Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Remembering Sheldon Brown

Sheldon was a bicycle guru extraordinaire. And not in the sense of sitting on the mountain and spouting bicycle philosophy, but rather a (grease-covered) hands-on guy who knew pretty much everything about bicycles both old and new, and freely shared his knowledge and passion.

He was the parts manager at Harris Cyclery in West Newton, Massachusetts. He was also a "renaissance man," who knew a lot about a lot of different things.

His website (HERE) reflects his interests. In particular, it is a treasure-trove of articles about bicycle mechanics and physics, and also reflects a good deal of his enthusiasm and humor.

Sheldon passed away on February 3 of this year.

So why remember Sheldon today?

One of his projects was... every April Fools' Day, he would announce a new bike-related product or technique to hit the market, and you'd say to yourself, "Hey - why didn't I think of that?!!?"

Here are a few examples.
- The ShelBroCo Bicycle Chain Cleaning System
- The FasterCard Titanium - a weight-saving credit card for cyclists, with holes drilled in it for additional weight-saving
- "Product W" - The Ultimate (and legal!) Performance Enhancer (I love this one!)
- The Carrababy bicycle baby carrier
- "Real MAN" bicycle saddles - made of granite, to separate yourself from the girly-man posers.

I never met Sheldon, but I read his stuff regularly and losing him feels like I've lost a friend.

1 comment:

Clancy said...

Very good day to remember him. His " inventions" were always fun to read. I still use his pages for reference. Probably his most valuable page for any body who owns or collects old bikes is the article on tire sizing. Schwinn, French, and British used to have odd tire sizes.