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Made By Hand

by brett / Oct 16 2013 / 170 posts

It wasn’t so long ago that the majority of bicycles were made by hand, from raw materials, in places that aren’t China or Taiwan. While some of these artisans are still around, their wares are increasingly harder to come by, and to procure an example of their work means an outlay of time and money which is more than most are willing to...
Disregarding my Schwinn Typhoon, I started keeping score with my 1976 Peugeot PX 10 LE. It came with a Stronglight 52 x 45 and a 14 x 21 five speed freewheel. I always thought this Peugeot was set up for the pavé of northern France with those gears and wire-wrapped and soldered 3x tubular wheels. Yet according to Peugeot’s advertising, this...
Pineapple Bob? @cyclops goes deep with this reference. Pineapple Bob was a mystical figure in American cycling. He was not known as a racer, more a California bike guru of unknown qualifications and ethnic origins. Bridgestone was a unique brand also of unknown ethnic origins, at least to me. It was not European, it didn’t sound Japanese or...
It is so deeply entangled at this point, I can no longer tell the threads from one another. The strands once ran cleanly from one bicycle to the next, linking a discrete sequence of events, considerations, wants, and desires. But then, 15 years ago, a strong force entered my life and I was forced to find alternate means of justifying the acquisitio...
How can we not talk about the Tour? After Sunday’s stage it’s hard not to be a little excited. Until yesterday the most thrilling thing I had seen was Mark Cavendish’s mad man chase back to the peloton after a late-in-the-race crash. He needed to get back quickly as the race was hurtling toward a sprint finish he was supposed to w...
I find it interesting to observe the chasm between parties engaged in a conversation, particularly in response to questions being asked. I’m thinking, at present, of the question, “How many bikes do you have?” My feelings in response are nothing short of complex and maybe a bit confused; reservation that I feel I should have a mo...
In most situations, silence is an ominous thing that signals impending doom. Having never been in any danger myself, I base this largely on my experience watching box-office movies. As a general rule, I use Hollywood as the principal source of information on all subjects as they relate to doom and politics, principally because I’m loath t...
There are always at least two ways to accomplish any task: properly and improperly. Drinking beer from a glass, not the bottle; carrying a full umbrella instead of a miniature fold-up; stirring your gin martinis, not shaking them; wearing french cuffs with a suit, not button cuffs. The Velominatus, of course, is drawn towards doing things Properly,...
I hadn’t planned to ride them every day. In fact, I had planned to only ride them once and let other people ride them. But, genius that I am, I forgot my ceramic brake pads and had to source some new ones which was a maddeningly difficult process given that Europe observes something in the neighborhood of 363 holidays per year.I was more than...
I don’t have to tell anyone around here that @Cyclops is weird guy; most of you have already figured that out, and if you haven’t figured it out, you will soon enough. But weird doesn’t have any negative meaning, if you ask me. In fact, I’d say we’re all weird which makes normal more suspect. Several years ago, long be...
  • Wilkins is right about his role in his bike/car incidents. There’s 2 sides to the equation, always. As cyclists,...

  • One word, old mate … abridge!

    Fuck me that’s a long article. I really should read one someday around here.