Who is Big Forest Frameworks?

We are Robert and Konrad.   Konrad has been working at BFF as a course instructor and frame builder since January 1st, 2022.   Konrad’s bio will follow sometime soon.   You can watch me tell my exciting story below, or read the text further down.   Have fun!

I still remember what it was like to take the 6am train from Berlin on Monday morning, and wait in the basement of the main station to go to Hamburg. Especially in the winter, it was always dark and cold, and nobody was very happy to be there. Everyone had long faces and you knew that everyone would rather be sleeping and still in their bed than be where they were in that moment.

But there we were and it was what we had to do to earn our paycheck. At the time I was living in Potsdam and working as a climate scientist in Hamburg. I was in Hamburg every other week for four days, sleeping in my office, and getting woken up by the cleaning crew at five in the morning. I really wanted to quit that job.

I was mostly working on the computer doing large simulations for climate science, looking at the data and trying to figure out how we could improve the model.  When I started the job, I had hoped that working on climate would bring something very positive to my work and I would at least have the good feeling that what I was doing was important.  But in the end, what I was actually doing wasn’t really that important. When I decided to quit the job in Hamburg, I took two months off and went home to the U.S., to my parents house. That is where I built my first bike frame. It was a really wonderful experience to work with my hands. To see that what I’m working on actually accomplishes something.

Of course it’s just a bike frame. It’s not really that important. But when I build something myself, with my own hands, I have a different connection to what I’m working on compared to if I would buy that thing. And to combine building something with my hobby of riding bikes, was for me a really wonderful experience. I was really proud of that first frame I built. That was an experience I never had at my job working as an astrophysicist or as a scientist.  And that’s something that I wanted to have every day. I wanted to wake up in the morning and be excited to go to work.

I think most people don’t have that. Some people are lucky or good and somehow manage to find a job that really brings them enjoyment. I wanted that too. I looked for a long time and finally, when I finished that first frame, I knew what I wanted to do. So back in Potsdam, 12 years later I’m really happy that I’m still here and I’m still working at Big Forest Frameworks, and I’m showing people to do what I wanted to do 12 years ago, to learn how to build their own frame.

It’s really wonderful for me to see them and to be able to help them achieve their dream of building their own bike frame in the same way that I built my own bike frame too, 12 years ago. And I’m happy to say, to still say, after 12 years that I’m Robert Piontek from Big Forest Frameworks. Thank you.