You Gotta Have A Sneaker Bike (Or Several)

Further to yesterday’s post, this morning I got in a little gallop on the newly a-tired (DO YOU GET IT???) vintage all-terrain bicycle:

This is what a morning ride looks like around here, and for that it was perfect:

While I’d been contemplating further “gravel”-ifying the bike with swept bars, I concluded this morning that this would be pointless, inasmuch as I’d basically be duplicating both the Rivendell and the Jones at that point. Instead it makes more sense to retain the bike’s original character, and maintain it as a flat-pedaled bike for spirited jorts-jaunts. (And of course with a quick flick of the quick-release seat collar my wife can use it when she needs a more sporting bicycle than her WorkCycles.)

The M-16 has also deepened my appreciation for the “sneaker bike,” that being a bike you can just hop on and ride in sneakers–you know, like kids and normal people do. Certainly the Rivendell qualifies as a sneaker bike, but it’s more of a haute sneaker bike, and as such I’d be disinclined to lock it up to a pole or a bike rack, even though I have done it:

That’s a lock-up job worthy of Pee-wee Herman.

Incidentally, I took the above photo when I rode the bike to my old radio show, and if you’re wondering why I no longer have a radio show, it’s because with all this shit going on I didn’t feel like doing it anymore. I did like having a radio show, but the fact that nobody ever asks me, “Hey, whatever happened to your radio show?” reaffirms that I’ve made the right choice.

And yes, I do have another lock-uppable sneaker bike, that being my Midlife Crisis Fixie that was my usual radio show commuter:

Overall I was quite pleased with it in that capacity. However, there was one major problem with it, which was that I could never take the West Side Greenway home because I couldn’t make it up the hill by the George Washington Bridge in that big gear.

Still, it’s a fun little runabout, and I’ll most likely hang on to it until the inevitable day my son decides he wants a fixie. (Unless he decides he wants one of those Big Rippers instead. Or maybe folding bikes will become inexplicably cool with the kids by then, in which case he can have the Brompton–which, come to think of it, is also a sneaker bike. Holy crap I’ve got a lot of bikes.)

Anyway, after my ride the kids and I knocked around the park, and you’ll be pleased to know the swan family I’ve been checking in on over the past few months is coming along nicely:

Though the woman barely in the shot was feeding them non-stop. Not only did she have a bag of bread, but she’d also grab fistfuls of bird food from a gigantic sack of the stuff she had leaning against a nearby tree. I guess being a bird family in a city park is like if it were Halloween every single day and your kids just gorged themselves on free junk food every waking moment of their lives.

I also passed by the newly-paved-but-not-yet-open bike path:

[Photo is from yesterday.]

Once again I encountered a rider who was stuck there, having entered the path from the other end of the park. Basically, it’s like a giant lobster trap, but for cyclists, and at any given time you’re liable to find two or three of them in there. I’ll also come across the opposite a lot, which is people on bikes who are headed north but find themselves thwarted by the locked gate. Between all the people wanting in and out of this thing, it’s poised to become the hottest bike path in the city when it finally does open, and I may have to set up a coffee concession or a t-shirt stand when it does.

Finally, speaking of vintage bikes and Classic Cycles, here’s a sneak peak at the next bike they’ll be sending for Classic Cycles Thursday:

[Photo: Classic Cycle]

Word on the street is these things are pretty flexy, so I’ll have to see if I can get the chainring to hit the rear tire.

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