“The bicycle superseded by the automobile, the automobile compelling attention to the necessity for good roads, and with good roads throughout the country we may again see the bicycle coming into its own. Who will make the first move among the big manufacturers?”
—Louis M. Fisher, Former Secretary of the Associated Cycle Clubs of New York, in the New York Times on March 3, 1912
Dear Mr. Fisher,
Almost 97 years after you asked that question, I am pleased to report to you that the bicycle has indeed finally come into its own. And as for big manufacturers, the one responsible for this is, of course, the Great Trek Bicycle Making Company. Behold, the World's Greatest Madone:
It has rear-view mirrors to remind us from whence we came, and a rack to carry all that we've learned from history forward into the future. It also has a compact crank, Zipp 808 tubular wheels, and toe clips and straps. (Actually, scratch that--the rider has ditched the pesky straps.) It's steered by mountain bike bars with a gentle rise, and secured by a flimsy combination cable lock. I'm not sure what that piece of paper hanging of the bars is, but it's probably either a speech that will unify the entire cycling world in eternal siblinghood, or else the turn sheet for some charity ride.
My faith in cycling and humanity, considerably shaken after exploring the Times archives, has been restored.Sincerely,