[CR]Re: "Meant to Be Ridden"

(Example: Framebuilders:Alex Singer)

In-Reply-To: <MONKEYFOODrHyuE9XZb00003336@monkeyfood.nt.phred.org>
From: "Richard Risemberg" <rickrise@earthlink.net>
Date: Tue, 28 Aug 2007 12:52:32 -0700
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR]Re: "Meant to Be Ridden"

On Aug 28, 2007, at 11:54 AM, classicrendezvous-request@bikelist.org wrote:
> Subject: Re: [CR]Bicycles Are Meant to be Ridden, etc.

I'm on the "meant to be ridden" side, unless you're talking really rare museum pieces--and even then I'm not so sure.

Suppose I coughed up my $1400 to Hiroshi Iimura and received a lugged frame handbuilt by one of the finest bicycle craftsmen living? Iimura-san is a supreme bicycle designer, a true keeper of the CR flame, and his builders--Toei and others--match any who have ever lived. When Iimura-san retires or dies, the brand and design go with him.

Or suppose I got Brian B. to build me a custom frame, in personal consultation all the way down the line, a true one-off.

In both cases, we're talking bikes made in very small quantities, dependent in many ways on a single personality. Bikes that are rarer now than Herses, Singers, Masis, what have you are today. Bikes that collectors will be fighting over in forty years.

Should I be so lucky as to obtain one of those bikes, or something out of the hands of, say, Nagasawa, an unparalleled craftsman--should I never ride it?

Again, these are machines that are already more rare than most of the brands and models discussed on this list.

Should Japan shut down keirin racing to preserve the national treasures those guys are riding on? Should we never ride a good rare bike? What is a bicycle then?

To me it's a tool for interacting with the world--directly, on the streets and roads and trails; and indirectly, through bike culture. It's also an elegant machine that, as Grant Petersen said, is "Ridable art that can just about save the world," an instrument to help return us to environmental and even social sanity.

I think that in most cases, archiving a bike insults it.

I hope not to be put up on a shelf just because I'm old, and I won't do that to my bikes. They will live!

Rick Risemberg
Los Angeles, CA
Dodging potholes on Italian steel
Richard Risemberg