Thursday, August 19, 2010

Creative Solutions.

At the Farmers' Market last Sunday I spotted this father/son duo.

Check out the clever storage solution for their Farmers' Market goodies!

Dad checking on his kid and cargo.

As I was snapping pics I overheard the gal in the booth asking the dad about their bike. It's definitely an attention getter!

I recently picked up this milk crate for my own bike (in red) but I haven't installed it yet. I was thinking of zip-tying it to my rear rack and trying out the idea of just throwing stuff into the crate instead of my current two-pannier storage system. I've never been able to find a front basket that I thought looked right on my bike, but I've always longed for the ease of a basket you can just toss your stuff into. 

For those of you wondering why I actually bought one and didn't just grab a milk crate from behind a restaurant, there a couple of reasons. These crates from The Container Store are smaller than the kind found at restaurants and grocery stores and seem more appropriately sized for my bike and my rack, and at $10 I thought it was a bargain on-bike storage solution. But more importantly taking a dairy crate from a restaurant is stealing, no? I'm not sure if it's stealing from the restaurant or the dairy but either way I'd rather just plunk down $10 and have a clear conscious.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Charge Lazy Susan.

Recently I've come across a really cool bike on the internet. I've yet to see it in person because I can't find a shop that stocks them in LA. Charge Bikes seems to be a British company. All the retailers on the website are in the UK. I have seen the fixed gear Charge Plug in an LA shop but not this sweetie - The Lazy Susan.

Photo via Charge Bikes

Isn't that a gorgeous bike? They've taken the step-through/Dutch/city bike and made it completely modern, a little bit punk rock and not at all prissy. Personally I have no qualms with a girly girl bike but for some women (maybe like the one in the photo below) something with a little more edge is in order. I love the angular chain guard, the clean lines, the silver fenders, and the stunning burnt-orange color. Notable specs are a Sturmey-Archer 3 speed hub , drum brakes, and an integrated rear rack.

Photo via

In the above picture you can see the bike provides an upright riding position like a traditional European city bike.

Photo via

Does anyone have experience with a rack like this? Though it's absolutely beautiful, I wonder about its utility. The tubes seems very large. I don't think I'd be able to get my hard plastic pannier hooks around them. Also I'd be worried about scratching up the beautiful paint on the rack with  the pannier hooks. I've always wondered about how well painted racks hold up in general.

Photo via Ridelow Bikes

Maybe a pannier set with leather straps like above would solve the problem - but those kinds of panniers are not as easy on/easy off as the kinds that mount with hooks.

Photo via

Another fun feature is the retro-looking shifter. Apparently those are the graphics of the old-school Sturmey Archer shifter. Very cute. The three speed hub might be a deal breaker for people who live in hilly cities.

Has anyone out there seen the Lazy Susan in the wild, or ridden one? There seem to be a couple of online retailers that sell them here in the U.S. for around $700.

If it were my bike I believe I would change out the saddle. The stock saddle looks a little cheap. I'd also do something about those rubberized grips. Finally I would look for a front basket that was harmonious with the chic modernism of the bike - maybe a Wald Woody or a Velo-Orange Porteur Rack. This beauty below by Axiom is a rear basket but it's oh so chic.

For a good review and more pictures of the bike check out

Gentlemen, if you can't quite rock an orange step-through, they also make the Steamer. Not quite as charming somehow but still really cool.

Photo via Charge Bikes

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mad Man on a Bike.

After mulling it over for a while, I see no reason why I shouldn't post the occasional photo of a handsome man on a bike. If this bores any of my male readers, I apologize - but only a little bit.

As the new season of "Mad Men" is in full swing, I feel it's a good to time to post this photo of actor John Slattery who plays Roger Sterling on the show.

Talk about Hollywood glamour.

This photo appears to be on the studio lot with the actor in costume. Everything about this picture is kind of perfect. The suit, the script, the sunglasses, the way the light shines on the tie clip, the bike, the beauty of the photograph itself...sigh. It looks like it could have been taken in the 60's.

I've liked John Slattery for a long time. Some of you might remember him from his stint as Carrie's politician boyfriend (with a peccadillo or two) on Sex and the City.

And if you're like me and you just like John Slattery or his character on "Mad Men," here are a couple of bonus shots. (Sorry no bikes in these.)

Roger Sterling.

This Girl's Bike in no way endorses smoking. ;)

Younger. Less silver. Still handsome.