The brain-cinema has been showing bicycles for most of my life. In my former desk jockey days I would while away the ennui geeking out over bicycle ephemera such as Cycle Chic (Thank you Copenhagenize); Rohloff Hubs; the writings of Sheldon Brown; Rivendell Bikes and a thousand and one bike nerd blogs. I never liked the lycra clad racing bicycle culture. I had always been a ‘ride-as-traffic’ city cyclist. Drivers must have hated me. The feeling was absolutely mutual. Most drivers seemed to be in their own little dream world ignoring bicycles until they suddenly found one in their way. Couriering in London in the early nineties I would aggressively assert my right to the road. Prior to that I’d spent much of my life pedalling along leafy lanes in Cornwall. Daydreaming amongst foxgloves, campions and sycamores. To me cycling has always boiled down to getting to the pub/school/work/beach often with a streak of mud up my arse.
I went on a cycle ride with some friends a few weeks ago which got me admiring their Thorn touring bikes. These are the SUV’s of the bike world. I expect they could tow a sizeable caravan. They are appealing to the long distant, long time tourer because they will probably rarely break or require much complex maintenance. I would of course love one but being a perpetual skinflint I may never own one. If I did I would have to renounce my comfortable life and justify my Thorn ownership by pedalling off to be a Bicycle Hobo. This would fulfill a life long dream but I would probably get lonely after a few months.
Tim Stredwick is a framebuilder down in Tasmania. The Jota is a fine looking bit of work. I saw a little video of Tim at work in his shed and found it quite inspiring. I would like to build myself a little shed for (at the least) fixing or (preferably) building bicycles. For years I have been interested in Tassies Wooden Boat Festival, although the video on the website puts me off. I think I would love to take my bicycle down to Tassie (or even the Melbourne handmade bike show) for a visit.
- Thorn (UK)
- St John Street Cycles (UK)
- Rivendell, BLUG, Blahg (US)
- Tim Stredwick’s Velosmith (AU)
- My Oppy by Malvern Star named after the legend HF Opperman
Not Necessarily Folding Bikes:
- Harry Bickerton who inspired me as a kid
- Alex Moulton (who does not actually make folding bikes) who also inspired me as a kid
- Andrew Ritchie who now leads the pack with the Bromptons (UK)
- Dahon (US) is winning the numbers game.
- it is also worth mentioning #rinkobikes
- and the occaisonally odd dopplegangers
- I also obsess over bicycle lights.
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