About the founder.
I discovered cycling at a young age. And it changed my life. A child of divorced parents, my dad forced my sister and I to go bicycle touring under the guise of spending quality time together. We rode and camped from Banff to Jasper in the Canadian Rockies past the Columbia Icefields, and through Yellowstone National Park in the wind, rain and sleet. And I loved every miserable pedal stroke. These experiences gave me my first taste of the freedom of the bicycle, and birthed my life-long passion for cycling.
Cycling consumed me in high school. I raced, but I never won. Never even came close. But winning was not the ends to the means. So I tell myself now. The training, the long hours in the saddle alone, were. Fueled by the need to escape my home, and spin out the welling anxieties of post-puberty angst, I’d disappear on my bike hours. This was the ‘80’s. The era of Bernard Hinault, Team 7-Eleven, Greg Lemond and John Tesch’s horribly melodramatic weekly wrap up of Tour De France. Pages of the now defunct Winning Magazine lined my bedroom walls like a wallpaper shrine to my cycling heroes. Unfortunately, I tore it all down in a fit of despair over unrequited love. Damn.
I was obsessed with all things French, like Dave at the end of Breaking Away. As I got older, I studied French art, French History, and I learned to speak French. I lived in France for a year during college, and I road up Mount Ventoux for the first time on a borrowed 3-speed Peugeot.
I still ride today. I ride alone. I ride with friends. And I ride with the The Fireflies to help raise money for City of Hope. I ride now for the same reasons I rode then. The spinning rotation of my legs on a bike have a metronomic calming effect, like the repetition of a meditative mantra. My anxieties surface and dissipate. My heart opens. And my mind becomes clear.
From the misery and pain of suffering comes great joy. This duality has always fascinated me, and informed the “Love/Hate” knuckle tattoos on the crank arms.
Poème was inspired by my love of cycling and, as a writer, my love of the written word. The bicycles are designed in reaction to every bicycle I’ve bought, borrowed, rented, sold, lost, lusted over and, sadly, gotten stolen. Sadly, my very first racing bike was stolen out of the truck of my dad’s car. I loved that bike. It was a Benotto 2000 with Campagnolo Record, and it had a heart cut-out on the bottom bracket. I pay homage to this bike with a heart cut out on the bottom bracket of every Poème.
I hope you like them as much as I do.
— Josh Miller, Poème Cycles