29 January 2011

Excelsior!, Or The Case For Bike Baskets

The next time someone makes fun of you because your bike has a basket, show him or her this:

The bike is an English three-speed.  So you know that once it's freed from the snow, it'll work just like it did before the storm.  What that means is that, for one thing, the brakes won't work worth a damn if the rims are the least bit wet!

Still, I'd take that bike over some of the others I saw in and around the piles of snow around the Bel Aire Diner:

Some would see that photo as a good case for a mountain bike.  Chacun a son gout.  Or is it de gustos no hay escritos?

But not all fourteen of the bikes parked around the diner were so isolated:

There are normally at least a dozen or so bikes parked around the diner. Sometimes some of them serve as "donor" bikes for the others.  

The US Postal Service claims that they deliver through snow, sleet, hail and the dark of night.  With all due respect to them, I can safely say they have nothing on the delivery guys at Bel Aire diner.  And, of course, the Postal Service doesn't serve French toast any time of the day you want it!


  1. Ha! I liked the comment about the English three speed.

  2. Rat Trap: I speak from experience!

    I could have also said that at least one of the gears would slip if you weigh more than 120 pounds.

    The English three-speeds are great bikes. They're just not meant to be ridden hard,fast or long. (Sounds like I made I dirty joke!) They're transportation bikes designed in a time and place where most people lived within a mile or two of wherever they worked.

  3. Don't knock a three speed, it was all I had before I left home but could keep up with many ten speeds... It could keep up with busses and trucks too, mainly because riding the slip stream was such fun and I did not care wether I lived or died! On a good day I would see if I could rub the dirt off the back of the busses without actually touching the bus. Now I could hardly catch a parked bus...

    You are certainly bringing back a few memories.

  4. Coline--I've nothing against three speed. I've owned a couple and used them well. But I do understand their limitations. Of course, one could rebuild the wheels with alloy rims and use modern brake pads and cables.

    "Now I could hardly catch a parked bus". That reminds me of something I told someone last week: "I'm poetry in slow motion."