Friday, October 3, 2008

Everyone Needs a Utilitarian Commuter

Sometimes the hardest part about going to work is waking up and getting out of bed. Contrarily, one of the most motivating reasons to get out of bed is a bike ride. What makes it even easier is being excited about your commuter bike. Once you get to work, you're so happy about your morning commute that it's a breeze to ease into the workday.
This morning, I was especially excited about my ride to work because I recently made some configuration changes to my Bianchi Castro Valley commuter bike. Here it is in its newest configuration:
  • Brooks saddle
  • Armadillos (700x28c)
  • Stainless bottle cages (for heavily sought after added weight and black marks on your water bottle)
  • Cork wrap - au natural
  • Dynamo front hub w/ headlight
  • Fenders
  • Cage boss mounted pump (you can see it below the water bottle)
  • Sweet narrow-mouth bottle from Island Park Cycles, Fargo (

Some may think this commuter looks goofy, heavy, and archaic, but it is a dream to ride. I think it has a retro style, almost a randonneuring style minus racks and panniers. What makes it even better is the many confused looks I get from motorists in the greater Phoenix area. When they see a bicycle of any kind, it's like they saw a UFO. Throw this at them, and it's a spontaneous combustion of cognitive thought. I did, however, get a wave and a nod from another commuter this morning who let me know that I am not alone. He was riding a neon Klein that, ironically, did actually look like a UFO.


-p said...

Very stylish. On my ride to work this morning, I rode next to a guy who was on a an Audax style bicycle. Baby blue, hammered fenders, pump on a peg behind the seat tube, Brooks saddle. All stainless, leather and paint. I say Audax style because it lacked rack mounts.

Mark said...

Schweet! That's a great bike. You are right about waking up to ride to work. Something about hitting the road and knowing for the next 45 minutes (short route) I will be pedaling.

-p said...

I'm assuming that my 58cm Volpe is the same geometry as your ride there. Do you get massive front fork shudder? I'm considering changing to linear pull brakes it's so bad.