Pee-Wee's Boone Adventure
Steve "Brewdude" Garn, owner of local bike shop Brew Racing Frames, recently made headlines by winning the competition to design a bike that will be seen nationally.
This bike was created for Paul Reubens, the actor who plays Pee-Wee Herman. He is going to be performing on Broadway this fall in The Pee-Wee Herman Show, and the bike will be on stage with him.
The competition began with Schwinn donating bicycles to the bike shops that were competing to redesign and create a unique bike for Pee-Wee Herman.
"We didn't want to lose the Schwinn look to it, but we knew that the bike came in a gray color, and we knew that Pee-Wee really likes bright colors, and red is his favorite color, so we made it red," Garn said.
Pee-Wee wanted something completely different from his iconic bike, and so the new bike had to be both classic and a complete reinvention.
With the help of Boone shops Magic Cycles and the Boone Bike Initiative, Brew Racing Frames created a look that could be at home in the 1970s.
"I went after the chopper-bicycle look," Garn explained. "Pee-Wee's bike, it's the most recognizable bike in the world - there's no way you can copy it."
The model was Captain America, the motorcycle from the movie Easy Rider.
"When he chose the bike, he said he couldn't believe it looked like the bike from Easy Rider," Garn said. "It was a kind of neat way to honor Dennis Hopper, who passed away this year."
Garn got the opportunity to build this bicycle because his shop used to be one of the last American subcontractors for Schwinn for building bicycles in the states.
"Also, in 2008, Easyrider Magazine chose us as the old-school builder of the year," Garn said. "They knew we do motorcycles, but also bicycles, so it was like the perfect fit."
The final bike was presented at the Legendary Buffalo Chip during Sturgis Rally Week 2010, where Herman selected Garn's bike.
The shop, located in Creston, has done many things since opening in 1974, from building BMX frames to work on motorcycles.
"I offer some classes on bicycle frame building," Garn said. "It's nice that every week is different - teaching, building, powder coating."
The fabrication and customization of bicycles is not the primary focus of their work now, but the value of modifying the bicycle to the rider is still an emphasis in the work Garn does.
"Custom bicycles can be made for a person's riding style and where they are riding at, versus just buying one." Garn said.
Garn's shop is well-diversified, and allows him to travel to events like the Sturgis Rally.
"I'm kinda like a hermit, where I go into the shop and work all day, with just my dog working with me," Garn said. "But it is really nice to go to the different events, bicycle and motorcycle, and see my friends that I talk to all the time."
Garn's bike has been featured in the New York Times, People magazine, and other major news outlets. To see more pictures of the bike and the Sturgis event, visit http://www.brewracingframes.com.