ON BIKE CULTURE IN EUGENE | Fine blogging since 2010 (with periodic long breaks)
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.
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.
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.
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:
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):
They would be quite excellent, we think, paired with a waxed mustache.
Then there was this:
In case you don’t recognize it at first …
… it “looks like this.” And …
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: