Recently took some time away from the bucolic hamlet of Des Moines (though that's no excuse for the paltry output of this blog lately) and came home with a copy of this paper-based information delivery device:
As you may have gleaned from January's blast of pretentious creative nonfiction, I went through a pretty obsessive cruiser phase once upon a time, so this book had me dead to rights before I even cracked the cover.
On the inside, I was pretty meh about the writing and the scholarship (having been spoiled by my own obsessive research on the topic back in the day and the insanely high standards set by one Jan Heine) but man, those photos. Everything from the 50s Schwinn DX proto-mountain-bikes through today's production-yet-still-alluring Electras up to one-off customs that would make the Orange County Chopper guys think about maybe trying a new line of work. Are these high-performance bikes? Maybe not. Do they have more style than an entire modern generic Trekspecializedgiant bike-shop-cum-Walmart? Uh, yeah.
The unfortunate side effect is that I'm now trolling Craigslist for a vintage cruiser to add to my collection, though I have neither the space, the cash, nor the reserve of spousal goodwill to take one on. Luckily, I've lost the taste for Schwinn's cantilever frame (despite waxing so poetic about it in my old essay) and now lust for the less-ubiquitous camel-back/twin-toptube style... with a two-speed kickback hub, if you please. Sometimes, being an obsessive bike geek can keep a fella out of trouble.