Saturday, December 1, 2007

Letter from Mike Barry

Dear Friends and Customers,

I am writing this letter to you with very mixed emotions. It is with great regret that I have to tell you that Bicycle Specialties will close and that there will be no more Mariposa bikes built after the end of this year as I have decided to retire.

For the past year we have been trying to find the right person to carry on the business and although there were several people interested, it has not been possible to find a satisfactory solution.

I am looking forward to spending more time with my family, riding the many mountain passes that I still dream of riding, and pursuing my hobby of restoring my personal antique bike collection. With my son and his family now living full time in Europe, my wife, Clare and I hope to spend more time there.

I have been very fortunate to pursue my passion of working with bikes. I have loved designing Mariposas and working with customers to create a bike that best suits their needs. The first Mariposa was built in 1969 and over the last 38 years we have made many great friends and had some wonderful times. Many of the bikes we built thirty years ago are still in use today—which was always the goal: to build bikes that were more than just bikes but something people might cherish forever. One of the very first is still thundering around the boards of the Forest City Velodrome in London, Ontario. (I wonder how many of the modern carbon bikes will still be going in thirty years time.)

It is a great pity that the production cannot carry on as we have a long waiting list. I find it very upsetting to disappoint those that have placed their confidence in us. Demand for the randonneur type of bike that we have become most known for is now at an all time high in North America.

I shall still be very much involved in the sport and pastime. As many of you will know I have quite a large collection of classic and vintage bikes and components. I hope that I shall now have time to work on and enjoy them. In the past the customer’s bikes always took preference and I now have enough ‘project’ bikes to keep me going for the rest of my days. I intend to put photos and details on this web site. Through the site I also hope to share some of my knowledge of bicycles and cycling. I hope also to create a virtual museum of my vintage bike and derailleur collection.

To all the customers, friends and acquaintances that we have met over the past thirty-eight years, thank you. I am honoured to know you and in many cases, to have introduced you to this wonderful sport and pastime. I hope I will be able to meet you out there on the bike.

Thank you for your trust in us over the years

Mike Barry