Saturday, December 4, 2010

The commuters

On Thanksgiving Day, I remembered that on the previous year's holiday I had pulled all of my bikes out for a "family photo."  I was determined to do the same again this year to chronicle the additions, one departure, and the many changes that have occurred. 

They grow up so fast, don't they?

Instead of just dumping the new family photo on here, I'm going to drop in the occasional photo from that day.  Fiona and I took a number of "group" photos, assembling bikes by brand, design and purpose.

Our first installment is The Commuters.  Each of my bikes takes at least an occasional turn taking me to the office, but these two are the workhorses on this job.

Here is Takumashi, the Nishiki Citisport, and Geordie, the Raleigh Superbe.  Both have Brooks saddles -- B72 on Geordie, B67 on Takumashi -- North Road handlebars, Zimbale saddle bags and a touch of twine here or there. 

I keep wondering whether either or both would be suitable for a long distance trip.  Any thoughts?


  1. I keep wondering whether either or both would be suitable for a long distance trip. Any thoughts?

    Absolutely, as long as you keep the mileage and the terrain reasonable. I routinely do 40+ mile days on my upright bikes, including my 3 speed Raleigh Twenty and Superbe. I have ridden my 7 speed Redline R530 to my parents house and back, it is just over 19 miles one way. Typically for that trip a drop bar bike is preferable and bit quicker.

    There are people who have toured around the world several times over on three speeds. Heinz Stucke comes to mind.

    There was a post not too long back on Lovely Bicycle about a lady who traveled from Strasbourg, France to Nessebar, Bulgaria on a Pashley Princess a distance of some 2,000 miles!


  2. Aaron,

    Your comments are always very welcome. I'm so glad to hear from someone of your experience on this issue... I keep thinking there is a "right" way to do everything on a bike and that I just have to be told what it is. What I'm learning is that most things are subjective and the "right" way is whatever way works for me.

    Now that I know there is nothing "wrong" with tackling longer distances on a Raleigh, I hope to become bolder about taking my favorite bikes out for longer rides.

    For the moment, I'm hoping some small changes to my 10-speed Corsaro will get me on the trail for longer spans. I should get that back tomorrow.

  3. Also, I'd never heard of Heinz Stucke before... what a fun read that was!

  4. There are a lot of unusual tourists out there. Another is Joff Summerfiled, rode around the world on a high wheel ordinary. Amazing guy. My son saw him in Paris and sent me a picture. I tried to catch up to him while he was in the states, but missed him by a couple of days.

    To me touring is more about the state of mind than the equipment. I know way too many people that have never gone on tour because they obsessed too much over the equipment or the choice of routes, or the time of year to go.

    One of my favorite things to do is pack a few things in a saddle bag and head out for the day, or even a weekend, with no destination in mind, just ride to be riding and see what there is to see. Come to a cross roads? Flip a quarter; heads go right, tails go left. See some interesting things that way.


  5. Just remembered another interesting tour story. This one takes place around WW2 but it is still great and shows what can be done on two wheels, regardless of how fancy.

    The Lure of the Open Road