a note from e-RICHIE -
this thread is a departure from the typical Smoked Out threads that are now common on V place. in an effort to diversify and cast the net out a bit, today we have a guest appearance by fellow V-ista, henry g. this man first made my radar a couple of years ago when i stumbled on a blog he keeps called La Rueda Tropical. it's an interesting mix of bicycle history, design, high-style, and culture. i can't go 2 days without checking it and hoping it's been updated. the layout and visuals are stunning. i think the site is a treasure and i invited henry to write about himself and further integrate his unique point of view into the V community and all who read here.
At the end of 2008 I pulled my Rhygin Metax road bike out of storage. I'd been off the bike for 10 years and my waistline was showing it. I needed to get in shape and my wife insisted – why don't you get back on your bike? Well after some 'encouragement' I finally did, a few rides later I was again totally hooked. Before long I had my Rhygin and my wife's Waterford in pieces and was trolling the web for parts and information for a refit of the bikes. I was at the same time initiating a test of blogging platforms for my web design clients. I needed some content to do the test and as I had assembled a ton of info for my bike's renovation I decided to use that. Initially there where 3 identical blogs on Blogger, Wordpress and Typepad. After 2 weeks I deleted all but the Wordpress blog. I intended to continue the Wordpress blog another month or 2 before concluding the test and deleting it as well.
Unexpectedly, the blogs traffic was growing quickly and I was enjoying the posts. I got an email asking if it would be OK if the emailer translated one of my posts into Chinese. The test was taking on a life of it's own -so “La Rueda Tropical” didn't get deleted, it became my personal bike blog. Had I known it was going to be around for more then 2 months I would have put more time into the blog name, which comes off a bit corny in Spanish, but most readers will never know that, as it's an English language blog.
I'm a designer and photographer who is fascinated with the construction, history, sport and culture of the bicycle. Back in the early 70's, when I was a starving artist in New York City's Soho, a Campagnolo equipped Cinelli was for me right up there with the Maserati Ghibli and Ferrari Daytona in that fast, exotic, Italian class of unobtainable dream machines. My idea of beauty in a bicycle is still prejudiced by the elegant, impossibly skinny tubed, lugged steel bikes of that era - but I don't care for “retro” design. I don't miss down tube shifters, leather chamois or clips and straps. I still like the feel of standard light steel tubing and mix and match old and new to get the form and function that best matches my needs and preference.
My avocation and occupation is packaging information for consumption. There is a lot of good information online adrift in a sea of noise. On the blog I try and grab what interests me online and repackage it in a way that is useful and enjoyable. I rarely review anything or do much in the way of editorial opinion as there are plenty of online sources with more experience and knowledge then I for that. I do what I do best and that relates to design and imagery.
Road Drop Bar Geometry : La Rueda Tropical
Road Cycle Saddle Geometry : La Rueda Tropical
MAFAC, Dia-Compe & Paul Centerpull Brake Specs : La Rueda Tropical
iPhone Cycling Applications : La Rueda Tropical
A beautiful poem by Neruda about the bicycle:
Oda a la Bicicleta, Pablo Neruda : La Rueda Tropical
Waterford 650B Conversion Finished : La Rueda Tropical
La Dolce Vita : La Rueda Tropical
Mike Terraferma is a local builder and a friend. He is in the process of making a Corsa GT for me. You will see a lot of his work on the blog.
Cinelli Speciale Corsa 1968 : La Rueda Tropical
Along with the cycling content I post music videos. I'm a “Nuyorican” (Puerto Rican born in NY) and came of age during the heyday of the Fania all-stars and the Salsa craze in NYC. I spent a lot of nights till dawn in Latin dance halls in Manhattan. This video is from the bugalú era of the 60's that preceded the Salsa wave. Cheo Feliciano, the singer, went on to be a big star of the Salsa era and has always been one of my favorite singers:
Joe Cuba – Bang Bang : La Rueda Tropical
You will find on the blog videos from across the Latin musical spectrum. I think the music provides the right 'Miami' ambiance to the blog.
Well, that's my Smoked Out. Thanks to Richard Sachs for reaching out to me. I hope you enjoy the blog as much as I enjoy posting it.