Author Topic: Passing of Bruce Gordon  (Read 1924 times)

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Offline EmilyG

Passing of Bruce Gordon
« on: June 10, 2019, 05:53:09 pm »
The legendary bike builder, Bruce Gordon, has sadly left this mortal coil.   Here are a couple articles about his passing. No details yet. Just glad he got to go to France twice since his retirement.  Hoping Adventure Cycling will do a story on him in a near future issue of the magazine.    His touring bicycles are near perfection.

https://bikerumor.com/2019/06/08/in-memorium-a-tribute-to-bruce-gordon/

https://bikepacking.com/news/bruce-gordon-rip/

https://theradavist.com/2019/06/ride-in-peace-bruce-gordon/

https://www.bicycleretailer.com/industry-news/2019/06/07/framebuilder-bruce-gordon-dies#.XP7Q6RZKg_4

Thank you, Bruce, for the bikes, the wisdom, the artistry, and the humor.   Thank you for SOPWAMTOS (Society of People Who Actually Make Their Own S#!%). 

Most especially, thank you for the ride of my life (aka, my bicycle, in the photo below between Augusta and Great Falls, MT).

Offline tbessie

Re: Passing of Bruce Gordon
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2019, 02:28:52 pm »
Yes, very sad; I bought my very first touring bike from him (a "Rock and Road Tour" in 2014, a present to myself for my 50th birthday).

I talked with him (in person and on the phone) quite a few times since I ordered that bike, and the last time I saw him was at NAHBS in Sacramento this year.  He was the semi-loveable grouch he always was; I wished I'd had the time and opportunity to get to know him better.  I'm glad he got to do some traveling before he died, thought it's such a great shame he didn't get to enjoy more of his retirement.

I will miss knowing that he's around. :-(

Pix below are from the Norblad Hotel in Astoria, OR at the start of a coastal trip back to San Francisco; and on the Oregon coast.

- Tim
« Last Edit: June 11, 2019, 02:41:51 pm by tbessie »
Touring: Bruce Gordon Rock 'n Road Tour (2014)
Touring: Custom Steve Potts Ti with S&S Couplers (2018)
Century/Weekend: Custom Titanium Firefly with Campagnolo Chorus (2017)
Every Day: Bianchi Brava frame, Campagnolo Mirage (1999)
Every Day Backup: Jamis Quest parts on a Surly Pacer frame (2012)

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Passing of Bruce Gordon
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2019, 05:11:40 pm »
He was the semi-loveable grouch he always was;

I only spoke with him once, back in 1999, about some racks when it I had doubts that one of his former partners (Robert Beckman) was going to come through for me. That's the impression I got of him from that one call.

Offline David W Pratt

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Re: Passing of Bruce Gordon
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2019, 07:42:33 pm »
Only spoke to him once, on the phone, a couple of months ago.  Perhaps I'll sort of dedicate this Summer's trip, on the Rock and Road to his memory.  Emily is right about his bikes

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Passing of Bruce Gordon
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2019, 05:31:58 pm »
I stopped by his shop while I was out driving around wine country some 15 years ago.  He took some time to talk with me, although I could never get past the whopping $300 (IIRC) upcharge for custom bike big enough for me (rather than the BLT).  Lovely bikes (drool).

A crusty old codger, perhaps, but he knew his stuff, and was willing to share.  I see some of the overgeared, whippy bikes being sold as loaded touring bikes, and shake my head.  For instance, Bruce wrote that a stiff top tube prevented shimmy on a loaded bike, and while that's not always the cause of shimmy, it certainly seems to drastically reduce shimmy on a well-designed and built bike.

I wonder if we'll ever again see a generation of builders like Bruce, who learned by doing across a wide variety of bikes.  Or will we see minor experimentation around the edges of one or two bike types, with computer modeling doing most of the design work without on-the-road verification?

Offline alexstrickland

Re: Passing of Bruce Gordon
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2019, 07:20:32 pm »
Hoping Adventure Cycling will do a story on him in a near future issue of the magazine.    His touring bicycles are near perfection.

Alex from Adventure Cyclist here. We'll have a Waypoint about his passing in the Aug/Sept issue, but not a full-blown profile anytime soon. Dan D'Ambrosio wrote a great one in Feb. 2013 that's still well worth a read. https://www.adventurecycling.org/default/assets/resources/20130201_BruceGordon_D'Ambrosio.pdf

Glad I had the chance to meet Bruce at Interbike a few years ago. He certainly lived up to his surly reputation!

Offline EmilyG

Re: Passing of Bruce Gordon
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2019, 09:03:00 pm »
Thank you for letting us know about the future Waypoint, Alex.  I'll look forward to that issue. And thank you for the pointer to the article. 

I think a "Bruce Gordon Tour" would be a neat thing.  Bunch of Bruce Gordon bikes doing a ride. 

Offline EmilyG

Memorial for Bruce Gordon
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2019, 11:46:07 pm »
Memorial planned for June 30th in Petaluma, CA, 12-5 pm.   

Info here:  https://www.facebook.com/events/399259410932358/

Offline froze

Re: Passing of Bruce Gordon
« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2019, 09:22:14 am »
I would have loved to have bought one his touring bikes but they were a bit too much for my budget.  I just wonder if he knew he was dying and never said anything because he stopped making bikes then after the last one was completed he then liquidated everything he had.  He was a legend that's for sure; we lost a lot of custom steel giants lately.