Cycling: Merit Badge Series

While catching up on some light reading – way behind on the light reading – it occurred to us that this pamphlet has not been reviewed. Maybe ever.

Published in 1965, much of what this tiny tome tells us is as relevant today as it was then.

Just look at this young man’s kit: long sleeves and long pants for sun protection; leather cycling boots with canvas gaiters, very fashionable; one gear, also fashionable.

An impressively complete tool kit – are those co2 cartridges I see? “Wrap your tools in a large cloth, bind them with rubber bands, and put them in your tool bag. Take along a can of oil.” Great advice. Unfortunately it seems that gravity is considerably more powerful than it was in the 60s. We in the new millennium must consider weight a bit more carefully than our ancestors did. Hence carbon fiber and support vehicles.

Those hand signals are great although today they mean different things. Language is constantly evolving, even sign language. From left to right they mean: “Hey you!” “Karate chop!” and “Give me five!” All three hand signals are now exclamations.

Overall, the Cycling Merit Badge Series is a pretty good read. And it is light enough to bring on a modern bike ride.