That's my bud TK (Takuro) at a bowling alley in the Mission District of S.F, waiting for a lane to open up. It's one of the few prints I keep pinned to the wall next to my desk at Rivendell. I met TK seven or eight years ago thru skateboarding; he was on one of his early trips out here from Tokyo and he got deep into bikes on his own soon afterwards. Since then, he's built up a HubbuHubbuH, a Cheviot, and maybe a Sam too.
Before the pandemic, he'd come to San Francisco every couple of years and we'd go on rides together. I love riding with TK because riding trails is so novel to him (I don't think there are many in Tokyo) that he'd get super excited even by the ones that I take for granted. When I went out to Tokyo, both TK and Chuyan from Blue Lug were such great hosts that I felt like I saw a side of Tokyo only a tiny fraction of Americans get to see; I try to do the same for him when he comes out, although he seems pretty savvy at finding the non-touristy gems.
This custom has been in the works for a long, long time but Grant, Mark Nobilette and Joe Bell all did such a fantastic job on it that the wait was worth it. TK wanted the same color as Mark's custom; what we got is slightly different, slightly bluer, but we all agree it's even better for it.
I love this ball bearing pump peg.
I've never seen anybody do lug lining as well as Joe Bell. Steady hands!
Thanks for waiting so long, TK! I hope I see you soon.