Bike nuts unite!

Regular readers of Behooving Moving (hi Roberto, hi Gusto) may recall some unflattering things I once had to say regarding bikes with small wheels. Go on, click here, and refresh your memory. In all modesty, that post was the most  hilarious critique ever written regarding these scooters with pedals. Had anyone else been more funny before me, I would tip my hat. But it was me. I exposed this elephant in the room, as one reader so kindly remarked. And now, to prove I’m not biased, I will add that the most intelligent and insightful piece ever written on the topic of small wheel bikes, was not written by me, but the author of ArchiTakes. Go feed your mind.

I have since befriended Professor ArchiTakes, whose own small wheel loonacy sees him being special close friends with the lady who put the ba ba boom into Bike Friday. And she clazy, I tell you, clazy she is! Clazy in the best sense of the word. Check out her website. I can’t get enough. You will see too from whence Dr. Behooving stole his hand held iPone camera style.

Fun times in New York with David and Lynette. New York only offers fun times. That why she costs more. From left: Afternoon breakfast; breakfast of champions; made by some clazy Dutch girl, and very cool, but way overpriced; My host’s bag is in the MoMa, of course; even the Mac Shops are wow. 

There are only so many people in the world who are bonkers for bikes, and the web has put us all in the same room. Take Professor Paul Squire for example, the world’s hilliest country’s leading expert on Velomobiles, who found me through this blog. Most who are bonkers for bikes, and buildings, are on my list of people to call in on during my travels. I’m just so glad I never popped myself when I turned 40 (the thought crossed my mind) because I wouldn’t be here now, at age 43, truly living. Jacinta and Shaun, Aart (not Garfunkel), Emilano, Kirstin and Dan, Brent, David, Lynette, Anne, I wish I could wrap you all up and take you back home. Oh and I fail to mention deserving big famous architects who are giving me their time to talk about bike friendly buildings: 1, 2, 3… and a few more lined up. And the nuttiest bike nut is yet to come, when I get to Copenhagen one month from now, Professor Mikael Hans Christian Andersen, trade mark owner of the term Cycle Chic, and a pure intoxicant to women all over the world. When this book I’m writing makes me richer than Elvis, here’s what I’ll do: I’ll put you all in a mansion with Egor, Hamish, Gusto, Roberto, C.B. King, and my Primrose, and we’ll argue to the ends of the earth regarding small wheels.

From left: not sure sure about his sperm friendly seat, but David’s clear lacquer finish is THE architect’s choice; having my new ultra light Brompton wheel straightened for free at Boston ride to work day; 

Speaking of which, this Brompton is starting to endear itself to me. Duties have required some zipping between libraries in Boston, revealing to me the joys of weaving between slow moving cars on a small bike. Alright, it would be nicer to ride with bigger wheels. That aside, it looks so dear under tables in cafes. And in the right clothes it does make one look rather English, dapper and slightly off kilter. Since my accent has me confused with an Englishman so often here in the US, I’m rather enjoying pretending.  

It also rides surprisingly well. I still haven’t pinned down the uneasiness I feel climbing or accelerating, with me weight over the wheels, instead of between them. One must be especially wary of ruts, and perhaps not try descending one handed, because they are filming their self with the other. But otherwise, this thing works a treat. The rubber block at the top of the seat stays provides just the right give where it’s needed. It folds tighter than an Australian’s scrotum in a New England chill, and never frowns owners of buildings it enters. It really is a convivial chap, polite in the lift and on the footpath, yet feisty when taking a lane. Wherever I go, people say Brommy, not to me: to him. It’s as though they knew him before he was mine. 

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    former disbeliever!

    So it’s out. You’re almost a convert. Do you have any idea how many years I endured mirth from my then teenage children, their (oh so cool) friends and pretty much everyone else on the road, for riding my beautiful small-wheeled bike. Clown bike I believe they called it!

    and yet, when it came to criminal activity, some houdini managed to steal both the clown bike and a mountain bike (locked together with two very expensive locks and locked to the cage frame) from within a locked storage cage without removing the deadbolt. To this day I have no idea how they did it.

    So, when I went down to get some eggs from Aldi a few months later and I saw a folding bike in that oh so fabulous outlet, I forgot the eggs and bought a replacement bike. Needless to say my partner’s first comment (knowing how much the theft had affected me) was an inquiry after the eggs…

    Now, two years later, he has one of the coolest folding bikes in the world. The effect of the bike is not dissimilar to having a cute dog or a gregarious child in tow. People stop him and inquire after it. They may not be ready to ride one themselves but when they see those 24 speeds and the racing stripes, they salivate. It’s quite embarassing really!

    As for me, I’ve retired my Aldi bike to a storage garage until I can put it on Yoink. In the meantime I’ve received confirmation that my beautiful new Dahon is waiting for me to take delivery. Having followed your adventures over the past few weeks I feel that I can finally come out of the clown closet.

    I am a small-wheel bike rider and I love it.

    • Steven says:

      Re: former disbeliever!

      he he, any I bet you put brussel sprouts in your shopping basket, without being told to by your mother. The small wheeler is a rite of passage, a statement to the world that each of us is through with finding new mates and making babies.
      Except for the Brompton, and then only for men. You see, in my experience, and your husband’s as well I suspect, they are intoxicants. No clucky childless young woman can resist the site of a well dressed middle aged gent on a Brommy. Forget German cars and thick silver neck chains. It is cufflinks and Brommies bottle blonde bimbos desire. (Oh forgive me. I’m travelling, lonely, and missing my Primrose).
      I would not publish the truth about brommies on my blog proper, only buried here in the comments, for the diligent seeker of alchemical knowledge.
      Thanks for a great comment post!

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