Wednesday, September 9, 2015

wishful Wednesday - bicycle thoughts

in which our plucky heroine thinks about riding her bicycle...

Actually I have two bicycles, one that I ride all the time, and one that I hope to ride more often. My everyday bike is a light blue multi-speed bike, and the other bike is a white comfort bike with a fancy paint job and a three speed coaster brake hub. I've been collecting modest list of wishes that will make this transportation option work a bit better for me:

This is the most important one! I just noticed in the last week that my aged bike helmet has started coming apart, the attachment point between the helmet and the chin strap is no longer attached. I think this means that I need to get a new helmet. I rather like the retro style of these, if I can find a place that sells this type locally... in addition, one of the two brake cables on the blue bike needs replaced, which is scheduled to happen this weekend when Blue Cedar House descends en masse for a few days of work party exchange. I look forward to learning a bit about how to better take care of my equipment, since I know NOTHING at all about bike maintenance. Adding a kickstand would be a great help as well.

The white bike languished for years in my shed, in need of some mechanical love that I have no experience to provide; I swapped a pendant for the bike, in the hope that it would be a better ergonomic fit for me, which turned out to be only partially true; however, it is fun to ride, now that Mr Blue Cedar House gave it some attention. While it does have a kickstand, what it lacks is any way to usefully carry along any gear or groceries - adding some Wald folding baskets like the other bike has would be a good thing, which would also mean adding a rear rack so there is something to attach said baskets to!

As far as my overall riding experience, the other things that would be an improvement would be better lighting, finding the missing red blinky LED light, and possibly some additional reflective gear. I have some very specific ideas about what I want, and am considering adapting the idea of this reflective vest to fit my size and shape. The concept of a knotted mesh of reflective tape, that would fit neatly in a small carry pouch, seems very clever. I know that Rose City Textiles has various sorts of reflective materials, I used some when I was making safety vests for G and his pals; this reflective tape may be just the thing, a future field trip will allow for some research...

Another optional accessory would be some sort of front basket or carry box that would attach to the handlebars; both bikes could use such a gizmo, as a place to stash my pocket EDC while riding, as otherwise it bangs most annoyingly into my legs.This spiffy box from a former Etsy artisan is quite inspiring (while I have neither smartphone or coffee transporter), but I'd fear it would soon be stolen - the concept though, lends itself to a DIY effort using salvaged materials.

I forsee a number of experimental efforts this winter...


  1. That is a fine box for a bike, but might just add weight to the vehicle. Also, stuff bounces around on a bike, at least on my bike. I wouldn't think a coffee mug would stay in one place very nicely. I wouldn't risk my precious coffee! The white comfort bike sounds excellent! I insist on having a comfortable bike seat for myself. Otherwise I suffer. Well, I suffer anyway but I know it would be much worse with one of those regular hard leather seats! Have a lovely weekend!!!

  2. That little box is adorable, and I mostly posted it here to keep available the concept to me, particularly how it attaches to the front of the handlebars... I view the actual photo as a staged image (just like the photos on the front of pattern envelopes) , for indeed that tall coffee mug and delicate electronics would surely bounce right out over the first bump!! If I make something for the front of my bike, it would have a way to keep objects contained, just like how the baskets on the back of my bike are used with either paper or cloth bags inside the baskets.

  3. So good to read your safety plans. I live in terror in the darker months, when bikers dressed all in dark colors with no lights on their bikes are on the tree-shaded streets as I drive home from work. In addition, too many bike riders race with cars, to see if they can get across an intersection before a car reaches it. I've had bikers drive right in front of me as I turn a corner; I could go on and on about near-disasters. One biker I could hug: he wears fluorescent green jacket and has a big light on front of his bike. Many car drivers will bless you as they see your reflective vest and well-lighted bike. Your chickens will be grateful for your new helmet; it assures that you will be home to feed them.

    1. I am as cautious a bicyclist as I was/am as an automobile driver... I know what you mean about careless riders though, I see a lot of them here in Portland, even when I too am on my bike!