With a desire and a new paper route, I started saving for the first bicycle I was going to buy for myself.  As a preteen, it was my ticket to freedom, to flight, to liberation from the bindings of home.  Ok - maybe that Hollywood voiceover was not all that was going through my mind, but once I was on that new bicycle rolling down the road, the idea of freedom and flight became a part of me.  At 13, I had found my buzz, my thrill, my passion - the simple and elegant bicycle.

Throughout junior high and high school, the bicycle was the freedom to do much more than walking would give.  I began working in the garage taking bicycles apart and putting them back together, helping friends fix their bicycles and reading everything I could get my hands on about this fantastic machine.  Everything I did fanned the flames.  Even finding a bicycle shop in College Park, Maryland (Proteus Bicycle) that had a frame building class.  I wanted to attend and learn the craft.  But when I asked my parents, hoping they would understand my passion, they said "No (insert you’ll shoot your eye out here)."  I was crushed, but the addiction to bicycles had taken hold and my passion continued to grow.

After high school in the Virginia mountains, I enlisted in the US Navy and became a Naval Aircrew Survival Equipmentman (PR - Parachute Rigger).  I was thrilled to learn many skills that would keep a pilot safe and alive.  While not bicycles, it was a rush to have someone believe in your skills.  Luckily, Uncle Sam felt I should be stationed in Italy.  Of course, it would be torture to ride in the country that has given the world one of the most beautiful Grand Tours - the Giro d'Italia.  How could I say no to that?

After completing my enlistment, I found jobs in bicycle shops in Florida, California, Virginia and North Carolina.  With all that time in shops - working on bicycles, racing as a Category 3 on the road, working races as an official, as well as major one-day and stage races with MAVIC neutral support crew - I knew my addition and passion for bicycles was set for life.  I knew it was time to test the waters on the frame building idea again.  This time, without need for parental approval, I enrolled in welding classes at a local community college.  Before finishing the classes, I was asked to start working in the aviation industry as a welder.  I was a bit intimidated with all the exotic materials I was about to face, but I went in with open eyes and a smile on my face.  I soon carried certifications in materials I never thought I would see - Titanium, Aluminum, Magnesium, Inconel, exotic steels and more.  In the back of my mind, I was giddy know this thin material was also what the bicycle industry used.  I could not have asked for a better experience.

Alas, the economy took a nosedive and I was at a crossroads.  I chose to take control of my future and start building those bicycle frames that I had been dreaming about, with hopes of becoming a professional frame builder.  I took most of my savings and I focused on learning the skills of elite frame building.

With the faith of many cycling friends, Dogwood Cycleworx is the result of my efforts.  To be successful, I feel I will always be learning because if I'm not learning, I am failing myself and my craft.

I see bicycles as kinetic art.  If it's not moving, the bicycle is failing at what it was meant to do. Simply, a bike should be ridden and enjoyed.  Let it take you on a flight to new places and see new things from a fresh point of view.