Imagine a world where everyone wears Khaki Dockers, is Gluten-Free, Keto, Drinks a 6-dollar Starbucks with butter, watches the same Netflix series, rides matching Pelotons and posts midday travails about their nail technician.
Someone shows up like David Bowie, glittered in a sleek silver skin-suit, eating ice-cream, listening to LCD and reading Proust.
I thought so... Who is Proust? Well in France in 1934, clever people were gathering to ogle one of the sleekest
most innovative and perhaps technically sophisticated two-wheelers imagined.
I've heard it all before, when we talk about Tesla, and credit the 'Genius Electric Car' to a single man.
As if Weezer wrote the catchy new song called "Africa". Hey!, by the way the electric car came out well prior to the 70's Gas Crisis, and not when your uncle bought his P75. Innovation sleeps when we all subscribe to the same playlist. P.S. if you've never been to "Africa" (the country) then please sit on your hands, when next you imagine writing a song about it.
Thank you to Classic Cycle in Washington for your passion and dedication to the Artform that is the Bicycle; Especially in your graceful synopses of your museum collection; (as well as the above, and some other awesome images which we abscond for this discussion).
When it comes to Bike Porn, there are many repositories for reflection, and for flat-out lust, but for me -- this bike smokes them all. Being a Chicago native, may shape one's perspective of a proper bike as one which is pure of form, simply executed, and elegant, such as those produced by Schwinn, and Paramount (it's top tier). When it comes to innovation, the Giant Schwinn Brand appeared rather common, although massive, preferring to make Quality their hallmark. This said, We duly recognize the many innovative breakthroughs by Schwinn, Watsyn, and others who pressed technical boundaries in steel.
Being one who travels, and has a lust for good design, I am reminded of my friends '89 Vitus, and later Raleigh "Technium" aluminum bikes from the 90's, who resolved to build bikes with glue. Without even imagining Glue as a solution, the above innovation could not have come soon enough. The resulting, Carbon revolution was poised to occur when demilitarization left a ramped-up supply chain, without buyers. Thanks to the Military, we have Carbon tennis rackets, and cell phones. But what of the sea change that comes when someone says, "Aluminum is lighter than Steel, why don't we use that"?
Caminade of France made the same innovation in 1934, nearly 50 years prior, gluing and pinning impeccably etched and drilled heptagonal Tubing. This 15 pound marvel of innovation is perhaps the most glorious NASA (esque) innovation in cycling until Carbon Lugs, Gary Klein, and Monocoque. It has been more than 70 years since this Index-shifting wonder was crafted, and I'm still in awe of it's brilliance. If your whole world were khaki, and you saw one of these silver bikes, you'd lust them like me. Truth be told, I'm a city kid and Black is the new Beige of my sect. Still... If whilst wearing Black this Polished Aluminum dream Machine shows up at the club-ride, at a quarter the weight of yours, has Three Speeds, brakes that actually stop, and matching cupholders, Be VERY Afraid. This reminds me of the Bowden Spacelander, as it is the Gas Go-cart to your Red Wagon. When the status-quo will not do, let's break some rules. Here lands before us, as with Bowie, the 1934 Caminade Caminargent. Adorned with the innovative indexed Osgear Super Champion (Constrictor) Deraileur. A looped Pulley Chain Tensioner, Side Pull Brakes, Cast Brass drop-outs, High Flange cheese-grater Hubs, and No Paint. This is one sweet machine. My hat's off to the French Firm for finding not just a work-around for Tig-welding, but for making something innovative that actually worked as well as it looked.
Age and Treachery will overcome youth and skill.