Jerry wrote: If we are honest, I think we must admit that part of the continued niche interest in leather saddles and tubular tires is exactly their inconvenience, or to put it more kindly, the ritual connected with them. I'll frankly admit that I find the application of Proofhide a rather soothing ritual and the smell of Proofhide is like nothing else in the world. And this soaking and rejuvenating leather saddles kind of takes the ritual to a new level. Some also enjoy the ritual of gluing tubulars, and there may even be someone who actually enjoys repairing tubulars, though I haven't met him yet. I don't really share this one, which is why I ride Tufos these days. It's kind of like a fraternity or a lodge, with passwords and secret handshakes. Being able to maintain a leather saddle or repair a tubular makes us members of the "club" somehow wiser than than the general public.
Jerry Moos Big Spring, Texas, USA
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I believe the reason we find ourselves loving the ritual of caring for leather saddles and sewing up tubs is the same reason there is a revival of religion in our overwhelmingly modernized world. There is a need for the spiritual when all around are the supposed advantages of utter practicality. Cars are faster, so if the point is only to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible than why walk or ride a bike if a car is available? If the idea is to save energy and get some exercise than why not ride a modern bike with better shifting and a lighter frame? If the idea is to get somewhere without delay or any wrong turns than why not slap a GPS on the bars? If you want to really get in shape why not wear a heart rate monitor so you can ensure your in the target zone ?
The answer is that the idea was never just to get in shape or arrive as quickly as possible to point B. The reason to ride a classic bike in an age of such modernity is to get in touch with ourselves.... to be self empowered ... to appreciate the craftsmanship of another's hand - to restore these old machines and in so doing appreciate our own ingenuity and handiwork. The idea is not to arrive, but to savour the journey. This is the essence of spirituality - the essence of all religion.
To borrow from the timeless (no blasphemy intended - only respect) : La Ellah ila Allah - Wa Ina Masi rasool Allah. translation : There is no God but God and Masi (or insert your favorite) is his prophet.
Garth Libre in Miami Fl USA