The Speedvagen “Surprise Me” Experience

On 22 April, 2013 by denvercx

*note* Always wanted to post this, but just now had the time to do some writing. *end note*

Call me dumb-lucky, but I have a wife that told me early on in my cat 4 cyclocross racing days that if I ever finished in the top 5 of a race, I could buy any ‘cross bike I wanted. Well, little did she know how motivated I might be by this (I’m a first born kid) and how, toward the end of a cyclocross season, the fields get a little easier as the fitter/faster guys have already upgraded. So, as I took home my first podium spot (3rd) after a 2nd row call up at the RRV Cross race in Golden in the waning days of November, 2009, the first thing I could think about was the email I’d send to The Vanilla Workshop that evening about getting on the list for a 2010 Speedvagen Cross bike.

I was surprised at how easy the ordering process was. Customer service was supreme (thank you Scott). I decided to shoot the moon on this one’s build, since, I was fairly certain that this would be my one and only chance at the Dream Bike.

When it came time to pick a color, my wife was certain I’d pick one of the three available color schema for that year’s run (Army green, Ferrari red, and cream). Just to prove to her that, although we’d been married for so darn long already, I have the capability to surprise her every once-in-a-while, “Surprise Me!” I told Sacha.  I crossed my fingers.

In the meantime, after a 4 day mountain bike hut tour around Mt. Hood, I stopped by the Workshop in SE Portland to meet Sacha, Scott, and the Coat crew.

The Vanilla Workshop, SE Portland, OR

The Vanilla Workshop, SE Portland, OR

To my surprise, I actually got to see my naked, unpainted, welded steel frame. I was shocked at how light it was.

Scott Ramsey showing me my frame, which had just been welded.

Scott Ramsey showing me my frame, which had just been welded.

Then, the waiting began. Despite all my attempts at figuring out what the color scheme was, I couldn’t. I browsed all the web fora (Velocipede Salon in particular), but all I could see was the growing anxiety in the other Surprise Me to-be owners.

I was out on a long training ride the day The Box came. I returned home just as my buddy Mitch had arrived to pick me up for a weekend of mountain biking around Winter Park. With excitement at a fever pitch, I opened the box without un-kitting. (Dang, I’m always so bad when it comes to properly dressing when posterity is at stake.) So, below, is the sequence of pictures, and a video which shows the actual unboxing.

I have written this post so that other potential and soon-to-be Speedvagen (and “Surprise Me” brave souls) could have an idea about how great the process from beginning to glorious end actually is.

Box cutout design. The little things. My son ripped it in his excitement.

Box cutout design. The little things. My son ripped it in his excitement.

And the video:

Pictures:

The color is revealed. Gold!

The color is revealed. Gold!

Friend Mitch looks on.

Friend Mitch looks on.

Free green/pink chapeau was included in the box. H models.

Free green/pink chapeau was included in the box. H models.

B helps remove the foam.

B helps remove the foam.

Everything is packed with care.

Everything is packed with care.

Notice the bright shiny metallic gold finish and hand painted graphics.

Notice the bright shiny metallic gold finish and hand painted graphics.

Foam removed, getting a real glimpse at the whole bike.

Foam removed, getting a real glimpse at the whole bike.

Carbon Pro Stealth integrated handlebar/stem with custom paint.

Carbon Pro Stealth integrated handlebar/stem with custom paint.

Close-up of Speedvagen unicorn logo.

Close-up of Speedvagen unicorn logo.

And, after putting all the pieces together:

 

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