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Everyone Has a Tom Pritchard Story. Only I Have His Bike.

Everyone Has a Tom Pritchard Story. Only I Have His Bike.

Let’s open this story with my bike, because this is a cycling magazine and because it might be helpful to begin with something tactile. To…

Wednesday, Sep 16

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Let’s open this story with my bike, because this is a cycling magazine and because it might be helpful to begin with something tactile. To call it a bike seems so informal. It’s like calling a ’67 Pontiac GTO a car , or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers a band . This is a bike, yes, in that it has two wheels and can get you from here to there. But it’s more than that. And I can’t tell you why just yet, but I promise I’ll get there. Meanwhile, take a look at the bike. It is finished in metallic black so subdued you have to lean in to see the sparkle; and if you do, you’ll notice a few scratches and dings on the tubing. It’s 44 years old, after all, older than me by two years. The frame is held together by Prugnat long-point lugs. Run your fingers over the hand-brazed butted tubing, the sloping fork crown, the 16.5-inch chainstay. Caress the Avocet Touring I saddle, the Satri-Gallet seatpost, the Cinelli handlebar, and the Campagnolo Record calipers “To call it a bike seems so informal. It’s like calling a ’67 Pontiac GTO a car, or Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers a band. This is a bike, yes, in that it has two wheels and can get you from here to there. But it’s more than that.” The bike came to me by death, but this is a story about a life, one life, really lived. The […]

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