BS: As far as I’ve been able to tell, the rider is not going to experience the imperfection—everyone I’ve talked to who rides your bikes says they’re exquisite. And the imperfections are not even something other highly skilled builders notice easily or at all. There’s no practical reason to try to exceed that.
RS: Yeah, the thing about it is… it doesn’t matter at all.
BS: Right—and you also cannot succeed at what you’re trying to do. You go into it knowing you’re going to fail, so—
RS: Well, when you start, every time you start, you have a chance. You also know you won’t do it. Both things exist for you at that moment. And for some time as the heat and the metal and the human element interface, both possibilities stay alive, and that is… Look, ultimately, yes, you get to some point where you concede, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t… you know… you…
BS: So the point isn’t to make a perfect bike but to be a human and to make a perfect bike? Or is the inevitable imperfection itself the perfect part, because it represents that struggle, the human part?
RS: This is the point where we are beyond reason. And probably beyond answers.
BS: Why should a buyer care about your struggle? Why not just go out and buy the perfect bike?
RS: I can only make one file cut and once that cut is made, I can’t put the material back. That’s what people are paying for. I think that makes a bicycle more beautiful.
[This conversation so nails how I feel but fail to express about everything I’ve ever worked on, built, made, and achieved. Richard Sachs pushes everyone who makes anything forward, and while some have their shortsighted view of his stance and explanation, I see the way forward.
While I’m certain, having seen his bikes first hand, that owning one would be a joy, and riding one regularly a double joy, I don’t need to. That is, that the process toward mastery doesn’t require ownership by me. That he continues to chase mastery and perfection is what I need, although I admit, not as visceral.]