feel free to submit your bike, listing details, components, and other information. You can also include a portrait of yourself with your bike and your Instagram account! Please, shoot landscape-orientation photos, not portrait. Thanks!