Sunday, February 7, 2010

In the beginning Man made Bicycles and life was good.


Definition as an Adjective: Having, using, or showing good sense or sound judgment. Cognizant; keenly aware. Perceptible to the mind. Designed for practical ends.

Synonyms of Sensible: Intelligent, sagacious, rational, reasonable, practical.


Definition as an Adjective: The act, sport, or technique of riding a bicycle.

Definition as a Noun: A person who rides or travels by bicycle.

And with the above is how this blog will start. Bicycling and sensibility. I think they go hand in hand, or at least should. I don't have a concrete direction for the blog other than it will be my thoughts, ramblings, found and given links and photos of bicycles and cyclists. I favour cycling for pleasure and transportation and will steer away from all competitive aspects of bicycles and racing. Everything has it's place but lycra and sub-twenty pound bikes will not be talked about much, if at all, here.

To continue I think a little introduction is in order. My name is Peter and I have been an avid cyclist for 39* of my 41 years on this earth. (*yes, I started 'riding' when I was 2 on a pedal-less bicycle). You may call me Peter or Baron. I answer to both. Baron is as in Baron von Drais and it's a moniker I picked up for this inter-web thingy. I have lived in the suburbs, the countryside, and in small cities in Ontario and Quebec Canada. For those not familiar with Canadian climate this means my riding season is an enjoyable 8 or 9 months of the year. For most of my school years I lived in the country where I had a couple options to get somewhere; walk, ride my bike, ask my parents for a drive, or stay home. Walking is something I enjoy but I've found as I get older I have less time to spare and going for a walk is something of an indulgence. Cycling in the city or even from the 'burbs to the city is as fast and sometimes faster than driving my car. Oh yes, I do own a car. In fact for business I sometimes keep a small van too. One person, two motor vehicles. Evil, huh? I off-set that 'karma' (get it?? car-ma?! okay, not so funny I guess...) with my 11 or 12 but ever growing collection of bicycles. I enjoy variety :) Back to the beginning - living in a countryside village that consisted of 2 intersecting roads meant 2 things; there were no shops to have bikes repaired so I had to learn to fix my own and that some of the vacant lots around the farmer's fields were sometimes used as impromptu dump sites so finding bicycles (read: spare parts) was common. From there I developed skills as well as a small collection of bikes to repair my bicycle and my friends bikes. After 3 years of repairing my own bike and with a little bit of hanging around the LBS in the neighbouring town I was offered a job. For better or worse I started working as a shop mechanic when I was 13. Many many years later I have worked in very small shops, large 'corporate' shops in the heart of the city's shopping center, to bicycle manufacturers as well as seeing myself self-employed in a sort of 'freestyle' business consisting of being on hire to 2 or 3 shops in the same summer, selling better quality and fashionable used bikes to students, and Internet sales [eBay] of bicycle parts and collectible cycling items. I've also been employed in ISO9000 specialty welding and fabricating shops. At present I work as a mechanic for a race oriented frame builder. No, I won't mention the name of the company as I don't think it prudent or relevant. I also continue to subsidize my wages and my desire to eat lots of sushi with my own hobby business. When I started working in shops a tune-up included the setting of cotter pins into the crank arms. Now I rarely see bottom brackets with adjustable ball bearings and almost never see gears that don't go 'click'. Times have changed but bikes still look the same. Through all the fazes of cycling I've seen and all the bikes I've owned I have to say I enjoyed them all. Also through all these years I have liked bicycles for transportation and recreation and maybe because of my German upbringing I *need* things to be practical. And with than loosely knitted stream of thoughts is where this blog will start. Tally-ho!

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