I've been pretty fortunate working in the bike industry. Met a lot of great folks on both sides sides of the counter and from every continuously inhabited continent. I've also gotten to work on a lot of great bikes. In some ways, that's where the joy of working at a work stand with tools at the ready is for me. What constitutes a great bike? Some might say a frame from Richard Sachs or Dario Pegoretti is a great bike. They wouldn't be wrong. They are great bikes and I've considered it an honor to work on and build frames from both into bikes.
Another great bike to work on is the 18 year old Jamis hybrid that a local brought in. It had been neglected for years when someone gave it to him. It didn't work. Chain was rusted. Tires were disintegrating. Cables were frozen in the housing. And I had a $100 budget to work with. After my ride a few days ago, I stopped in the Inverness Park Market for a breakfast sandwich. The owner of the bike and his wife work there (and they work other jobs in the area to make ends meet for them and their three kids). Both he and his wife were super happy about the bike. They're both spinning around on it as well as their kids. It's a great bike.
Other bikes that are great to work on are ones that get used above and beyond what normal folks dream of subjecting their bikes. I'm talking the Tour Divide. Three years ago, I did some work (wheel building, if I recall) for an area guy who was going to tackle the race in the grand depart. He finished in 7th place. About the same time, I sold a cross bike to a Bay Area resident, Arthur, who a few months later said he wanted to race the Tour Divide on the cross bike I just built for him. I told him "No, you don't want to do that. You want full sized 29" wheels and maybe a suspension fork. You don't want to do that on a cross bike." The bug bit him hard and for the past several years, he's been steadily preparing for the Tour Divide 2016 which departed Banff, Canada five days ago.
Several weeks ago, Arthur brought his bike in to have the front wheel rebuilt with a new dynamo hub, new bottom bracket, cables - basically, it was time to get the bike race ready. Preparations done. Bike ready. Go! It's now 5 days later and Arthur is out there making very good headway. As I wrote this, he's at mile 645, a bit past though Helena, MT on his way to Antelope Wells, NM - 2,768.4 miles from the start.
That was a great bike to work on too. Arthur's Tour Tracker GPS locator information is at this link. Like I said, fortunate.
What's in the stand: Arthur's Tour Divide bike.
(What's playing: The Beatles - Come Together (Rhythm Scholar Remix))