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October 09, 2023
The season changes and we pause to admire autumn leaves (good for viewing, not for riding upon). Here are some images that arrived over the past year. Hope you find them positive and soothing in these crazy times.
La Stazione della Bicicletta is a Milan shop overflowing with creativity and activity. Worth a visit! They ran a series of repair events in 2022 and their posters were classic. Here are three—for brakes, derailleurs, and wheels. Bravo!
Ryan Builds Wheels is a popular source of wheels and wisdom in Bristol, UK. The shop has special energy and expertise and recently caught my eye with an ode to the handbuilt wheel.
My all time favorite cartoonist/illustrator was JJ Sempé, who passed at 89 in 2022. Among his works were 114 covers for the New Yorker, many of which featured bicycles. This one was published shortly after his death.
Richard Sachs and I share an interest in New Yorker covers with cycling themes. Today his collection is a true cultural archive. Spend some time reminiscing and admiring!
Today, 217 is a Walgreen!
We sent tape measures to the Rwandan National Team earlier this year (2023) and mechanics sent back a funny thank-you shot.
Race/Ride Trophies that feature bicycle parts are a treat, especially if they feature wheel parts. This is the trophy Annemieke van Vleuten received for winning the 17th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad race in 2022—a tiny rim with a very long spoke! Invent one for a local event!
Lastly, hubs are among our favorite components. Most early models had aesthetics totally different from today. Do you remember Curtis Odom's fabulous creations from 10yrs ago? His were one piece CNC masterpieces. The original hubs were 3 piece, aluminum flanges attached to a steel center tunnel—much harder hub to make today but Jim Merz (ex-Portland, Specialized, and much more) took it on as part of a larger project.
He decided to create a bike as old as he is. Pick your birth year and go shopping! He found a chronologically correct Holdsworth, replaced every frame tube (so it's a custom fit), and practically made every component from period-correct pieces or drawings. Typical Jim. More on this nutty masterpiece in the future.
For now, the hubs! He built a pair of authentically 3 piece Airlite reproductions.
In the day, they were brightly anodized, so here they are—blue to match the paint!
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