What I’m realizing about The Spoken is that it’s not just a gallery of beautiful bicycles; it’s also a collection of stories. Behind the bikes are tales of artists, builders, designers and, most importantly, the people who ride the masterpieces they create. Behind this Six-Eleven Bicycle Co. cyclocross frame, is the story of Roanoke’s greatest steam locomotive, a flying horse and Aaron Dykstra.
The Six-Eleven Bicycle Co. is a sponsor of Chicago-based Team Pegasus (the flying horse aspect of this tale), and a few members of the team got themselves measured up for frames earlier this year. This is Aaron’s build for rider Sage Brown and, being a designer himself, decided to opt for a more understated paint theme on his machine. The monotone color way only accentuates the angles and joins of the fillet-brazed frame. There’s other details that are more subtle, like the look-through seat stay bridge, the mono-sided rear brake hanger, and if you look closely, there’s a badge on the seat tube upon which is stamped the 611 brand and the individual frame number. Six-Eleven, incidentally, is named after the Great 611, a J Class steam locomotive built by Norfolk & Western’s Roanoke Shop in 1950, and Aaron incorporates the badge into each frame he manufactures; each customer also receives a matching key chain badge. Constructed from a mix of Columbus Life, Zona and Deda tubing, Aaron Dykstra builds his frames with a distinct influence of Roanoke’s steel transport heritage.
Aaron Dykstra decided to branch into frame building while serving in the United States Air Force supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. Finally relocating to Roanoke, Viginia, Aaron established himself in what was Roanoke’s first motorcycle shop. It’s a remarkable story, which you can read more about on Aaron’s Shop Journal and website. Big thanks to Sage Brown for inviting us to feature his Six-Eleven CX bike, there’s more shots of it and his Team Pegasus adventures on his flickr stream.