Wanting ten gold-plated bicycles to present to his friends, [Diamond Jim] Brady had his own gold-plating plant built, had the job done, and the plant was torn down again. He gave his girlfriend, the celebrated comic opera singer Lillian Russell, a gold-plated bicycle with her monogram engraved on every gold part. It had mother of pearl handlebars, an enormous amethyst on the headset, and spokes encrusted with precious stones. The machine, then valued at $10,000, travelled with her in a plush-lined morocco leather case.Riverside Drive: historic cycling spot?!? (Click to enlarge pictures.)
... Russell acquired a Plaster-cast Self-adjusting Nature-Fitting Saddle, cast according to the shape made by her bottom as she sat and pedalled on the manufacturer's dummy saddle, which was covered in an inch of clay.
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
of an actual bike ride, which for one reason and another did not happen (mostly because I really needed to get going on some work stuff, so excusable), a few delightful things from James McGurn's On Your Bicycle: An illustrated history of cycling: