"He wants to keep it cheap and real, and I'm proud of him for that."
The quote is taken from the very end of the book, "In Season, a Louisiana Falconer's Journal", by Matthew Mullenix. It is in reference to a friend's approach to a sporting endeavor. After reading Matt's journal, I see parallels between his approach to falconry and Kent's approach to cycling.
It is an approach that emphasizes doing, and doing well, over equipment obsession and name brand recognition. The approach taken by these men is subject of considerable study for me, and I admire it greatly.
I have made an attempt at simplification and keeping it cheap and real. I bought a Kogswell P/R and built it up with a fixed wheel. In the community of equipment obsessed bicycle geeks (at least), it is a modest machine. It is easily adequate for my needs. If I were to spend less time browsing the internet for cycling content and more time riding, I'd be fitter, stronger, more skilled, and have better stories to tell. But I tend to entertain myself a bit by admiring the tools of some of my friends, while neglecting their fine technique. Now my Kogswell, is equipped with a front rack and luggage that is arguably not "cheap and real".
I have since purchased a Rivendell, A. Homer Hilsen, and it has become obvious that I have more studying to do. Because while I admire the "cheap and real" approach,...
...I seem to remain highly susceptible to the siren call of "lugged and pretty".