Archive for the ‘Mixte’ tag
Here’s an Americanized version of a classic Dutch bicycle (the Amsterdam manufactured by Electra) spotted at the Sausalito Herring Festival on Sunday.
I like the chain guard and the front wicker basket. I really, really dig the rear pannier bags. These are the real deal — a Dutch company called Basil makes them.
But overall, I think I prefer Electra’s Ticino model over the Amsterdam. I just don’t care for the almost gooseneck-like curve of the frame’s top tube.
If you’re going to get a Dutch bike I like the Jorg & Olif, which I featured in this post.
I love mixtes and I often ride one despite the tendency of people to connote them with “ladies” or “girls” bikes.
In fact, I wrote about mixtes — their practicality and how they relate to my sense of manhood — in a post a couple years ago which you can read here.
I just returned from a quick trip to Washington, DC. There’s been lots of rain this summer and it shows! The images below were made (with an iPhone camera) around a residential neighborhood near the Tenleytown metro station.
The neighborhood is about 1-2 miles from American University. One of the students living across the way from my friend (who hosted me for the day) no doubt uses this good looking mixte to commute to class.
Once again, I tried out the Capital Bikeshare program. I had a free hour the morning before I was set to return to AZ so I did some cruising around the National Mall. I have a few images I plan to post soon.
Here are some real Tucson-style city bikes.
Lovingly called “beaters” — bikes like these (especially the yellow-orange one) get you where you need to be, can haul or carry stuff, and you don’t have to worry about knocks and dents along the way.
My Nishiki Mixte fills this crucial bicycle niche for me (as does a rather aged Peugeot mixte I acquired with the intention of restoring, but never did).
A story a couple years ago in the New York Times defined the beater this way:
The beater is to the bicycle world what a well-worn Crown Victoria is to the automotive world, a sturdy workhorse machine that can take a few knocks and keep going. The ideal beater can soak up a few potholes, might repel thieves with its rust spots and will not break the bank.
A beautiful Jorg & Olif internally geared 8-speed with chain and skirt guards, rear rack, wicker basket, sprung saddle, double kick-stand, and a front generator light. The rider says she frequently commutes to work in the financial district on this classic ride.
It’s hard to say which is lovelier the bicycle or the rider?…I have to say — it’s the rider 🙂
Btw, look how practical the bike in the top photo is. Step-through frame. Large front basket. Wide tires. Rear Rack. Built-in kick-stand. Comfortable handlebar position.
April 13th. I can’t put off doing my taxes any longer. So I take a quick ride to my local library to pick up some tax forms.
After I get my forms, I’m suddenly struck by the view looking across the street at St. Rita’s Church.
Time to make a quick portrait of the Nishiki Mixte, I think.
For better or for worse, this pretty much sums up the way most of my photos come about: spontaneously and a quite randomly.
The Nishiki is a great city bike. The upright position is so comfortable (the height of the handlebars really contributes to this) that I ride it instead of my Guerciotti or Ebisu on errands around town.
I use it for trips to the Post Office, the Coffee Roastery, the Good Earth, the Scoop, Gestalt Haus, Fat Angel, and (especially) the hardware store. I’ve carried four cans of paint (two one-gallon cans and two one-quart cans) by using the front basket and then hanging one of the gallon cans around the handlebar grip. I’ve also carried 10 eight-foot strips of redwood lathe.
What I’ve added: a front basket, a kickstand, a bell, new tires, an extra long seat post (so I could get the seat up high enough to make the smallish frame fit better), and a halogen flashlight that I wedge in the basket for night riding.
What I’d like to add in the future: fenders, a bigger basket, mounted head and taillights, maybe an internal gear hub, and ultimately a full conversion to the 650B wheel size so I can use wider tires.
Here’s my Nishiki mixte making its first appearance on the blog (with my Macbook in the front basket outside the Fairfax Coffee Roastery).
People sometimes tease me for riding a girl’s bike, but I could care less if it’s a girl’s bike.
This is not just a case of a well developed Jungian anima at work. The step-through frame is downright practical for city riding and for things like getting on and off at red lights. But, I cannot dispute that mixtes are especially well suited for the fairer sex. Want proof? Cycle Chic from Copenhagen.
Need more proof?
Then I advise you to visit this mixte riding, coffee drinking, picture taking hipstress at Bikes and The City (and yes, I think I found my soulmate. :))
You may also click here for more mixte pictures from around the site.