A Rare Bird

. . . err, rare bike, rather. Seen in rain, on a street in a nearby town:

It’s nearly impossible to tell from this shot, snapped as it was on the fly, but this is a true cargo bicycle. That’s a serious cargo rack on the back, with bag attached, and those are heavy-duty panniers on each side of the rack.  I’m certain this cycle is a “long tail”, meaning that the chassis has been extended in the rear, making the bike longer than a conventional model.  It was raining hard, if intermittently, but this cyclist was undeterred by the downpour or the soggy streets.

This is the first time I’ve ever seen anything resembling a cargo bike in our suburban haunts.  I’m regarding this as an exciting development; if cargo bikes arrive, can a cycling culture be far behind?


A Globe Live, with Accoutrement

In New York City:

It’s a Specialized Globe Live 03, with some interesting accessories.  Made of wood and metal, this “Sweetie” basket also has a removable canvas liner.  It’s seen some use, too:  The owner has made some duct tape repairs on the side.

Love the wood accent with the metal, and the wooden base; the combination is reminiscent of early delivery trucks, with wooden slats on the beds.

There’s also an attached (and removable) net for keeping cargo in place.

Bells are coming into their own in the city cycling world, with more and more variations appearing.  This one’s unusual and quite beautiful:

I don’t know what it sounds like, though. I’ll photograph anything in detail, but I try to be quite respectful of others’ belongings, and I never handle the bikes I photograph.

This bicycle has Brooks grips, too:

Brooks saddles are beloved by many Brompton owners, thanks to their classic looks and comfortable, conforming ride.  I loved Basil’s stock saddle from the start, so I’ve never been tempted, but this saddle looks as good on this bicycle as it does on a Brompton:

The inimitable Brooks style is in evidence on the bar ends on this bike, too:

Here’s a close-up of the top bars on the frame:

I’ve read about these on Velouria’s blog, but this is the first one I’ve recognized on the hoof (or is that “on the wheel”?).  Nice lines, but I wonder if the increase in width is noticeable when cycling.

On a 36 F/2.2 C day the sheer quantity of bikes visible, and in use, on NYC streets was truly impressive.  A little bit of chill wasn’t impeding legions of cyclists.


Another Linus-Spotting

Spotted in New York City:

Sweet ride, and lovely wicker basket.  I’m not tempted, though.  My Brompton is exactly the right bicycle for me!


Cargo, for Three

I’m fascinated by cargo bikes.  Mind you, I don’t have one, and don’t want one, but I think they’re amazing vehicles.

This one has room for at least three people — four, probably, if the third and fourth are smallish.  There’s the child carrier on the back, the flat padded seat behind the cyclist, which can probably fit two children, and the cyclist himself/herself. Cargo goes in the basket, of course, but the padding can be removed, and stuff can also placed on the rack in back, when it’s not necessary to transport kids.

What I haven’t figured out is where New Yorkers store these monsters.  I’m often in Brooklyn, where it’s not uncommon to have small yards, but in Manhattan? Surely these giants aren’t being carted up flights of stairs for the night?  Or are they?


A Linus Bicycle, Accessorized, in New York City

Traveling can be bad for cycling, but it still can offer some great opportunities for bicycle-spotting that I don’t have when on my home turf.  There are bicycles where I spend most of my time, but not many, and, except at events, the concentration tends to be light.  This is not true of New York City, where biking is enjoying an astonishing renaissance.

For some reason, I find myself drawn to Linus bikes.  There’s something about their lines that attract me; they’re retro, but a certain kind of retro mixed with something sleek and contemporary that in no way mitigates the vintage feel.

I was astonished to see this beautiful, matching Billykirk leather pouch left on the bike in a city where even the grottiest, most damaged, and filthiest bikes seem to require ten pound padlocks to ensure that their owners can reunite with them at the end of the day.

The basket is a wooden-based Wald. Wald has been making bike baskets for decades and decades and their classic styles are also enjoying new life on contemporary streets.

That brass bell is a classic, too, beautiful, and, I know well, possessed of a lovely, long-ringing tone.

The owner of this particular turned up shortly — no surprise, that — as I was snapping these photos, and said that, so far, leaving the pouch on the bike hadn’t been a problem. (I’m guessing she measures her time away from her Linus in nanoseconds.)

Then she looked at me suspiciously and asked me why I wasn’t riding my own bike, clearly having pegged me for the kind of wimp who wouldn’t ride in 32 degree weather and/or in NYC.  (Do you think the camera was a clue?)  I murmured that this particular trip was incompatible with traveling with Basil, and went on my way.  She’s hardcore, and was clearly unconvinced . . .


Chopper, Chopped

One thing I really looked forward to, once I had Basil, was being able to put him in the trunk of my car when it goes in for service. (Or any of our cars; a Brompton will fit into the tiniest of spaces!)

The other day, I dropped off the car (a taillight was out and it was time for an oil change), and went for a ride. That’s Basil, above, in front of the garage, with his front bag stuffed after I’d completed a few errands.

When I retrieved the car, I spied this exotic creature.  It belongs to one of the mechanics.  The geometry boggles the mind, doesn’t it?  (I was so bedazzled that I actually cut off the tops of those handlebars. They are taller than they appear here.  Much taller.)

I understand it’s ridden mostly on the beach, which seems prudent (sand upon which to land).  I got to see a demonstration in the shop, though, so I can testify to its rideability — at least in the hands of its skilled owner.

Note: discerning readers may observe that Basil’s M bag has a new flap.  It’s a fail, mostly because it’s not heavy enough. This one goes back to the drawing board. Grrr.



Bike Friday Family Tandem Traveler

One of the cyclists I rode with on a club ride recently rides a Bike Friday Twosday Tandem.  I found this out while we were chatting during a break on one of the recent progressive rides.  Naturally, I went home and looked the bike up:  It’s a bit eccentric, and it’s packable, both qualities, of course, making it of intrinsic interest.

Did this exposure make it even easier to spot this Bike Friday Family Tandem Traveler?  Maybe so, but it’s also bright red — and far more compact than most tandems I’ve seen so far.  Bike Fridays are folded or otherwise disassemble for travel, though the process is more elaborate that Brompton’s (especially for a tandem!).

Lots of cyclists seem to be inveterate tinkerers.  Check out this pannier:

Firmly attached, nicely scaled, inexpensive, and probably pretty impervious to the occasional bump, too.


Linus Bicycle — The Antelope Version

I love New York City.  There’s something fascinating on every block.  Lately, too, it seems as if there’s a Linus on nearly every block, too.

They’re amusing to look at, but are these handlebars usable?  Or just for show?

They must be functional, because I have a sneaky suspicion that the original bars aren’t, at least in this configuration.  It’s an interesting solution to the too-short handlebars problem, that’s for sure!