Eugene Bicyclist

ON BIKE CULTURE IN EUGENE | Fine blogging since 2010 (with periodic long breaks)

The cratie has lost its edge — and other news, notes and nonsense

Fads come, and fads go. You know how it works. A small group of mavericks start a new thing. It’s unique, odd, maybe a little edgy. Others follow. It catches on. Suddenly everybody’s doing it. You know, like Crocs.

And then the originators of said fad — feeling it’s no longer cool and unique — are pushed to seek new, more obscure, even riskier endeavors.

Consider the milk crate. At some point in the past, it had to be just a bit odd, strapping a crate on the back of your bike. Well, we see much evidence that the crate bike has gone mainstream.

Exhibit A:

Milk crate bike with yellow rain coat

Here is a guy on a cratie who also is wearing highly visible, probably none-to-inexpensive cycling jacket. And who has a red-light flasher and a rear-view mirror attached to his helmet. He is carefully leaving the bike lane just in case some dude is about to swing open the door of the Corvette. So, what we have here is a highly responsible commuter going to his job — at a bank or something.

Exhibit B:

A couple riding two millk crate bikes

You know when politicians refer to “ordinary Americans.” Right here. His and hers craties out for a leisurely Sunday morning spin, rolling past Brail’s. And you’ll notice they aren’t using real milk crates. Not reckless enough to ignore the threat of an unauthorized-possession fine that is embossed on real milk crates, they went to Staples or someplace and bought some file crates.

The cratie has lost its edge, people.

So what of the cratie’s originators and early adopters? What is a cheap but ingenious old hippie bastard to do now?

What simple, every day object — one that can be easily found and absconded with, preferably at risk of a fine — can be converted for bicycle cargo purposes? Like the milk crate, but bigger. Better. More outrageous.

Like …

Bicycle made from a grocery store shopping cartBicycle made from a grocery store shopping cartGrocery cart bike! I didn’t think they could push the envelope. But they did.

Is this not ingenious? I suppose you can even put your kid right there in the fold-down seat and give him a juice, just like when you’re shopping. In fact, I wonder if you could ride this right into the supermarket. Use it to shop. And then ride home. No bags, no carrying your groceries out to the parking lot.

(We pause here to thank the eagle-eyed correspondent who sent us these pictures after spotting this thing outside the Eugene Public Library.)

By the way, that looks to me like a cart from Market of Choice. We don’t know how they feel about this. But frankly we don’t care.

But wait a second. There do not appear to be any pedals on this bike. At least not on the left side. Maybe it’s just for going downhill? What’s going on?

* * *

As long as we are looking at notable bikes, here’s a keeper:

Bicycle covered in fur with carpenter belt pannier

I have to admit I did not see this in Eugene. I spotted it during that road trip to Missoula, Mont., I wrote about not long ago. This was seen in Ketchum, Idaho, elevation 6,000 feet. So you can understand the fur. Gets chilly there at night. I especially like the pannier, made from what looks to be an old carpenter’s tool belt.

* * *

Check out these sleek riding goggles, spotted on another bike outside the Eugene Public Library (which is a really great place for bike watching):

Goggles hanging off of a bicycle handlebar

They would be quite excellent, we think, paired with a waxed mustache.

* * *

Then there was this:

Handdrawn flier for a found bike

In case you don’t recognize it at first …

Hand drawn flier for found bicycle

… it “looks like this.” And …

Hand drawn flier for a found bicycle

Just in case you didn’t recognize it from the picture.

* * *

Hey, speaking of printed matter, was anybody else confused by this:

I saw this ad in the Register-Guard yesterday. Cool! Sale at Paul’s bike shop! Oh, wait. This was the June 8 newspaper — advertising a sale on the 4th and 5th? Is this just supposed to make me feel bad for missing it?

* * *

And speaking of news, we wrap up today with these urgent announcements:

  • First of all, the World Naked Bike Ride-Eugene is set for Saturday. Be there with bells on. Details in last week’s Eugene Weekly. Also, there’s info here. (We posted about the World Naked Bike Ride-Eugene last year. It was our third post of all time. You are now reading Post No. 98. Hard to believe that.)
  • And second, the results are in from the Skinner Butte Fixed-Gear Time Trial, which was held last Sunday, mostly clothed. In fact, I think the best part is that the guy who won was wearing a button-up shirt and tie. They raced from the columns to the top and back down. Looks like a fun time was had: Go to Eugene Doom Bike for a video and links to photos and a story.
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5 comments on “The cratie has lost its edge — and other news, notes and nonsense

  1. Kevin
    June 9, 2011

    I think the real gold of this post is to put it all together and propose that next year we have the World Naked Fixed Gear Shopping Cart Bike Only Skinner Butte Time Trial.

    ….probably pedals would be required though.

  2. Lvc
    June 9, 2011

    Monolithic prize for gnarliest road rash! I can also see running a team format and having a streaking teammate jump into the cart at the top to add bobsled weight to the bike on the way down. Gross.

  3. Steve
    June 9, 2011

    ok.. a crate is a crate in my book, milk or otheriwise (does milk really STILL come in the crates???), but the shopping cart is not the best idea in the world.

    For the next fixie time trial, I offer up Nectar Way and Whiteaker streets. It’s a great hill and a loop.

    • Eugene Bicyclist
      June 9, 2011

      Well, fair enough point, I suppose.

      But does milk still come in crates?

      Look!

    • Lvc
      June 9, 2011

      Just pulled that loop up on Google maps; looks pretty sweet! I will have to check that out in person soon.

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This entry was posted on June 9, 2011 by in cycling gear, milk crates, noted bicycles, Real news/events.

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