Summer Games – Kari, Say Hi to a Cyclist

The LGRAB Summer Games have come to an end and we’re getting ready to announce the final winners tomorrow morning. Many thanks to everyone who played! We’re not done with Summer Games fun here, though. Over the next week, we’ll be posting entries that blog-less people emailed us and also putting together more recaps.

The first emailed entry comes from Kari in Minneapolis. This is such a fun story – enjoy!

Nicole and her custom bike

From Kari:

Yesterday, during my commute home, I complimented a woman on her unique bicycle while we were both stopped at a crossing on the Greenway. As we both took off and she receded into the distance, I realized that I could have asked her for her picture and used this as my second entry for the games! Her bike is super cool (evidenced by the photo below) and I was sure I wasn’t going to see anything that cool or unique anytime soon.

She was already pretty far ahead of me, but I decided that I was going to catch up with her anyway! I booked it hardcore in 3rd (my bike is a 3 speed) and I managed to catch up with her, happy but a little out of breath. She was super nice and obliged me with a photo. I told her about the contest and she said she read your blog, too! Her name is Nicole, and her bike was custom-made for her by her boyfriend, Matt, who works at Calhoun Cycle, a bike shop in Uptown.

It’s a really sweet bike in person (she’s sweet too, btw)! It’s not so clear in the photo, but the bike has a smaller front wheel and larger backwheel, plus a handmade chainguard that manages to look sort of steampunk in it’s handmadeness. I think he made the kickstand from scratch, too. Very awesome! Nicole and I geeked out bike-style about custom-made bikes and how hard it is to find European-style bicycles in America. She told me that she was really happy that I stopped her, since people normally ask her “why her bike is so wierd” instead of commenting on how INCREDIBLY AWESOME it is.

So here’s Nicole! Thanks guys!

{Thank you, Kari and Nicole! I love how this story brings two bike lovers – and LGRAB readers – together.}

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20 thoughts on “Summer Games – Kari, Say Hi to a Cyclist

  1. dukiebiddle says:

    Sweet, sweet Wald #157. I’ve got the same basket, although mine is sitting on top of a 26″ wheel. That basket changed my life almost as much as the bike itself. I get, on average, 2 inquiries/complements a day from other cyclists.

  2. maureen says:

    What a sweet story…very cool!

  3. Scott says:

    What does it mean to be steampunk? Someone recently told me I looked steampunk on my Velorbis while I was waiting at a light.

    • Kari Pederson says:

      “Steampunk” refers to a something that evokes the late 19th century with steam-powered technology that’s anachronistic… think zepplins and goggles and steam cars.


    • dukiebiddle says:

      I’ve been hearing the term ‘steampunk’ thrown around with absurd frequency over the past couple of weeks. It seems to be gearing up to becoming the zeitgeist word for the summer of 2010. Meh. Beats hearing “epic” and “fail” a thousand times a day, I guess. ;)

  4. Kevin says:

    Trying to get ahold of Trisha. LGRAB email address bounces?

  5. Megan says:

    With the Summer Games over, will there be winter games?

    • Karen V says:

      Yes, we need LGRAB Winter Games!! No prizes necessary, just some motivation to continue riding through the winter!

  6. neighbourtease says:

    This is indeed a super cool bicycle. I love that her boyfriend made it for her! Nice boyfriend!

  7. Hey, cool – a basket bike with a small front wheel!

  8. David says:

    I didn’t know people where saying “epic” a lot. I thought that was over.

    Why is the front tire smaller than the rear? What is the disadvantage of this?

    • Tinker says:

      So far as I know there IS NO disadvantage to this. The advantage is the lower center of gravity, and the ease of control of a heavily laden bike. (They used to call these things cycle trucks, with a rack mounted over the smaller front wheel. These beasts swarmed over the American commercial bicycle scene, in great herds, at one time.)

      In fact, I wish they had done this with my Torker Cargo bike.

      • cycler says:

        I saw a cycle truck this afternoon- I was too far away to get a good look, but it was bright orange, and the small front wheel was unmistakable. I wanted to catch them and make inquiries, but 4 lanes of traffic intervened… maybe they’re coming back! Makes a lot of sense in downtown Boston

    • dukiebiddle says:

      Epic is dead, I think. I was using it as an example of Zeitgeist-speak, but could have used “nice gams” or “where’s the beef?” as well.

      The small front wheel basket delivery bike is a traditional set-up. The lower you can get the cargo, the more stable the ride. The smaller the front wheel, the lower you can get the cargo. Since the basket had no effect on the rear wheel, and larger wheels give a smoother ride, they were left at a normal size.

      • David says:

        Oh, yes. One just needs to look at it. I guess it was all planned design for function, cool.

  9. Scott says:

    I can’t tell for certain, but I think the basket attaches to the frame instead of to the handlebars or the fork. If true, this, too, is a good design feature because you aren’t swinging the weight of your load when you turn the handlebars. See the front rack on the Workcycles ( Fr8 for a brilliant example of attaching a front rack to the frame; on the Fr8,, you can even remove the rack when you just want to go for a frolic.

  10. spacemodular says:

    Yes, that is a sweet cargo bike. The front basket is indeed independent of the steering and attached only to the frame. Keeping the basket independent of the steering is a great advantage for handling.

    Worksman is the only company that currently makes production models of this style of bike. Their Low Gravity series has 4 models between $539 and $599. They are all similar to the Schwinn Cycle Truck – cruiser style and heavy. The bike that Nicole rides is quite svelte in comparison. Custom rides can be so nice…

  11. spacemodular says:

    Look at the how long the headtube is!

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