but a medical condition prevents
him from driving.
(Photos: Eric McGraw)
Eric McGraw loves cars. In fact, the 28-year old Southeast Portland resident has built and restored almost 25 of them. But two years ago he was diagnosed with a rare (and only recently known) medical condition called Vertical Heterophoria Syndrome. The condition caused Eric to get dizzy spells and blurred vision while driving, so doctors told him he could no longer do it. So, he started biking instead and has been hooked ever since.
Now, he’s transferred the skills he perfected on cars and is putting them to use on bikes. Eric has just launched a new business, Portland Bike Refinishing, based out of his shop near SE Foster and Gladstone.
“I had all this body work and painting skill, then I started riding bikes around more… And the more I looked at it, I realized there wasn’t anywhere to get this type of work done affordably. There weren’t a lot of options for the bike community. ”
Portland Bike Refinishing specializes in making old bikes look like new again. Eric’s website says, “Old bikes are not bad bikes, why throw out the old for the new? We can take the worst looking “thing” covered in dents, scratches, chips, rust and give it back to you looking better than new.”
Eric says he hopes to partner with local bike shops for referrals and to, “keep these old bike going strong.”
Eric uses an industrial paint (similar to what’s used on tractors and bulldozers he says) that is very durable and doesn’t chip easily. His prices start at about $100 for a frame and fork. For that price, he and his shop assistant will sandblast your frame (to get rid of the rust) and then paint it any color you can dream up. Clear coats, pinstripes, metallics, glow-in-the-dark colors and other fancy add-ons are available too.
Given Portland’s love of old city bikes, and judging from the amount of people I see on various email lists looking for local bike painters, I think Eric will stay quite busy. Check out PBRBikes.com for more info.