I like this idea of an intro forum but missed posting here first and immediately got engaged on a few of the fora.
My avatar is a link to my ancestry and the term originally coined to describe the awesome capabilities of the Finnish middle and long distance runners of the early 20th century, in particular Paavo Johannes Nurmi.
He was a key influence on my father, who was part Finnish, was brought up in Helsinki and witnessed many of Paavo's successes. The spirit and influence of the 'Flying Finns' (easier than the Finnish Lentävä Suomalainen) came to me by osmosis. The term was subsequently used for a number of other Finnish sportsmen (but as far as I can tell never for a cyclist!)
I was brought up in Devon and have been interested in cycling since the early 1970s. I was primarily a Roadman until the early 90s when I finally discovered the advantages of a different frame layout and specific equipment for trail riding. Most of my riding is still on the road but I do a reasonable amount of off road riding and a fair bit with the family on simple trails and tracks - particularly in the New Forrest.
What attracted me to this site is the retro aspects, one of my keenest interests is in all aspects of design, artistic, graphic, industrial, architectural and specifically product design. In this I believe in function over form and believe that for much of the past 20 years too many products, particularly in the cycle industry, have been more about form over function. That is not to say that I am against development, particularly of new materials, but often new products seemed to be developed just for the sake of a different look, and sometimes with designed in incompatibility with previous variants - Shimano seem to have finally learnt this lesson!
I believe there is a greater purity of design in the earliest phase of development of the bicycle. Technological development through the 20th to 21st Century has compressed the timespan over which a new product goes from being experimental to full operational and functional effectiveness; hence the more rapid development that has occurred with suspension bikes (first patent for rear suspension in 1892!).
I am also greatly intrigued by the relatively recent greater viability and effectiveness of internal hub gearing; furthermore how such devices can be used to produce internal gearing for bikes. I hope to start a project in this area soon.
For those of you who have viewed my posts so far I have only just exchanged my early chainset avatar image for one more appropriate for the avatar name and explanation given above.