FGR #8 Wrap

Freedom, fit, road feel, miles covered, inspiration, dependability. Quite how two triangles, welded together and strapped to a pair of gyroscopes, become a machine of such majestic grace is beyond my powers of calculation. There are hints of the alchemical. The Star Trek transport has nothing on the bicycle. Beam me up, Fat Chance!

I find it interesting that only a few writers picked a carbon fiber bicycle as their all-time favorite. Other factors than frame material seemed to be at the top of the list for picking a favorite, though, perhaps by coincidence or perhaps as a simple matter of timing, a lot of loved steel bikes best. For many of us, where the machine took us was as important as what the machine looked like or what components it had hung on it.

When George brought up department store bikes, a cord struck somewhere deep within me. I inherited a Panasonic Villager from my brother when I was a teenager. It was too big for me, but I humped it around town anyway. That bike took me to visit girlfriends where I discovered things that have little to do with cycling, but everything to do with joy.

Padraig and Dan O brought up Fat Chance and the bikes they made, here in my hometown. For a Bostonian that chain of Fat Chance to Independent Fabrication provokes nothing but velocipedic pride, our contribution to legend of American bike making.

Many of us have a lot of bikes hanging in our garages/basements/barns/living rooms. Picking a favorite is hard. In many ways, my next bike is always my favorite. Better start saving my pennies.

Image courtesy the Mombat Museum

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4 comments

  1. Jim

    It’s spring in Cali–I have the itch to buy something. Edge 45′s, a plastic bike, a custom Al, Assos–pretty much ANYTHING.

    Then my friend of much good taste, of course, and many bikes remarked how pretty my bike is. Yep, it’s pretty inside too: the IF TiCJ. I_love_this_bike. It’s the heart around which the accoutrements of wheels, components, touch points revolve.

    How do you replace an organism’s central organ?

    You don’t.

  2. dave1949

    1966 in southern Ontario and I got my first 10 speed. A Sears model that cost the unreasonable amount of $65 at a time when I was earning about $1.25/ hour.

    By 1985 it had been replaced by a Cannondale touring bike that cost $525 about a weeks wages and now I look at all the goodies out there in 4 and even 5 figures and wonder if any of them could take me all the way across Canada any better than that one did. I doubt it very much.

  3. wvcycling

    I have the cyclocross itch so bad that I’m selling off things that I may regret in the future in order to afford it before entering graduate school and being poor for another three years.

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