Grant explains some bits to sports writer about bicycles, fit, and racing’s questionable influences on the perceived norms of bicycles.
“Grant Petersen is on the phone, and he insists that he really, really does need to know the distance from the floor to the mid-point of my pubic bone.
“You’re in bare feet, right?” he asks.
I assure him that I am and wonder what he’s going on about. * Petersen is the founder of Rivendell Bicycle Works (800/345-3918; rivbike.com), a small company dedicated to the proposition that 98 percent of us ride bikes that are too small. And wear the wrong kind of cycling clothing. And sit on the wrong kind of saddles. Grant’s thinking is so old school that you halfway expect him to tell you to get rid of your clipless pedals. *
“You should get rid of your clipless pedals,” he tells me, referencing page 68 of his company’s summer/fall ’03 catalogue, on which it says that having your foot attached to the pedal may be more efficient, but so what?
And those small bikes we’re all riding, well, that’s just because we’re letting racers tell us what kind of bikes we should ride. Most of us don’t race, so why use racing geometry, Petersen asks. * I’ve reported on and written about a lot of sports, from minor league hockey to baseball to NASCAR to mountain climbing. And I’m here to tell you that no sport attracts more freethinkers than cycling. True, there is an orthodoxy about bike materials and training methods and gear and fit, but for some reason, our sport draws an unusual number of Grant Petersens, who are convinced they can do things better than the rest of the pack. Tilting at windmills? Maybe. But we need guys like Petersen.”
“Not framed in.” Bicycling Apr. 2004: 20. General OneFile. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.
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