7:05 a.m. Woke up, mainlined some caffeine, grabbed coat and helmet.
7:30 a.m. Rode my 1966 Honda Sport 50 to the Indie Bike shop.
7:45 a.m. More coffee at Taste across the street.
8:10 a.m. Checked e-mail and tracking numbers for inventory headed my way.
9:15 a.m. Skipped down the street to National Moto to begin assembling a customer’s purchase: a Brooklyn three-speed cruiser. Prepped/greased/tightened a wood crate on the rear rack.
10:40 a.m. Customer pick-up. Happy guy! Mandatory snapshot of him on the bike for the archives.
11:20 a.m. A collector friend arrived with some new finds for the shop: a small brass fire extinguisher, an 1890s bicycle pump from Indianapolis Pump Co., copper oil cans, vintage bicycle saddles, a beautiful original brass speedometer.
12:15 p.m. Brainstormed with the collector on his brass-era motorbike build this spring.
12:50 p.m. Headed home for lunch. I really need to eat more.
1:30 p.m. Jumped in the truck and headed to Pro-Kote on the northwest side to pick up some freshly painted parts. Great family-owned company focused on motorsports equipment. Magoo, their white Westie, greeted me at the door.
2:15 p.m. Couldn’t resist taking a tour to check out the hot rods and monster trucks Pro-Kote was working on. Eventually, I grabbed the baby-blue frame and rims I came for and paid up.
3:45 p.m. Headed south to a local graphics company to size up some visuals for a motorbike I’m building for Popular Mechanics. The Pantone color had to match exactly—Hearst Corp. doesn’t mess around.
4:10 p.m. Phone call to Joe Bargman, special editor at the Esquire Network, for details on next week’s film shoot. Very cool documentary on the history of National Moto in the works.
4:35 p.m. Back to SoBro to meet “Fast Freddy” at Vintage MotorCar Restoration. Discussed some specifics for the custom frame he’ll be painting for Popular Mechanics. Fred quickly took me to school on the basecoat interaction with the final color. Love me some chromatic theory.
4:55 p.m. Worked on some mock-ups for a new frame National Moto will be manufacturing this year. Flipped through some old motorcycle pics in the archive for inspiration. This thing debuts in Orlando in October. Ugh.
5:30 p.m. Back up the street to Indie Bike for some miscellaneous late-day administration: payroll, restocking, straightening up the store.
6 p.m. Closed up shop and headed to the Red Key for beers with the 52nd and College corner crew.
8:45 p.m. Paid up with owner Jim Settle and headed home for another beer, dinner, and some quality time with the wife. Second shift began on the couch: research, more mock-up work, e-mail.
1 a.m. Crashed early so I could do it all over again the next day.
Photos by Tony Valainis
This article appeared in the March 2014 issue.