16 March 2012

Must It Have Rust?

If you're involved in any sort of endeavor or follow any sort of passion for long enough, you see all sorts of trends come and go.  So it is for me (and, no doubt, some of you) and cycling.

What inevitably happens is that some people cop the style rather than the substance of the trend. That turns the trend into a parody of itself.

I fear that may be happening with Porteur bikes and racks.  When I first started seeing them here in the US, I thought "Great! People are actually going to ride to work and shop."

I'd say that more people are doing those things, at least here in New York, than were doing them a few years ago.  Also, not everyone who commutes or rides to the farmer's market is a racer or wannabe, or simply a "bikehead."  I see more and more people who are primarily commuters and who might, on occasion, ride for fun.

But then the look of Porteur bikes and accessories became fashionable, and those items became fetish objects for some.  Now, if someone has the money and really intends to carry the loads, I can understand spending over 200 dollars on a Porteur rack.  On the other hand, the fact that such racks and bikes are now fashionable makes them more inviting to thieves.  I'm not so sure I'd want a fancy rack on a  bike that was going to spend large portions of every day parked on the streets.

Perhaps the solution is this:

The bike is a Bridgestone from, as far as I can tell, the early '80's (pre-Grant Petersen). I think the rack came off an old pizza delivery bicycle.

For me, that begs the question of whether something can be called "Porteur" (or even "utility") if it's shiny and new.

1 comment:

  1. Our own Porteur rack has seen less use than I imagined, but that fault is on my head, and I paid a whole lot less to start with. Worse than rack fashions are tire/rim combination fashions. Think "hook bead."