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Ms. Michaels gets her mixte

Posted by on March 3rd, 2007 at 6:28 pm


Here’s a nice bike love story for you.

Sprockette and Portland school teacher Maggie Michaels got the surprise of her life today.

Maggie is the girlfriend (and muse) of builder Joseph Ahearne and he has been secretly working for months on a special “mixte” style bike that he unveiled today.

She showed up at the Handmade Bike Show in San Jose and “was shocked” when she realized this super-special bike was hers. I showed up a few minutes after she saw it and I could still see the tears in her eyes.

NAHBS Day 2 (second half)NAHBS Day 2

“It’s just so amazing…there are so many things on this bike that I love. A year ago I gave Joseph a chip of eggplant paint and said someday I want a bike in this color.”

In addition to the paint, Joseph added tons of heart and sweet little touches to this bike:

The headbadge is made from a pendant on one of Maggie’s old necklaces,

NABHS day 2

There’s a very subtle “Ms. Michaels” painted on the downtube,

NAHBS Day 2 (second half)

Gorgeous “fleur de lis” seat/chain stays that Joseph told me were, “one of those 2:30 am and I’m lying awake trying to figure out hold to build things type of inspiration,”

NAHBS Day 2 (second half)

Seat stays capped with vintage spoon handles that Joseph found years ago and kept them specifically for this purpose,

NAHBS Day 2 (second half)

And of course, the rack is a marvel of curved tubes, deep purple hardwood, and a built in vase and u-lock holder.

NAHBS Day 2 (second half)

Fantastic. Every time I walk by this bike it is surrounded. I saw at least two other ladies taking Joseph’s card and asking him about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if it wins the “People’s Choice” award tomorrow.

Nice work Joseph.

[You can see more photos of this bike and much more in my NAHBS gallery.]

UPDATE: This bike took home Best City Bike honors! Read the story here.

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  • Fritz March 3, 2007 at 11:20 pm

    I saw her walking around the floor looking very happy.

    I didn’t know you’d be here!

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  • Scott Mizee March 4, 2007 at 5:53 am

    very cool…. very cool… a guy could make a living out of making these custom made bikes for the girls….

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  • Michelle March 4, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    Oh I’m swooning.

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  • vicstar March 4, 2007 at 8:38 pm

    i love it! how do i get one for my wife?

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  • chelsea March 5, 2007 at 11:01 am

    Wow! That almost has me in tears.

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  • jj March 6, 2007 at 6:56 pm

    #2 maybe some women will want bikes like this too…

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  • […]  Maggie’s mixte received the most attention by far, as the complete package was very visually striking – there is also a great story behind the bike as well (here). […]

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  • Monts July 31, 2007 at 3:56 pm

    What a bike… what a story. We should all be so lucky to have such gifts bestowed by loved ones.

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