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Editor’s Statement

In an age of technological advancements coming along so quickly that it is impossible to truly keep up, the bicycle offers an escape via a machine built to match and maximize the human form. Computers and phones from just two decades ago are nearly unrecognizable as such, yet bicycles over one hundred years old are not only obviously a bicycle, they aren’t far off from what we ride today. Major Taylor’s stance on his track bike at the turn of the last century isn’t terribly different than that of today’s track racers. Bicycle geometry hasn’t changed that much since the first safety bicycles with equal sized wheels were first introduced. We still ride the same basic wheel size, and today’s racing bicycles are only a few pounds lighter than those of our grandparent’s generation, even if materials technology has allowed for them to be remarkably stronger. Besides the friction thumbshifters I prefer to use over today’s whiz-bang shifters, I’m not one to utilize much vintage tech even if I remain enamored with it. There is just something about the relative stability of bicycle design that makes the previous generations’ components all that much more interesting to me.

It was a late night conversation with a friend that brought about these thoughts most recently, as we discussed the alienating pace of technology on one hand and the resurgence in bicycle use amongst the most connected generation ever. The actual human connection to motion, the feeling of total immersion in the physical experience that bicycle riding can be is what hooks people in this age of digital everything. Even at the ultra high end of carbon fiber, electronic shifting and GPS connectivity bugs get caught in your teeth and you feel the hills roll beneath you. Running into a friend on the street is always going to be superior to interacting on screen, and perhaps the bicycle acts as a representation of the difference between a virtual world and one built truly on a human scale, to maximize the human