You could divide cyclists into two groups. There are the many who admire the simplicity in vintage time-honored forms of bikes; some of these styles have survived centuries. There are also those who worship the ingenuity and advance man has had on the bike. At one time the bicycle was a very simple machine. It can now be personalized for any demand and any terrain creating a unique ride for the individual.
I do look for quality in the components I mount on my bike. I take into consideration the quality and practice in the bike parts I use. To tour the country, they better be the longest lasting! Paul & I visited L.H. Thomson Co. in Macon, Georgia. They make one of the most durable seatposts and stems one can buy. The seatpost is almost a forgotten component on a bike and the stem is a close second. We were entertained by Dave and Carl of the company and were given a look around at their machine shop. We saw the process first-hand.
We met the gentleman bearing Thomson as his last name as well as all of the day and night shift workers. Dave and Carl knew of a fine southern restaurant to grab a decent dinner and we ended up bunking out the night in the corner of the shop. Amidst boxes of assembled stems and seatposts Paul & I listened to the sounds of the machines and fell quickly asleep. I dreamed of bike sanctuaries.
The next morning we awoke to a much busier factory. We sat and watched while waited up for Dave. He gave us some tips on our route that would lead us to the Georgia-Alabama line. We were hoping to see the most history possible in this part of the country. Much to our delight, he fitted our bikes with Thompson parts and bid us well. With a part upgrade on our bikes and smiles on our faces, we left as happy cyclists knowing that whatever the coming days would dish out at least (along with our determination) our stems and seatposts will survive.