The Importer's story
Finding the undiscovered Italian bike maker

Humble beginnings
random travel discoveries

The importer of Iride bicycles happens to be an artist by vocation, an architect by trade, an industrial designer by education; formerly a bicycle racer and professional bicycle mechanic, and a connoisseur of the good life

He says: "I go to Italy often. My new hot Italian wife’s family told me to visit a nearby factory; they know of my bicycle affliction."

He finds an ancient factory making bicycles. The Gemmati Velocipedi factory has been there making high performance Iride bikes since 1919. He visits several years in a row, making friends. Noticing he had found the undiscovered Italian bicycle maker, he eventually convinces Mr. Gemmati to share his exquisite bicycles with connoisseurs in the USA.


Why am I nuts about the bicycle anyway?

It is something the Wright brothers knew. Something Einstein understood while riding his bike. There is something more.

Utilizing momentum, leaning on the rotational forces, using gravity, experiencing velocity. Not sure why I am entranced by the bicycle, probably a summation of things, like the human power of it, the physical incitement of use, the interchangeability of components, as a tool for exploration.… It is that actually very rare situation where a body can go 100%. Every time I ride a bicycle, I get amazed with how fast I can go on this damn thing.

While the digital world is justifiably getting all the attention these days, there still are plenty of discoveries and advancements to be made in the physical realm.

Plus, I think there is more to the bicycle than we know. I keep thinking of the history of how the wheel was never invented in the New World. People in the Americas were as advanced as the rest of the globe in architecture, more advanced in astronomy, nearly equal in writing, math, division of labor, etc. But they still moved heavy things around on sticks dragged on the ground.

(that is our man meeting with the competition, Giovanni Pinarello at Pinarello headquarters in Treviso, Italy, in the photo)

There was however, in the biggest Aztec city, the advanced cultural center, a child’s toy that had wheels. The concept was not noticed, or maybe disregarded, by the accepted inventors and engineers of the day.

A world without the use of the wheel; it was right in front of them, and they didn’t even know.

I keep wondering what may be right in front of us now, that we don’t even know.