Blue Suburbia by Nathalie Lawhead


The Flash is dead! Long live the Flash!

Lest you think Flash is no longer flashy enough, have a gander at Blue Suburbia by Nathalie Lawhead. Once again we see that even with the finest hammer, a bad carpenter can only build a flimsy house. Conversely, even with a flat metal bar an excellent carpenter will build a fine home.

In fact, this reminds me of the 1986 World Track Cycling Championships. For one of the track events, everybody and his brother raced on one of the new $10,000 aerodynamic bikes — with the exception of the great Japanese keirin rider, Koichi Nakano. As reigning world champion over the previous nine years, he raced last.

However, instead of a fancy $10,000 bicycle made out of Unobtanium, he rode a standard “old-fashioned” track bike that likely cost no more than $2,000, and probably much less. I am certain some riders felt they had the advantage, and maybe even the championship when they saw what Nakano would be riding. I still recall his confident strut as he approached and mounted his bike. He then proceeded to blow the doors off everyone who had dared ride before him, and claimed his tenth consecutive world championship.

That is what we not infrequently see when fancy tools such as Virtools come along. Anyone truly worth their weight in salt will still very likely produce an effort as wonderful as Blue Suburbia with almost whatever they have at hand. Or as we say in bicycle racing about the bike vs. the rider changing the outcome of a race, “It’s not the machine; it’s the motor.”

Blue Suburbia graphic

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