Tagged: Public Bikes

New bike!

OK, it’s not actually a new bike anymore.  It was new when I bought it back in March, but after five months of fairly intense riding, it’s not new anymore.  But the excitement hasn’t worn off at all, even if the tires are showing some wear.  I haven’t ridden my Gary Fisher since spring, if that tells you anything.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  For years I had wanted to buy another bike.  Not that I didn’t like my Fisher; it was my primary means of getting around town for most of the year since 2008.  I rode thousands of miles on it, my first grown-up bike.  But apparently wanting ever more bikes is a known condition among cyclists.  We should probably name it as a syndrome or something.

The problem was that I couldn’t decide what kind of bike I wanted to get.  It didn’t make sense to buy another MTB, even though I never used my Fisher for off-roading.  For a while I considered buying a Dutch-style commuter bike, like one of these beauties from the Public Bike Company, but I already had a functional commuter bike, and the geometry of a Dutch bike wasn’t really that different from my Fisher.  I knew I didn’t really want a road bike – although I totally do now.  And obviously, cruisers and comfort bikes were right out.

So for a long time I did nothing, waiting for the perfect bike to manifest itself.  And it finally did.  Daniel at Midtown Bike Company posted some images of some absolutely lovely bikes from the State Bicycle Company, based in Tempe, AZ, on Facebook, and I knew that I had found my first second bike.  State makes a variety of bikes, but I settled on the Falcore, a single-speed bike with a flip-flop hub, bullhorn handlebars, and nothing else.  I wanted to keep this baby clean and unadorned with bottle cages and other accoutrements.  Here’s a picture:

Falcore

Turns out that keeping it clean is more of a challenge than I expected when I order the bike.  As you can see from image on State’s website, the bike looks light gray in color, which is exactly what I thought I was ordering.  But no.  It is white.  Solid white.  White frame, white chain, white crankset, white fork, white stem, white seat, even white tires and white spokes.  All of it is white, except for the rims, which are gray.  And just to keep that theme going, I bought some lovely front and rear lights with white casings at Victory.  Gotta keep those accessories pure, you know.

There is an advantage of having a unique bike like this: if it ever gets stolen [crossing myself] it will be easy to spot on the street or in a pawn shop.  And yes, I have noted that essentially I am riding a ghost bike.  Apparently I’m not very superstitious.

So, despite the near impossibility of keeping my bike clean, I frickin’ love it.  It is soooo much lighter and faster than my Fisher, and I rarely miss having gears.  And I really love the bullhorn handle bars.  Honestly, one of the reasons I chose this bike is that it reminded me of Joseph Gordon Levitt’s bike in Premium Rush.  (Side note: I really enjoyed that movie, and not just for the biking.)  I haven’t tried riding it in fixie mode yet, but when I have an afternoon free, you might just see me pedaling around Tiger Lane all hipster like.

One thing that State does with its bikes is discontinue them after a while.  That way you are far less likely to see someone else riding your bike around town.  I love this.  How embarrassing would it be to show up at a group ride and see someone else with your exact bike?  It would be like seeing someone else with the same prom dress.  You know … from what I’ve heard.

The very definition of awesome

Hi everyone.  I don’t remember where I first read this blog entry – it might have been on Public Bikes’ blog – but how amazing is this?  There are so many aspects of her story that impresses me.  The multi-stage nature of her commute. The maps she posted with the accompanying details of her ride.  The distance of her ride – about 9 miles, which is not at all shabby for a daily commute, not to mention the fact that she negotiated more than one mode of transportation.  Plus the fact she rode many of those miles with a toddler strapped in behind her is really amazing.

But I am most impressed with the fact that she put all of this together into a really fascinating blog entry, and that she’s living the dream.  Did you ever doubt that, as a parent living in a major city, you could be a bike commuter?  Well, she is proof positive that you can have your cake and eat it too.  That is, you can be a big-city parent and a bike commuter.

Time will tell if I will ever have to face similar challenges.  My wife have no immediate plans to have kids (much to the consternation of some relatives) but if we ever do, I would love to try to replicate this sort of biking adventure.

Public Bikes

My love for Public Bikes is deep.  I’ve long appreciated the beauty of well-designed products, and the bicycles produced by Public are among the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.

That said, I don’t know what my next bike will be.  Maybe a road bike, maybe motocross, maybe a commuter bike. Whatever the case, this primer on bike security is worth reading.