The "Go To Guy"

Editors Note: It is with sadness that I mark the passing of one of cyclings most beloved “wrenches” and source of knowledge, Sheldon Brown, who died on Sunday, February 3rd of an apparent heart attack. This is a post written in his honor from a fellow wrench and fan of his…….

When I first happened upon this information super highway in the late 90’s, one of the first things I did was to use the search function and see what was out there that I could read concerning my passion of cycling and working on bicycles. One of the first sites I stumbled upon was Sheldon Brown’s.

I was simply amazed. There were all sorts of things I knew, of course, since I was a mechanic myself, but there was a lot more that I didn’t know. A lot more! I think I read all of the site in two or three sittings, just gobbling up everything Sheldon was putting out there. Whenever I had a question about something, I hopped online and checked out Sheldon’s site to see if he had anything that addressed my concern of the day. More often than not, he did. He was my go to guy.

I ended up teaching a maintenance class for a bit a couple of years back and I would always recommend that the students check out Sheldon Brown and use his vast storehouse of cycling knowledge to guide them long after the classes were over. I knew from my own experience that they couldn’t go wrong with my “go to guy”.

Practical, inventive, easy to understand, and sometimes controversial, Sheldon Brown’s use of the internet pre-dated most of us “scribes” and “gurus” here in the digital realm and he left a legacy that will far outlast anything I write or come up with, I am sure of that. I don’t think it is possible to count the number of lives he has touched so far with his work.

Sheldon Brown will be missed by many, but his legacy lives on and helps us pedal our way down that path we choose. Thanks!

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No Responses to “The "Go To Guy"”

  1. cyclotourist Says:

    He was the heart and soul of bike culture in N.A. I feel he singlehandedly promoted and encouraged bicycling in the U.S. and Canada as much as any person in our society. He will be missed.

  2. Mickey Says:

    Very sad news. I knew him only from his exellent website. I’m still amazed of his knowledge and work.
    Poland will miss Sheldon.

  3. Vandal Says:

    What an unfortunate loss to cyclists. Hopefully someone (a few someones) will take it upon themselves to maintain his website. Whenever I need a straight answer I know I can trust to be accurate, his site is at the top of the list.

  4. Cloxxki Says:

    Sheldon was GLOBAL. Him speaking the English language, and picking the internet as his medium, he reached passionate riders in countries most of us do not know the proper spelling of.
    He was a hero in The Netherlands and France, those communities already stepped forward in honoring his legacy.

    Apart from the obvious loss to cycling and humanity in general, I’d like to thank the Brown family for allowing Sheldon time to pretty much complete his masterpiece.It comes across pretty complete to me at least. I hope his website remains to exist. Many new riders are entering the sport, and Sheldon can give them a hand.

  5. welshcyclist Says:

    Yes, I agree with the comments already posted, and would only add, how I came across Sheldon Brown. I’d been back cycling since June ’06, I had access to the internet, and so, later that year typed in “bicycling” into the search engine, and was amazed to find a plethora of sites related to my new passion/hobby. But, the remarkable thing was, and still is, that they all refer to Sheldon’s website, as the place to go for bicycle related info. His passing is a great loss to his family and the cycling fraternity of the world, I’d like to pass on my condolences and sorrow to his family, but also congratulate them on the wonderful legacy that Sheldon has left to the world, so easily accessible, via the internet.

  6. neener-niner Says:

    Very sad indeed.

  7. Rusty Says:

    Sheldon was Mr. Internal Hub. I had just purchased a GT Peace 9r and bought a Nexus internal 7-speed from Sheldon on his recommendation to lace it up in the back wheel. Imagine how amazed I was to ask a question via e-mail and receive a response shortly after. He was definitely a regular guy who was always ready to lend his expert advice. However, he will always be looked up to by those who enjoy his experience and his attitude.

  8. Oderus Says:

    I don’t know a single mechanic, myself included, who hasn’t gone to his website for some obscure bit of information. He truly lived and breathed bicycles. I don’t think it could get more unique than Sheldon. A class act, top notch wealth of information and knowledge and a great will to share it. Sheldon, you will be missed. Ride in Peace.

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