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July 5, 2011 3 comments
Rivendell Bicycle Works.Friends Monthly highlights
Where lugs are born. The spring 2011 Rivendell Reader is just off the press, so today seems as good a day as any to celebrate an American cornerstone of the independent lugged steel frame game. A cornerstone which also happens to do a rather decent sideline in prose. Rivendell Bicycle Works has been hand building lugged steel frames since the early Nineties. Their Reader has appeared since around the same time, with the first issue printed in 1994. After initial plans to make it a Quarterly, Rivendell's owner Grant Petersen settled into a rhythm which has lately seen him publishing it once or twice a year. Just about every sentence that appears between the covers of a Rivendell Reader carries the subliminal heft of a thing written in the full and comforting awareness of its Absolute Truth. This is no small feat, given the ubiquitously un-preachy and non-prescriptive tone. The pieces contained in any Reader this reader has leafed through jump off the page (or screen) with their honest and engaging, experienced yet unwearied voice. It's easy to forget they're a bike shop and not your favourite uncle. But when you do remember, you have the feeling that here are people you'll be happy to leave a little money with. Or you can leave some money with one of their nominated charities. Donate $400 and you get $300 credit at their online shop. Yep. Rivendell Betty from Let's Go Ride a Bike As to their online shop, they do Unpushily, Quietly, Sometimes Humorously Convincing. Their product line has room for some non-bike stuff (Erasers? Tagua Nuts? Edward Lear's Book Of Nonsense?), so you get the feeling that they're not putting up any old tat that they managed to source on the cheap somewhere, rather that they've tried similar and found theirs best. Either that or they're just having a bit of fun. Their puncture glue at any rate, you feel, must somehow cause a much cleaner, a much more satisfying, more true adherence of patch to tube than that which might occur using any other puncture glue. Likewise, many casual cyclists might previously never have considered the possible benefits attaching to the use of summer gloves. Or woollen underwear in hot weather. Let them talk you around. And when you're done using up your charity-induced store credit, you can spend some time meditating upon the wonder of "Beausage", or figuring out how to finish your bar ends with twine.