I was in for a shock when I called Russell Saddles in April of 2000 to find out about going up to get a new saddle. Since Fall River Mills is pretty close to Chico, I thought I would be able to just go on up and pick up the new seat . The first day they had open was in October! Oh well, my 50th birthday's in October, that can be my birthday present. Here are some pictures and notes from our overnight trip to Fall River Mills...
|We arrived the night before after riding through the rain and snow to get there! We went to Russell to check it out...As you come into town, they're located on the right hand side of the main drag.|
|After checking out the shop, we proceeded to the Motel. If you phone Russell Saddles they will provide a list of local Motels or visit this link to see a list. I'm sorry to say, I can't remember the little Motel on the east end of town where we stayed, but it was small, clean and VERY affordable - I parked the Connie on the porch to keep it out of the rain.|
|We arrived at the shop at our appointed time (8:30 AM) and took the grand tour of the shop. It appears to be an unpretentious but very busy and efficient shop.|
|This is Jim - the seatmaker and "Doctor of Buttology". Jim is a true craftsman and a great guy who takes great pride in his work.|
|Jim's credentials are prominently displayed.|
|Here's the guy who puts together the springs that will ultimately support our delicate tushes. (I apologize for forgetting the other names in the shop)|
|This is the nice lady who sews the cover for the seats. Another really nice person.|
|The burly fellow fellow on the right holds your bike upright while you sit on the seat for the final checks before the cover is stitched on. He assures us "Don't worry, I've never dropped anybody"|
|After Jim measured us and took pictures of us on the bike, we took the seat off and left it so the work can start.|
|Now we have to kill time until mid-morning when we'll return for the final sitting. We stroll down the street and have breakfast.|
I don't know anything about their overnight accommodations, but we ate breakfast at Hal and Kathys Cookhouse and it was one of the best breakfasts that we've ever had! Lots of good food and all kinds of antiques (junque) on the wall.
We wandered from one end of town to the other (took about 20 minutes) and took in the sights, we saw a street that I thought would interest most Connie riders...Sorry it was straight as an arrow! We checked out the antique store across the street and walked to the Crook Museum (closed for the season).
*Note, sometime during your stay you owe it to yourself to use the restroom in the back of the shop. It has a beautiful view of the Fall River Valley that'll cause you to enjoy doing your business more than usual!
|Sometime in the mid-morning, the seat was ready for a trial sitting...Jim brought it out to the Connie and had Stella and I sit on it to see how it fits...Doesn't Jim look like a proud father? It fit without further modification, so it was back off and into the shop to have the cover stitched on.|
|Voila! The final product. The seat isn't much to look at but it's sure comfortable, besides, to quote Jim, "Beauty's in the eye of the ButtHolder".|
We had a VERY cushy ride home that afternoon after a quality visit to a very pretty little town. The Russell shop is a quality operation and I would recommend them to anyone. Before installing the the Russell Saddle my butt was only good for a couple hundred miles before getting sore. Since installing the seat, I can make it all day without getting sore. I rode 1185 miles in November in a SS1000 and while I was dead dog tired at the end, my butt didn't hurt! In December, the '94 that the seat was on was totaled. I now have a new 2001 "Smurf" bike that the seat fits nicely, thank you...