Monday, May 6, 2024

Clean getaway: Why I'm glad I left the bicycle industry

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I currently own three bicycles.
(My health has made it harder for me to ride often, but I still love bicycles and probably will forever.)
-- 1999 Rivendell All-Rounder. The bike I ride most often. It has the greatest grocery capacity with a big saddlebag and front basket, and it shows its 25 years of honest wear beautifully.
-- 1988 Peugeot Orient Express. I got this a couple years ago because I'd been looking (for almost a decade) for an Orient Express in my size and this was what the universe offered.
-- 1960s Cape Cod converted into a singlespeed city bike. I love singlespeeds and have enjoyed building up and riding this one. Sadly, my knees are letting me know that singlespeeds may no longer work so well for me, and I am preparing to sell it soon.

I share this here because I've just come across an article that beautifully explains what I think of the direction bicycle design and the bike industry have taken. 
I was planning on leaving anyway in 2012 because my hands were taking a beating and my body could no longer handle ten-hour days at a repair stand. (Non-mechanical events at the shop forced me to leave sooner than I had planned, but it was coming before the next busy season regardless.)
As this article confirms, I think I left just in time, before things got silly and worse.
See for yourself. And understand why none of my bicycles use newer designs and materials.

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