More and more I find myself fascinated by some of the very practical innovations taking place to make bikes and biking more utilitarian. Quite frankly, I think our region is stuck in the mindset that bikes are rather uni-dimensional forms of exercise and recreation, and cannot be practical for much else. Today I was walking downtown and was passed on a wide sidewalk by four kids sharing two bikes. They were using the rider stands/passenger sits method; and one of the riders was huffing and puffing pretty good as they passed.
That got me thinking about a number of options that seem to be pretty common elsewhere, including Seattle/Portland, Twin Cities, and much of the third world for that matter. The whole Extracycle, Big Dummy, long bike phenomenon seems to be pretty well accepted, and I sense someone will soon come out with an even more affordable version for casual use. Side hacks seem to be showing up more and more, as well as “front seaters.” (A good source for work bikes is the link to the right: Cyclofiend.) Trailers are an old standard, and now I find the chariot:
Basically its a Japanese rig that looks like it would work pretty well in an urban setting. Now I imagine you could have a lot of fun and abuse with some of these, and visions of Ben Hur and Gladiator pop into my head.
In other news, we’ll be going to Bethany Beach for a week, and I was at a loss whether to haul along some bikes. After reading some blogs and checking out several sites, I think we’ll end up taking a few and I hope to get in several rides.