About Me

My photo
Back in my hometown of Jonesboro., Arkansas, United States
My name is Dimitri Harris and I have been building frames for over 9 years now. I learned the basics after spending two weeks with Koichi Yamaguchi. He is one of the most interesting people I have ever met and I am thankful to have worked with him. Since then I have just been building one frame after another and learning as much as possible along the way. I build steel fillet-brazed frames that go by the name of MEECH, which is an old nickname that I have had since I was a kid. I build mostly cyclocross frames because I love their versatility however I also do road,single-speed, and mountain bikes as well. Custom frames start around $1400. All the frames are handmade by me here in Jonesboro, Arkansas. I am insured and guarantee all of my work so if you are in the market for a custom steel frame I would be glad to build it for you. I am also building frames from carbon fiber so if you would like to ride a prototype frame give me a shout. Thanks for stopping by. You can email me at meech151@hotmail.com or call (870)897-6703 or visit www.meechcustombicycles.com Thanks.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Vincenzo Nibali Wins the Tour de France

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali easily won this year's edition of the Tour de France. Honestly I don't think it was quite as easy as he made it look. After all, when's the last time you got finished with a race and said, "Man, that was easy."  He ruled this year's Tour with an iron fist from the second day on and grabbed 18 yellow jerseys out of 21 stages.  I can't recall that ever happening, however I'm no Tour historian.  

Do yourself a favor and forget all those people out there crying foul, saying Froome and Contador weren't there, or that he was doped to the gills, none of that matters now.  He started training for the Tour last year and it was his sole focus all year long.  Everyone criticized him all season long about how he wasn't winning anything but he stuck to his plan and prevailed.  Yes it would've been a much better race had Contador and Froome been there but I'm not so sure that Nibali wouldn't have still won.  It almost looked as if it was written beforehand that 2014 would be his year.  I don't recall anyone ever looking more focused throughout the entire race than Vincenzo did this year.  He kept a completely straight face throughout every mile of the race and only showed emotion when he stood on the podium.  He looked confident and defiant throughout the race's entirety and I feel like he did it clean.  And yes, I've said that before, and yes,my fingers are crossed.  Also should mention that two frenchmen, Jean Christophe Peraud and Thibaut Pinot, took the second and third steps on the podium.  I'm sure France is happy to finally see some of their homeboys get some attention.

Alejandro Valverde cracked a little as I was afraid of and lost his chance to stand on the Tour podium.  When I look at Valverde, by all accounts I would think that he would be able to knock down a good time trial once in a while, however he couldn't ride a time trial to save his good mother's neck from the gallow's pole.  I read that he had been working on his time trialing and I hoped that it would pay off, but unfortunately no dice.  Let it go, 4th place on the Tour is not bad. After such a long bike racing career filled with many ups and downs, I can imagine that standing on the Tour podium would be any racer's dream, but it wasn't meant to be.  He took it like a man though and basically said, "I gave it all I had and my body just didn't respond."  Sounds human to me. We've all had that happen.  It happened to me just yesterday on my 25 mile ride around the Mountain Home area, and the day before that, and I believe the day before that.  Some days I feel like my body is completely shot.  Actually the only time my body really feels good is when I'm sleeping.  Jean Christophe Peraud is 73 years old, I mean 37 years old.  Can you imagine a 73 year old man riding the Tour?  Just wait 30 more years and you'll probably see Chris Horner doing it.

Rafal Majka, Thibaut Pinot (i believe), Vincenzo Nibali, and Peter Sagan.  Oh how good that must feel. I think that polka-dot jersey would look good on me.  White isn't fitting for the most aggressive young rider.  Perhaps a red jersey with a couple of yellow racing stripes down the back.  Green, pffff, who cares.  Just kidding.  I love the Saxo-Tinkoff racing outfits but I thought you weren't allowed to wear yellow in the Tour.  
Their jerseys are more yellow than the actual yellow jersey.  I guess the blue supposedly keeps them out of trouble. Go check out their website.  There is a video of Alberto laying in bed with a cast on his leg.

I thought this year's race was an excellent race even though 2 of the main protagonists crashed out.  There was some good, solid, exciting racing almost everyday and not too many stages that appeared boring to me.  I love seeing all the scenery and listening to Phil and Paul bounce comments off of each other. 

 One of my favorites from this year was when Lauren Ten Dam was finishing up his time trial and Paul Sherwin said something like, "Here is Lauren Ten Dam pushing hard to stop the clock...", and then Phil follows up with, "Yes Paul, and he's not gonna be very happy when it finally does."

 My only complaint with this year's Tour is the podium girls shown here beside Nibali.  Geez Bernard!  I mean...in all the streets of France you can't find anything prettier than these two homely chicas. I could throw a stone into a crowd and hit two chicks that were better looking, one might've been missing a tooth from the rock but if she kept her mouth shut nobody would know the difference.  "Here honey, just stand right here and keep your lips pressed firmly together and later we'll go out for some soup."  Next year maybe you should borrow a couple of muchachas from your neighbor.  They must be his daughters.

Look what Spain did for Valverde and he didn't even win the race.

La Vuelta is where its at.  Oooh la la!
Adios amigos.

Note:  Thanks to Velonews.com and various papers and websites for the photos shown here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mickey Wins One

"Mick" Rogers won stage 16 of the Tour today, with a little solo style as well.  It was a surprise to me that it was the first time he's ever won a stage at the Tour.  How can you not like a guy named Mickey?  Congrats!

Couple quick shots of Garrett's stem all finished up.  We covered it with a clear basecoat that had pearl in it until it had a frosty look to soften it up and then covered it in clearcoat.  The clearcoat actually just brought the shine back out of it and it turned out looking almost like the raw stem, only with the protective coating.  You can see the pearl when the sun hits it just right.

Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 21, 2014

In memory of Laura Wooldrige


Garrett's Custom Stem

Here are a couple pics of some recent work I'm doing for Garrett up in the New York/New Jersey area.  Those guys up in the Northeast give me quite a bit of business and were some of the first frame builds I got orders for when I started.  They try to keep me busy and I appreciate it.  I also love the idea that my work is floating around different areas of the country.  Makes me happy.  Sorry, no video for that one.  Its a catchy song but this is purely a R'n'R blog.

Garrett wanted to go back in time a little with a single-bolt, no face-plate design for his commuter.  Its along the lines of a Nitto stem that he had, clearly with fillet-brazing though.  This is the deepest dropping stem that I've ever built, -25 degrees. 

Whoa Jo
Getting down low
Talk about 'stealth mode'
If you're wearing camo
they'll never even know.

  There are way too many folks wearing camo around here,
 to church that is.

This stem resembles a slide as much as a stem but I love it and am glad he called me to build it.  As much as I love to see all the new ideas that come out every year I also love to take a trip down 'memory lane' every now and again also.  Lets go check it out.

When its your work thats sitting front-center on someone's bike you want it to look as good as possible, so I layed down the best fillets I could and they cleaned up really nice with minimal work, in other words, no blood.

Handlebar clamp is for one inch bars with an inch and an eighth steerer.

Its a little hard to grasp the drop on this stem until you see it on a bike but its got a cool look and I want one for one of my bikes.  If only my back can take it.

What else is new?  The tour has been interesting to say the least.  Froome didn't make it to the mountains, Contador does the "road grater", and Talansky really didn't stand a chance as far as I'm concerned.  He's good but I lost a lot of respect for him when he looked backwards in that sprint.  I'm sure he's happy about having that on his palmares for eternity, besides, I don't care much for pit bulls, the dumb ones anyway.  TVG from BMC is gaining some steam going into this final week and he's looking better than Talansky ever did.  If an American is gonna stand on the podium at the Tour de France I would think it would be better if they're good-looking.  I'm not sure that Tejay is exactly easy on the eyes, but as far as cyclists go at least he has all his teeth.  Did I ever mention the time my little sister was riding downhill with no hands.  OUCH!  Me and my dad were standing there while my sister was sitting in a dentist chair, after hours, screaming her head off.  It was pretty knarly and my dad just passed out cold on the floor.  I had never seen anyone pass out before, I didn't know what to do.  "Here dad, you want some of my Cheetos?"

If there was one place I would not want to be, other than that seat that my sister was in that late evening years ago, is in Alejandro Valverde's cleats.  He's been dreaming of standing on the Tour podium his entire career and now he's sitting in second with only a few seconds between himself and three other pretty strong climbers.  I would like to see him finish on the podium as I'm a bit partial to the Spanish riders but I wouldn't bet money on him, no way.  I'm thinking he may crack big time.  Maybe not.  I wish him well.

Well, I'm outta here for now.  I need to go find some type of clearcoat to put on this thing because we're not painting it. So there may actually be a couple more photos here shortly.  Thanks for stopping by.  Chao, or adieu, as I think they say in Fraince.  Yeah, I know I spelled in wrong.

Ya got aints
in yo paints
 on the last week 
in Fraince,
Mountains are looming,
time-trials are dooming,
so ya better get ready
 to daince.

Can you believe that Creative Writing professor gave me a 'C'?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Uuummhh, What?

“It is not like overly aggressive,” teammate Geraint Thomas said. “It’s not like he is threatening to kill someone’s kids or something. It’s just that real gutsy like … I guess the Tassie [Tasmanian] in him, just fighting for that wheel.”
Read more at http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/portes-gutsy-tour-ride-impressing-teammate-thomas_336705#Ap1x1Z3UCMJoyvvX.99

I'm thinking maybe Sky should tell Geraint Thomas to just shut up and ride.

