My first and oldest love is the bicycle. I grew up poor, although like most of my friends I didn’t know we were poor because we were all poor. Not dirt poor mind you, but just a roof-over-your-head and three-squares-a-day poor….not too many luxuries after my dad died when I was seven. Television and my bike were my two sources of freedom, one imaginary and one real. I never thought about my bike…it wasn’t a possession as much as it was an appendage. One doesn’t think about one’s arm, one just uses it.
I got my first bike when I was five, and don’t remember a day when I didn’t have one…a tribute to my mother, who would find some slightly less-poor neighbor looking to sell his kid’s bike because he had outgrown it. I had just picked up my final grades from my last year at university and was on my way to the bike store to pick up my new bike, when I met my wife-to-be as I was walking past her apartment. She came with me and we walked back together…and that was it….35 years ago. So the bicycle has been intimately woven into some of the most significant moments of my life.
I’ve had pretty exotic and expensive bikes ever since, an indulgence that I’m sure is compensation for memories of having to ride third-hand bikes most of my childhood. My wife keeps asking why I don’t get rid of some of them, “After all, how many bikes can you ride?” she asks. I patiently explain that each one serves a different purpose and besides, I’m planning on getting a couple more. My next three objects of desire are:
1. A single speed urban hipster retro bike like the one pictured above, and,
2. A folding bike, and,
3. A recumbent.
Speaking of the bike pictured, isn’t it an absolute work of Art? And I love Brooks saddles, both my 1981 custom-made Leonard and my 2004 Gary Fisher Sugar 2 sport a Brooks saddle…very comfortable. If you want to see more works of vintage Art, check out this Italian web site: http://www.biascagne-cicli.it/
And if you want to see works of the bike saddler’s art, check out the Brooks web site at: http://www.brookssaddles.com/