Simplicity is Perfection

surly steamroller tracklocross bike enjoying the moment

Antoine de Saint-Exupery stated,

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add,

but when there is nothing left to take away.

Sadly, he did not write this concerning tracklocross, even though he should have. There is nothing we can take away from your standard tracklocross beast without it not now being up to the task; by default, tracklocross bikes are then the closest bikes to perfection.

I have spent a few hours thinking about this quote and how often we mistake perfection as we don’t quite recognise simplicity as being the correct answer. A tracklocross bike may have brakes; depending on the rider, we can view these as essential or non-essential. Each version has reached the simplest point that the rider wanting to ride a bike has reached. We cannot remove wheels, tyres, cranks, or any other part, but we will no longer have a functional bike.

Look at any photo of a tracklocross bike, and you will see slick, smooth lines. A bike that looks like a bike. You know you can swing a leg over it, and you have a bike that you can get loose on and have fun on without worrying about extraneous parts breaking and ruining the fun. A good simple bike looks like a piece of art, which is handy; as Oscar Wilde told us,

It is through art, and through art only, that we can realise our perfection.

Now, we can ride a simple and perfect bike, and it will mirror the perfection of humanity. I am now beginning to worry that I have disappeared down some intellectual black hole and that I can only deal with tracklocross on a philosophical level.

It is quite a comfortable space to exist in, if I am being honest.

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