May 24, 2015
Alex Singer (Paris) bicycles were sold by Spence Wolf at Cupertino Bike Shop. I was nearby and idolized them. There's plenty written about these gems, no need to add to the legend. Suffice to say, I still have a musette from Spence with the historic and romantic address.
Here is great tribute by Jan Heine about the Singer tradition and Ernest Csuka; proprietor-builder, 1962-2009. Who better to embrace the Csuka vision than his son, Olivier? Photographer-wheel builder Corey Mihailiuk is in Paris and provides us with a thoughtful portrait of Olivier in the old workshop. Corey lives close by and drops in to chat with Olivier who runs it today.
According to Corey, "The tools in that place are truly ancient. I took a look at the wheel stand the last time I was in there and I could hardly believe what my eyes were seeing. I think they made it themselves during the second WW and it was put together from scraps of metal. It is by far the most primitive device I have ever seen. Somehow they have built every wheel that has come out of that shop for the last 75 years. You won’t believe it…" I hope Olivier lets you photograph it for us!
Corey is updating his website (5/15) and less of his oeuvre is displayed but the haunting, provocative portraits he shows are special. People are unique; like bicycles, complex, no two the same.
After 20 years in the Toronto bicycle scene (BicycleSport, Mike Barry/Mike Brown; Mariposa; etc.) Corey followed dreams to Paris where he has previously lived. Now an interest in wheel building is again rising. With 40+ years experience, we expect to hear more from "Cognoscenti Hand Built Wheels" in the near future.
Thanks, Corey; and hello to Olivier!
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