I've always revered Sheldon Brown for his erudition and wisdom. Knowing that much is rare enough, but being able to communicate that knowledge so clearly to others is even rarer. And sharing it so willingly and wittily is what made him a singular figure in cycling.
Only the strongest personalities can infuse inanimate objects with life, and Sheldon Brown did that. Just go to his website and look at his personal bikes. As much as we all love bikes, I think we all know they're just things. Sheldon's bikes are things too, but they have a signature exuberance; they are simultaneously absurd and practical. In a subculture that obsessively categorizes everything, they defy categorization. When you reach a certain familiarity with bicycles they can sometimes speak to you about their owners, and Sheldon's bikes speak with irreverence. They sing and tell jokes, and they have a Thelonious Monk-like ugly beauty. When you have as much knowledge and creativity as Sheldon did, you can build bikes that follow no template except your own.
There's little danger that cyclists will forget Sheldon Brown. I doubt that there's any cyclist who hasn't consulted his site, or who doesn't still. And as the architect of the cycling canon he's done more for cycling than any pro cyclist, or critical mass, or white bike, or orange bike ever has. No matter what you ride, how you ride, how long you ride, or how long you've been riding, you're a fan of Sheldon Brown.
Thanks for everything Sheldon.
(from Sheldon's site)