My first real bike was a Schwinn Sting Ray.
On a Saturday ride to the jumps in La Habra, a rumor spread about the two-speed Kick Back.
What?! Two speeds on a bike, and no shifters. Mythical.
When I “got mine”, the thrill of kicking it back and nearly doubling my speed was like spiked cool aid and James Bond. We couldn’t get enough, and we went about it as sly as possible so the other cats we rode with couldn’t figure out how we smoked ’em.
Schwinn, was a big dreamer and drove our industry far beyond where we could see… Beyond where anybody was looking, or so it seems now.
Where is the big thinking now?
Most of my thinking is done on my bike, riding alone and pondering how to apply other people’s ideas to cycling. For example, Google’s 10x.
The jump from 7-speed, to 8 to 9 to 10 to 11 is incremental. It got us from the Kick Back to 2×10 and 1×11. It’s good, but it took 40 years.
I think we can and should go bigger and faster.
(Addendum: I had somebody point out to me today that Stan’s has brilliantly revolutionized the way we think about wheels in a very short time.)