Saturday, September 29, 2012

Keep on truckin'

Given the minuscule number of views so far on my blog, it would be easy to quit, but I am going to keep posting, and maybe something will click and people will read it.

Because of a funny accident I have been off my bike for almost two weeks now, and I miss riding. For close to 40 years, I have been a regular bicycle rider, sometimes just for transportation, a lot for recreation and mental escape, and for a short while, I even rode for money.

I was not a bicycle racer, but rather a bicycle messenger, at the very tail end of the time when a bike messenger who was fast and had a good dispatcher could make decent money.

I was steeped in the bike boom culture at the time when steel bicycles had reached their peak as race vehicles, working in shops pretty much full-time from 1973 to 1986, and seeing the quality of steel frames go from good to "Oh My God." One of the last bicycles I worked on as a full-time mechanic was a Bruce Gordon frame built for show. It was a stunning piece of art, with sculpted lugs that had been polished to a high shine, and just the few miles I managed to sneak in as the final test ride of the build were bliss on the road.

I am back in the business, building wheels and teaching wheelbuilding. I also just look at a lot of bikes. When I compare the best of the vintage era bikes to today's hand-built steel bikes, I realize that the best steel bikes ever built are being built in the United States right now.

If you are at all interested in bicycles, please make it a point to visit one of the frame-builders' shows popping up around the country.

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