'Tis the Season
Dear Santa - Perry's List
This Christmas wish list comes with a bit of a preamble - please bear with me. Over the years I've cultivated an appreciation for gear that tends towards the esoteric. As such, I've found the hardware landscape of late has been a bit bereft of proper lust inducing content. It seems as bike tech becomes more and more refined, design tends to converge on sameness. There's certainly no shortage of carbon-stuffed five figure uber-bikes that work spectacularly well, but they tend to lack the certain je ne sais quoi that flips me from: yep, that's pretty nice, but not going to release my tightly clenched wallet nice, to: holy shit, I must now seriously re-evaluate familial obligations to make space for this in my life. Attempting to imbue inanimate playthings with "soul" seems a silly and fairly hipster-esque endeavor, but dammit if I'm not attracted to certain artisanal things injected with said hard to quantify character. It's an irrational affliction. Lets fire up some images for a bit of backstory:
So along comes this upstart UK based company called Sick Bicycles. At first it seemed more of a branding exercise, fired up on Kickstarter, pushing heaps of clothing, but lo and behold if they didn't bang out a handful of fillet brazed steel 29'er hardtails sporting some properly slack / slammed / stretched geometry, followed shortly by a batch of titanium iterations. You sirs, said I to myself, now have my attention. Recently, they've launched titanium framed gearbox hardtails, and posted teaser shots of a knarly high pivot gearbox shred machine - the Heathen - that pays serious homage to the Brooklyn Machine Works / Superco bikes of yore. Too much, you cunning bastards. So - on my Xmas list of unrealistic wishes goes the following:
The Heathen: I'm not even sure what this bike's design intent is (details are nonexistent currently). It appears to be a full on dual crown DH destroyer, but the full range gearbox suggests the possibility of expanded utility. A pedal-able long travel single crown all terrain thrasher perhaps? Whatever the case, I probably don't need it, but want one, nonetheless. The mix of badass industrial aesthetic, modern geometry and next generation drivetrain, with a hearty dash of nostalgia tugs at my heartstrings.
Back to the previously mentioned hardtails. Though they're not a regular mainstay in my riding repertoire, I've got a soft spot for unsuspended frames, and love jumping back on board periodically to keep it real, as it were. I love the elegant simplicity of a good boneshaker. Sick is in the process of doing a production run of the titanium (!) framed, Pinion gearbox equipped 650 wheeled Wulfbaron - behold it's magnificence:
The thought of a bomber, almost no maintenance drivetrain, that's completely rattle free (add a sprag clutch hub for super stealth mode), on a frame with geometry and material longevity that should keep it relevant for a good long time, makes this one of the most compelling designs I've come across in a long time. A legacy ride to beat on, put away wet, and hand down to your children. Though this bike is rad, talk of an upcoming gearbox iteration of the Gnarcissist - the brazed steel 29er sled - has me properly hot & bothered; on the list of wants it goes.
Moving on to more realistic requests now - I've been a beer nerd for years, but have only recently dabbled in the realm of whiskey. I've enjoyed sampling Canadian Ryes and Kentucky Bourbons, but the big peaty Scotches have really impressed. What better gift to warm the cockles of ones heart on a cold winters eve than one of these:
Finally - simple, inexpensive - but practical - gifts can be some of the best. Hard to go wrong with a cozy pair of quality socks.