The Worst Day of the Year Ride is February 11th

The bikes have been raced, judged, and ogled. And the winners are…

Posted by on October 3rd, 2009 at 10:11 pm

[Welcome to our continuing coverage of the Oregon Manifest’s Constructor’s Design Challenge. See our previous coverage here.]

manifest constructors race

Greg Heath built and raced this
Donkelope bike, which won a
design award.
(Photos © Elly Blue)

All day yesterday, the thirty offerings in the Oregon Manifest Constructors Challenge were judged. Today, they were put through their paces on a 77 mile course, from Vernonia to Portland via some epic hills, gravel roads, and city traffic.

The winners are in, and fifteen prizes were awarded — the top three finishers in the race, and the top twelve frame builders on the merits of their submitted design.

manifest constructors race

Andy for Signal Cycles, all dressed up
and headed to the finish line

For the race (by total race time — the departures were staggered):

    3. Dan Boxer racing for (and builder of) Boxer Cycles in Seattle — 5 hours 21 minutes (he was first across the finish, making a splash with bloody knuckles and handlebars)

    2. David Wilcox racing for Circle A Cycles in Providence, RI — 5 hours exactly.

    1. Mike Kath racing for Sprout Cycles of Portland came in at 4 hours, 56 minutes.

And the design winners were:

manifest constructors race

Curtis Inglis on his Retrotec rolls
past the finish line and into the party
    12. Donkelope Bikes : Bellingham, Washington
    – One of the more distinctive frames in its overall shape

    11. Signal Cycles : Portland, Oregon

    10. Circle A Cycles : Providence, Rhode Island

    9. Hufnagel Cycles : Portland,
    – “Where’s your front rack?” yelled someone in the crowd — it had been taken off during the race after it came loose on the bumpy gravel

    manifest constructors race

    Metrofiets’ racer Matt Caracoglia

    8. Rex Cycles : Sacramento, California
    — Josh Simmonds, the impossibly tall rider of the Goodrich bike, hoisted this high above the crowd for Steve Rex, who had broken his collarbone during the race.

    7. Metrofiets : Portland, Oregon
    – It took three people to hoist the only cargo bike in the competition (they then tossed it into the air a few inches)

    6. DiNucci Cycles : Sisters, Oregon
    – DiNucci did not show up for the race today, and was nowhere in sight when his name was called. His mom, Doris, jumped up on stage instead. “Where are you, Mark?” she demanded into the microphone. “Mark DiNucci, I didn’t raise you to be a quitter!”

    manifest constructors race

    Circle A Cycles’ offering,
    raced by David Wilcox

    5. Retrotec / Inglis Cycles : Napa, California
    – Another distinctive frame with amazing, artistic details

    4. Ahearne Cycles : Portland, Oregon
    – A step through bike with beautiful racks and front light cage

    3. Vertigo Cycles : Portland, Oregon
    – The judges were particularly impressed by the details on this bike, including what one called “the best execution I’ve ever seen” of a split for installing a belt drive.

    2. SyCip Design : Santa Rosa, California
    – A gorgeous bike with handmade front and rear bags, a retractable cable lock, embedded quarters, and many more details

    1. Pereira Cycles : Portland, Oregon
    – The crowd saw this one coming a mile away, and you could barely hear the judge call Tony’s name.

A big congratulations to all the winners — and to all the builders and racers. It was tremendously exciting to be there — and to see the energy from these builders from all over the country all in one room.

We’ll be bringing you more coverage from today. In the meantime, check out our photo gallery from the finish line (with many more photos, including some from the course, coming soon).

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • BURR October 3, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Congratulations, Tony!


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  • matt cardinal October 3, 2009 at 10:58 pm

    Congrats Tony! You’d better wear that suit every day!

    And Sean Chaney! I didn’t even know that bridge had a split in it. Top notch is the only kind of work that rolls out of the Vertigo shop!

    And big thanks to all the people who spent all their time and energy to make this happen. A truly unique event in this era of bike-show-of-the-minute.

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  • rev October 3, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    the pride of salt lake is still inspiring wonderful and crazy innovations back home:


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  • Paul Tay October 4, 2009 at 6:01 am

    My dream bike? Foldable into a bag or large suitcase, kelvar belt drive, and internal CVT or similar.

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  • twistyaction October 4, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    It’s gotta be mentioned that

    “the best execution I’ve ever seen” of a split for installing a belt drive.

    is the design of another Portland titanium frame builder, Dave Levy at Ti Cycles. It first appeared on my bike which I’ve been riding for over a year.

    Gotta give credit where it’s due. Dave found out his design had been “licensed” at the judging on Friday. He didn’t seem to mind, and is in fact friends with Sean at Vertigo, but since it was noted as a significant part of the reason for the award, it bears mentioning.

    One other detail of interest that’s been overlooked was Igleheart’s use of Sturmey Archer’s new 3-speed fixed gear hub. Neat-o.

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  • KWW October 4, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    I still remember Tony’s bike from the 2008 NAHBS. He’s got he knack.

    I also zoned in on that S-A fixie 3 speed. It could of used a custom pulley instead of the standard S-A pulley.

    I would of thought that a 3 speed would of scored higher in the design contest…

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  • Sean Chaney October 4, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    It’s absolutely true that I borrowed the split design from Dave and I gave him full credit when I spoke with the judges. I feel that it’s also important to mention that I asked Dave’s permission way back at the little OBCA bike show before during bridge pedal registration a few years ago.

    Rody Walter (Groovy Cycles) and Darren Crisp (Crisp Titanium) have also used the same design.

    Thanks to everyone involved with the show, I had a blast. Tony’s bike was just amazing and it was obvious how much work he put into it. The ride was incredible and incredibly difficult (I didn’t finish) and all bike entries were gorgeous.

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  • […] of the 12 selected design winners, I saw kick stands on only 4 […]

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  • Heather October 5, 2009 at 9:34 am

    All of the bikes were absolutely beautiful, but I give serious props to Ahearne for entering a step through (and a step-through worth serious coveting at that). I’d love to see more well-thought-out and well-made step throughs and mixtes here in town.

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  • jim g October 5, 2009 at 11:44 am

    “9. Hufnagel Cycles : Portland,
    Oregon – “Where’s your front rack?” yelled someone in the crowd — it had been taken off during the race after it came loose on the bumpy gravel”


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  • watcher October 5, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    The idea that Hufnagel’s bike failure still warranted top ten is a pretty clear indication that the contest wasn’t about urban utility as they advertised. And how are we to know that these guys are any good if failures and mistakes are overlooked and hidden on a regular basis? If a bike builder is making junk, shouldn’t the consumer know about it?
    And the fact that Denucci’s bike wasn’t even raced should have disqualified him. How do we know that bike wouldn’t have failed as well?

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  • jim g October 5, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    @watcher — totally agree!

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  • Sean Chaney October 5, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    rack bolts coming loose isn’t a sign of poor craftsmanship, it’s an indicator of rushed assembly.

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  • […] the six-week event. Congratulations to the participants and winners. There’s a complete rundown of winners here. (Special thanks to the ever-awesome for their complete, timely, and wonderful […]

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  • middle of the road guy October 8, 2009 at 8:36 pm


    Unless it is not threaded properly.

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  • […] Wilcox did an amazing job of representing Circle A in the Oregon Manifest Constructor’s Race! He got 2nd place in the Constructor’s Race and we got 10th in the Design Challenge. All in […]

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  • Ruthy November 1, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Paul Tay said –
    ‘My dream bike? Foldable into a bag or large suitcase, kelvar belt drive, and internal CVT or similar.’

    Bike Fridays do that .. and working on a belt drive.

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