What a beautiful video...what a lovely voice. Thank you Mary for your song; thank you for your sincerity. When I watch this video it is almost impossible not to tap my foot...tears well in the corners of my eyes (in a good way)...thank you.
I've posted about the excellent bike culture in Toronto a few times in the past (click here to read one)...and the city still impresses me (on many levels). Anyhow, a reader from Toronto sent me a link to an interesting story. It's regarding the building of a new high-rise condo in the city. It will replace the century old building that currently houses the Royal Canadian Military Institute (pictured above). What is really interesting about the future condo is that the building plans call for no spaces for parked cars...let me say that again only a little differently: a 42 story residential condo and there will be no parking, at least not for cars. What it will have is parking spaces for at least 350 bicycles....there is hope! Click here to read the story. (Thanks Sally.)
I first wrote a post with this same title a few months ago regarding a $500 handlebar bag (click here to read that post). Anyhow, for anyone that carries large items on a bike (be it a longtail or not) you know the difficulties of keeping the bike standing when it is loaded but you are not on it. So you can imagine my excitement when I came across the Rolling Jackass bike stand that was specifically designed for longtails (click here), not to mention one specifically for the Yuba. Well, you can also imagine my dismay when I saw the price...$350. Come on guys, I mean really...I don't care how well-built it is, $350 for a kick stand. If I bought one of these things I really feel that the only jackass in the room would be me.
Sixty-Three VHS tapes in 4 plastic crates. A u-lock A gym bag full of clothes.
This first image could easily be called How Not To Carry Things On A Bike. I was taking the VHS tapes to a local second hand store to sell them for store credit. The store is about 1/4 mile from my house and I became over-confident with my tie-downs...two bungees should do it, I thought...so I thought. Halfway down the street one pile of tapes fell off the bike, which caused me to turn and the bike to swerve, which then caused the other pile of tapes to fall off.
63 VHS tapes scattered across the street is not pretty...thankfully it was on a side street.
A 32-drawer cabinet that was originally designed to sell lottery tickets. Four empty plastic crates. A gym bag containing wet clothes. A u-lock.
You'd think I'd learn. So there I was riding home from the gym (after unloading the VHS tapes) and I pass this cabinet at the curb...I just couldn't pass it up...it will be perfect to keep nails, screws, etc. (…
I came across this chained up pile of bike frames today on Allen Street. It was just outside this bike shop...I'm not sure if it's a bunch of bikes that have been stripped and vandalized, or if it's some sort of a bike-sculpture-art-thing
If I were a rich guy (which I'm not) and if I could afford to have a business that didn't turn a profit (which I can't) I'd start a little bakery and deliver bread by bike...like many businesses did prior to the auto. Yup, that's my pipe dream (ok...it's one of many pipe dreams...always been a dreamer and romantic...thus the reason I am not a rich guy who can afford to run an unprofitable business).
Delivering stuff by bike was commonplace just a few generations ago, and still is in many areas of the world...a few people even do it in the States. A couple summers ago I was in Boston (for the first time since a kid) and was surprised to see a pizzeria chain that delivered their pies by bike (The Upper Crust, click here). Their original location is in Beacon Hill and if you've ever been there you know how steep the streets are. They have large hotboxes bolted to the back of mountain bikes and huff and puff up and down the hills...it's very impressive.
A friend sent this picture to me from NYC (Thanks Suzy)...she spotted it on Fourth Street in the West Village...looks like it's a xtracycle conversion. My hope is that longtails will become more common place...they really are the most practical way to move things in an urban environment.
I just learned that Jim Carroll--poet, author, musician--passed away last Friday. He was a prolific poet but became famous for his memoir, Basketball Diaries (which was later made into a movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio). Some claim that his 1980 album, Catholic Boy, was the last great punk album. His writings (along with Kerouac, Ginsburg, and others) had a great influence on me during my crazy youth...his song, People Who Died, was one of my favorites in the early 1980's. Below is a live version of The Jim Carroll Band singing that song. To read his New York Times obituary, click here; to read a bio of him on wikipedia, click here.
Long tail bikes (or, bikes with extended rear cargo areas) are becoming increasingly popular these days...and rightly so...the load capacity is truly amazing. Click here to see reviews of some of the bikes that are currently available.
If you've read this blog before, or even if it is your first time, you know that I own a YubaMundo...probably the heaviest built long tail on the market...it carries a lot but is not designed for long distances: it is simply too heavy. But I love the bike none-the-less...it is one of my most often used bikes...and yes, I said bikes (opposed to bike)...I'm a little embarrassed by how many I own (six, but I'm thinking of selling or donating a few because I really only use three). And when I see the following slide show I get even more embarrassed...I mean, really. Sometimes I get all self righteous about riding bikes more than I drive but the question is this: If I live in a 1.5 person household (my son lives with me half-time) but I own six bi…