I’m not much interested in exclusivity. Bicycles were on the market for 100 years, more or less, before I started riding. They didn’t have to be fancy to capture my interest. Or more complicated to retain my admiration. My first bike used the same Bendix coaster brake everyone else used in the United States. (If nothing else, it made finding parts easier.)
Several of my bikes have been red, the only color a bicycle needs to be (unless I get another orange one–orange is way cooler than red). Seeing another red bicycle on the road makes me no slower. Nor any faster. The more bicycles out there, whatever their color, the better off we all are.
Yes, when I tried racing in the late 1970s, I had a bicycle with a Campy gruppo. So did a lot of other people, though most of them made infinitely better use of expensive componentry than I did.
I’ve had a couple of unusual machines for central Illinois: a high wheeler and a British-style “racing” tricycle. Neither could really be considered exclusive. Though it was fun to point to the front wheel of the high wheeler and tell people the front wheel was exactly what a 50-inch gear looked like. And it’s still fun to put the inside pedal down when cornering on the trike, a practice that can only lead to grief on a two-wheeler.
You want exclusive? Steal the Ark of the Covenant from Harrison Ford. Tip the Ferrari dealer for overhauling your 1984 Testarossa. Buy me supper–regrettably, few have actually done that. You would indeed enter a rarefied realm with my gratitude.
As for me, exclusivity has few attractions. Though for some reason I am tickled to have one of only 100 copies of Go With the Wind, a poster from 100 Copies, the bicycle art business of Singapore’s Thomas Yang. The 36th of 100 copies of the poster, to be specific.
So why am I telling you–assumably, a fellow egalitarian, champion of blending in and promoter of the generic–all of this?
Because as of mid-March 2013, there are only 19 left unsold.