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A Little Diversion From the Usual Football, Part I

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My custom AC Milan Bike Build!

For those that don't know I am a tiny bit addicted to cycling. I ride regularly, I watch the Tour De France, and I even troll the SB Nation cycling blog, Podium Cafe, on a daily basis. For most I think it starts as a child, I was obsessed with bikes, and more so with making my bike go fast. A BMX bike became a mountain bike, and I was suddenly ripping down ski areas in the summer, and cross country trails in the spring and fall. I left for Northeastern and left my trusty mountain bike at home in favor of a single speed that I rode around for most of my five years. When I moved back to CT in 2005 with all my stuff and some extra weight in the mid section I purchased a my first Road Bike, a Bianchi Via Nirone.

Bianchi_medium

My old, old friend...

Now for some cycling aficionados buying a Bianchi is hallowed ground. Sure it is not hand-crafted in Italy like it's more expensive siblings, but I had just gotten out of college and even at this price it was setting me back big time. But I had my new trusty steed and began putting miles on it incessantly. Fast forward to 2013, I still have it, I still ride it, I still baby it, and a quick look at my Map My Fitness account shows a few thousand miles over the course of the 5 years, but times are a changing...

It started with a trip to Italy in 2010 and a second piece of Italian cycling mythology, Campagnolo. While in Italy I was able to pick up an 11 Speed Campy Athena grouppo, at a steal, and return it with me to the states. Now for those that understand cycling have a grouppo in a box with no frame to put it on is like having amazing new Nike football boots and no soccer ball...you need a pair! Now my plan was to find a frame of my choice and liking and build my own bicycle, an effort I have completed on my newest single speed.

Acsingle_medium

I thought what better way to blend man and machine than with my own build. This went on until 2011 when I found Franco Bicycles.

They were a relatively new company when I called and inquired about a purchasing a frame and the Owner answered the phone. Now this is relatively unheard in the World of big frame makers and bike sales, sure you can speak to a shop owner, but a real bike smith!? So Julian and I spoke, but sadly I decided to table the build as I was in the process of buying a home and getting married, that is until now.

Now I know some of you will inevitably ask about the frame and the closeness to my name. I will be honest I really like the fact that part of my first name is plastered on the side of the frame! But the real deciding factor for me was that I get my say, as I get to Part II of this piece I will explain that process, post some photos of the build and tie closer to AC Milan, but the Red and Black will be a very common theme as we move forward, stay tuned...