Seldom Hailed Cycling Heroes: Mike Flanagan

Ant Bicycles. My oh my, these bikes have really gotten under my skin.

They appeal to both sides of my brain. My left brain loves the practicality, my right brain just thinks they look gorgeous. Then my right brain slides over to my left brain, throws its arm around it, pours it a glass of champagne, and whispers filthy things into my left brain’s ear. Things my left brain has always wanted to hear but has been to uptight and shy to admit.

Yes, his bikes are so cool they make my brain have sex with itself.

At least that’s what it feels like in my head when I get roped into his website and start fantasizing about having one built just for me.

It’s no surprise they have this effect on me. Besides the bikes being so clean and smart, his pedigree is off the charts. He cut his teeth at my two favorite bike builders: Fat Chance and Independent Fabrication. Then set out on his own and dedicated himself, and his business, to these machines.

I’m going to go ahead and give him credit for single-handedly creating the neo-porteur bike love that’s been growing the past several years.

He, like Grant Petersen, proves that you don’t need a racy, racy bike to go far. He does long treks on his bike with priest bars and could probably whip up on you and your carbon whatever.

Oh, and he started sporting a completely un-ironic, un-hipster handlebar moustache years before it became de rigeur in Silverlake.

Flat out, the guy just does what he likes and believes in and has faith that it’ll work. Does it work? Just ask my brain. But listen, if my skull’s a rockin’, don’t bother knockin’.

18 Miles Per Hour is Brian Miller and Rhys Newman. Illustration by Rhys. See more at 18milesperhour.com.

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