30 June 2015

Family Portrait Day

Today is Family Day.  So you’re gonna see lots and lotsa pikshas.

In the previous sentence, my roots were showing.  I’m going to my hairdresser on Thursday.

Anyway…Now I’m going to show you some portraits of family members.  It’s a particular but close branch:  The Mercians.

Yes, I’m going to show you my bikes, after their winter makeovers and some riding.

First I’ll start with Arielle, the first Mercian to come into my life:

You’ve seen some photos of her already. But I wanted to show her after 500 miles, post-facelift (and overhaul):

I’m liking it more and more with the honey leather.  I think the bags have something to do with it:  The color of the canvas (“Nantucket Red”, which is really more like salmon pink) works with both the green and purple of the “flip flop” finish and the honey saddle, bar wrap and toe straps. What do you think?

As you know from a few previous posts, Tosca, my fixie (and the second Mercian I acquired) got a similar treatment.

I’m happy with the way the colors play off each other.  However, I wasn’t able to find a double track toe strap to go with the other leather accessories.  Then again, I guess the mismatch isn’t as noticeable as if, say, I wrapped the bar in a darker color.

The third Mercian to come my way is, I realize, one I haven’t written as much about lately.  Helene is a 2010 Miss Mercian with similar geometry (but with slightly more tire and fender clearance) to Arielle, which is a custom Mercian Audax.  

The rear bag is a bit larger than the one I use on Arielle and Tosca.  As you can probably tell, it was also made by Ely Rodriguez of Ruth Works SF. So is the handlebar bag, doubles as a clutch or shoulder bag when removed from the bike.

Finally, here is the last Mercian I bought. Ironically, it’s the oldest:  Vera, my “other” Miss Mercian.  It was made in 1994 and I purchased it in 2011:

Somehow the boxy randonneur front bag and larger saddle bag make the most sense—and look best—on this bike, although I could use them on my other bike.  Perhaps it’s because Vera has a longer wheelbase and is therefore the most stable with a load on it.  I wonder what it would be like on a longer tour.

She seems really happy to have those bags, and the Brooks B17 special.  So am I.  In fact, I’m happy with all of these bikes:  As similar as they might seem to someone who doesn’t know bikes or Mercians, each has its own character and personality.  Still, they all make me happy when I ride

Now, here’s the rest of my family:

La-Z-Boy, a.k.a. Max

 and La-Z-Girl, a.k.a. Marlee!


  1. These have all come together beautifully, Justine. The shapes, sizes, and colour of the bags suit the bicycles perfectly. Are you planning to keep the "old" Miss Mercian original, or eventually get her repainted the flip-flop colour of the others?

  2. "Like" does not quite do it justice. Such elegance is rarely seen in bicycles these days which is a great pity.

  3. Wolf--Thank you.

    Coline--The "elegance" you describe is one of the things that got me addicted, if you will, to Mercians.

    Velouria--I have thought about painting it. Of course, that would take some coin, as I'd have to send Vera back to Mercian. Also, if I did that, I might want some of the accessories, such as the fenders and/or rack, painted the same way.

    But there's a part of me that wants to keep it as is. Maybe I could have it repainted in the original scheme!

  4. Really enjoyed seeing these bikes again. Beautiful! My latest Mercian is a Miss Mercian (1978) and she has surprised me with her speed and stability and therefore will go into my "daily rider" pool. Your blog, in part, inspired me to obtain one and so happy I did. Thank you for sharing. Jim Duncan

  5. What a handsome family. And they're all so well behaved. It's a tribute to your considerable parenting skills. And those bags are fabulous.

  6. What a handsome family. And they're all so well behaved. It's a tribute to your considerable parenting skills. And those bags are fabulous.

  7. Jim--I'm glad to know I inspired somebody to do something positive. Thank you for sharing!

    MT--Parenting skills? Me? Ha!