Mid-Life Cycling

Mid-Life Cycling

18 May 2011

Packing Light

Back when I first started cycling and hiking, the accepted wisdom was to buy the smallest backpack or bike bag you could get away with using.  Then you would trick yourself into carrying less.  I can say that it worked for me:  I carried less with me on my first European trip, which lasted for almost three months, than I did on my first 25-mile bike ride.


I was thinking about all of that when I saw this bike parked on West 18th Street in Manhattan:




That basket really is too big for the coffee cup.  This would be more appropriate:




I'd love to meet the design team that came up with that!


I'd also like to meet whatever design team came up with this bike:




Its wide cantilever brakes and color made me think, for a moment, of the bike "Somervillan" recently converted.  But, of course, this is a completely different bike:  It's from Elektra.  It does have some interesting touches, like the hammered fenders and this crankset:




I'm guessing that it has the same chainring bolt circle diameter as the old TA touring crankset.   And the fluting on the arms is an attempt to evoke some of the classic Campagnolo, Stronglight and TA cranks.


It may well be a great bike.  But for simplicity and sheer utility, it doesn't hold a candle to something I saw three blocks from my apartment:



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