I've spent the whole day trying to figure out how to answer this without getting myself into a lot of trouble. I know, I'm getting perilously close to national stereotyping, which is decidedly un-PC. Unfortunately, I do believe that there is such a thing as national personality, which is why I do so well with Scandinavians, whose national personality is much like mine, and not so well with...well, others. In any case, trouble is nothing new for me, for sure, but as I descend into old farthood, I do try to mellow out and behave myself. Doesn't always work, but I try.
Let's just say this: I don't see anything in my Colnagos, for example, that tells me a thing about the charming, easygoing dysfunctionality that was Italian society in the 60s and 70s, extending into today. (The same dysfunctionality, I might add, that has given Alitalia and Malpensa airport a 100% success rate at losing my luggage on flights into Milan.) They're nice bikes, of course. But they don't tell me anything about the times and people that produced them. British bikes do. French do too, although maybe not quite so profoundly.
Do they for you? I'd like to hear how. In fact, I'd like to hear any comments on the history and culture of a people, and how it is reflected in the bicycles they built. That would be a welcome relief from the tiresome stuff about racing, TDF, Paris-Brest-etc., and technobabble about frame stiffness.
Uh-oh. I think I got myself into trouble again. Dang! Gotta stop doing that.
Or, maybe not....
Steve Maas Long Beach, California, US of A
Chuck Schmidt wrote:
> Steve Maas wrote:
>>Bicycles from Britain say more about the time, place, and people they
>>came from than those of any other nation. (France is perhaps a close
>>second. In contrast, Italian bikes say virtually nothing about Italy;
>>they could have been made anywhere.)
> "In contrast, Italian bikes say virtually nothing about Italy; they
> could have been made anywhere."
> After owning racing bikes from many countries and eras, I'd have to say
> that the Italian bicycle says _more_ about their country; more than
> English or French bikes say about their respective countries. In my
> opinion, Italian bicycles clearly reflect more of their origins, their
> heritage, than bicycles from any other country in the world.
> Could you explain your statement in a little more detail Steve?
> Chuck Schmidt
> South Pasadena, Southern California