So happy new year folks and we don't know about you, but here at BCW 2014 began with a crash...
Or more precisely, the sound of falling timber as one of the undoubtedly ancient trees that surround the workshop and - at certain more summery times of the year (honestly) - suggest the atmosphere of a scenic rural idyll, a green tranquillity, even right in the heart of post-industrial Olney - anyway, to get to the point, when the storms hit the tree fell. On us.
Seriously, right onto the workshop. Luckily no one was inside at the time, though according to Ferdinand it made quite a noise and seriously disrupted that day's maneourvres in his ongoing campaign against the ever rising rodent armies of Northern Philadelphia. Never mind, big guy.
And even luckier - perhaps using up so much luck that we're worried how much we have left for the rest of the year - the building was not damaged either. No bikes got flattened.
The electricity company arrived on scene and cut part of it away from the wires. Then it snowed, and thawed, and froze, in quick succession. Meaning we still haven't quite got round to clearing the entrance. (If we had a good old wood-burning stove this would be helping tremendously with our heating bill - but we don't.)
Advisory warning to visitors: be prepared to hack your way through the undergrowth to get in the door. Machete optional.
And if that wasn't all enough, the power went off, and then we get a once-in-20-years record temperature low - the Arctic Vortex in media-event-speak - as recorded here on the PECO tower in Center City Philly:
Yep, that's 4 fahrenheit - or -15.5 for those of you who work in centigrade. First time most of us here have seen single digit temps on this thing. Does it even have a minus figure capacity? (Can anyone tell us?) Thankfully we didn't find out this time... We feel for everyone in the Midwest and Canada shivering in even colder climes.
Luckily there's always a brazing torch or two running inside to keep us warm, as the work goes on:
So here's to a good 2014 for everyone. Now it's back to building all those custom dream bikes...