When I first started this blog my intention was to mostly write about bicycles I like. Just simple bikes that people used and I thought were worth sharing. What has suprised me is how few of these I actually find here in Sweden. Although perhaps there are the same number of 'intersting' bikes, they are so watered down with the sheer number of beaters that maybe they're just harder to spot. I'll write a post about this another time looking at the differences in cycling culture between Britain and Sweden.
For now though here's a bike. I like the colour, the sense of it being looked after and even the dorky flip out reflector on the left. But the best bit? Well that's got to be the usual sick vintage Monark graphics! Seriously! Who used to do their design work? For the higher level readers, note also the tasteful pinstriping on the fender. Lovely.
Or at least I presume this isn't a finished project anyway! My guess would be that this is going to become motorized at some point, the front suspension and additional crazily wired lights would suggest so. The BMW badge I guess is more the statement of purpose for the owner.
I've said before that I think it's odd when people don't bother maintaining the bicycle they rely on to get around. This isn't that though, because this is a bike that seems to being getting on for a few years now, with miss matched tyres, scratched paint and a few additions like the redundant seat post reflector, but a brand spanking new chain guard.
It hasn't even had it's protective plastic wrapper removed.
Previously maybe I've thought that it's a shame that people don't look after their bikes, that they more often than not end up becoming that rusty bike that's been locked in the same spot for a few months now, with it's hope of ever moving again deflating like its tyres. I don't know now though. I like to maintain my bikes, but perhaps the gradual decline and fall, the damage, the rust and the broken parts are the more natural course for city bikes to take. I think when I've looked at awesome old bikes rusting apart in England it seems to suck more just because of the low number of these bikes you see, whereas here in Lund every street has maybe one or two of this kind of bicycle. When there seems to be no shortage of classic bikes knocking around, that destructive life on the street becomes the natural way of things, and it doesn't suck because you know you're going to turn the corner and find someone who's still riding this around.
The most obvious bit of paint left on it seems to be a pin stripe on the front fender, and a smudge of red on the frame. I hope they ride it till it breaks in two.
Perhaps the person who had their bicycle stolen, only to find it again parked somewhere else with a new lock on it, is very polite. They presume a mild mannered note with their phone number is all it will take to get their bike back, now that they've found it again.
Either that, or someone just wants to share the history of their bike.... This is my bike, it got stolen, I got it back... phone me for more details.
Decent city bike make a lot of sense to me, they offer the average commuter a good vehicle to get around on. The term hybrid though does usually seem to be applied to bicycles offering a poor compromise between a proper city bike and a mountain bike. But then today I spotted this, which is pushing that compromise in quite a different direction. As it includes alongside the usual comfy bar grips, hub gears, rack and fenders, the sort of aero cut out... ...usually only seen on a time trial bike.
I guess in the rush hour races of the commuters, this is a new step in the arms race.
I really like the little front rack on the front of this Gitane. I'm not so sure what you could sucessfully carry on it, but were I the owner, I guess I'd could always just limit my grocery purchases to narrow square food... ... and any dislike of the new diet, would be made up for by the sweet placement of the front lamp bracket. Elegant design at its best.
You may be aware of the city bikes that a number of European cities have adopted. They're bicycles left on special racks around the city, to be rented by anyone in need of a ride, and then returned to the rack near your destination. With the ease of renting them, and lack of an immediately apparent victim though, theft seems a likely end. But with their distinctive design and awkward combination of parts, you'd have to take it quite far away and be fairly determined to keep your stolen bike running over time. But even so, this one seems to have so far made it 556km south from Oslo to Lund. A long distance theft, made only more suprising by the abundance of unlocked bikes, ready for the taking, right here in Lund.