Friday, July 11, 2014

This One is Mine All Mine

Were you beginning to think I wasn't coming back?  I know, I'm always thinking about you guys but I just didn't have anything to show you until now.  I finally got caught up a few days back and have been playing around with some of my own ideas, and trying to finish up some of the older ones.  This frame has been laying around forever and so I finally decided to put some paint on it.  The colors are Creme Brulee and Torn Hemorrhoid red.  Ok, I may have just made up one of those so I'll let you figure out which one.  First person who knows will get a free MEECH cap.  I tried to throw a couple of pieces on it to make it look like an actual bicycle, as I know you guys get tired of just seeing frames.  I wish I had the time and money to build everyone of 'em up and take 'em for a spin.  If only.

This frame was an old project and wasn't built for anyone in particular.  It started out gonna be one of those downward sloping top tube track/time trial frames but I didn't get as much slope in there as I wanted.  I had planned on just putting some drop style bars on it (I still can if I want), but then I decided to try my luck at making some aero bars and they turned out alright, a bit heavy as they're steel, but overall not bad at all.  I'm gonna definitely need to put some grip tape on the bar ends because they're just way too slick.  Lets go check it all out.

The fork was made from scratch by me and all the end caps on the fork and bars were made by my good friend Bob Davis.  I told you all that I got a small milling machine this past winter and its basically nothing more than a glorified drill press with me at the helm.  I know nothing about machining parts and I don't have a clue as to how Bob does what he does but he's good at it.  He's 85 years old and been a machinist all his life.  People contact him from all over the world to make custom parts for their BMW motorcycles.  He's got a palmares nine miles long.  Did I mention he plays the bagpipes?

These are aeroplane bars.

I like this pic.

How's this for custom tire clearance?

These little snap-on cable guides caused me a lot of pain this morning.  After debating back and forth about whether or not to put braze-ons on this frame (in case someone wanted a rear brake), I decided on these clip-on cable guides here.  I knew there was a chance that they would scratch the paint as they are very tight and don't snap on easily, but after playing around with them on a painted tube I thought it would be okay, however I scratched the top tube with the first try.  Oh well, it hurt for a minute but if you're like me you don't worry about scratches on your bike because I'm no pretty boy.  I'm just glad it wasn't for a customer or it would've really stung.  This bike has no braze-ons for nothing, not even a water bottle.

Just noticed that there is a small piece of tape on the edge of the dropout face.

Ok, like I said, this frame was not made for anyone in particular, but after I finished shooting photos I decided to throw a leg over this thing just to see what it feels like.  There is no headset in it yet and the tires only had about 25 psi, so it felt a little shakey but outside of that this thing screamed my name.  It felt perfect to me, and it feels super-fast.  Then I just grabbed a yard stick to measure the seat height to see where it was sitting and it just happened to be right at 83cm from the center of the bottom bracket.  What height do I run my saddle at you ask?  You guessed it.  This one is all mine, scratch and all.

I heard there is some race going on over in France.  Lawl!  Its been excellent so far.  Stage 2 had an excellent finish and Nibali played it to perfection.  Stage 5 was a beautiful day to have a bike race or go cobble-skating, and now the mountains are coming.  Nibali is wearing yellow after I gave up on him two days before the tour started.  Just goes to show, you need to go with your gut feeling always, however, I think el Pistolero is fixing to light things up under everyones' arse.  Talansky doesn't look too bad either, he looks backwards. Get it?  Like my granny used to say, "Keep your eye on the road corn nut or you'll kill us all!" Don't forget about Valverde. Hang loose.

The same rawness that makes Nibali great is the same feeling that makes him vulnerable. He’s a wonderfully poetic rider in that sense.

“This is my kind of racing. I feel like the kind of rider of old,” Nibali said in Oman. In the past, he has suggested ditching power meters in favor of more exciting, unpredictable racing.
The sport of cycling was given Nibali when it needed him most, as a counterpoint to riders like Chris Froome, a scientific, strategic rider who is more likely to stare at power numbers than take big chances — chances he doesn’t need to take while blasting away at such high tempo. Nibali won’t ever be that rider; he runs on adrenaline and sensation. It costs him, but it pays off, too.
“Vincenzo is a really unpredictable rider. A lot of the guys, they kind of have … they’re like a one-trick pony. They’re either a good time trialer or a good climber, so they’re going to wait until the climb or wait until the time trial,” said BMC Racing’s Tejay van Garderen, who finished two spots behind Nibali, fifth, at the 2012 Tour. “Vincenzo, it could be any day. If it’s a tricky day where there’s a chance that something could happen, or if it’s gonna just be aggressive, then that’s the day that Vincenzo’s going to do something.”

Read more at http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/07/news/favorite-son-vincenzo-nibali-italys-latest-star_335782#ImOJFo4GzCDo8Yt9.99

MEECH Custom Bicycles
handmade in 
Mountain Home, Arkansas