This Bilenky bike was parked in front of the Whole Foods in Winter Park, FL. It’s fitted with couplers that allow you to break it down easily to ship.
The panniers make it into a useful commuter. The owner may have been touring or shopping, but either way, equipped to carry lots of stuff in the spacious bags. Not everyone likes clipless pedals. They take a while to get used to and can be very dangerous if too tight. But, you get so much more power when you use them.
You can see the owner is using several locks. The U-lock secures the frame. It’s the most sure security. The cables connect to the U-lock and secure the wheels. It’s a good idea to thread the cable through the seat, especially a pristine Brooks saddle like this one. Brooks saddles last years. I have one on a Dawes I got in college 30 years ago and the bike was 10 years old when I got it. The leather loves to be ridden and conforms to your shape, if not immediately, eventually! A good protectant is nice for the saddle, but don’t worry or overdo it.
We write about bicycle commuting as though it’s the end all and everyone should do it. Realistically, distance, weather and your own fitness dictate when it’s appropriate. But, you’ll find that it’s a mode of transportation that uplifts! It’s exciting, good exercise, and of course, “one less car”. You never expect an accident, so the helmet is a good idea. So are lights, both front and rear. Auto drivers sometimes have tunnel vision. They look both ways…for cars, not bikes. Don’t be afraid to shout (and smile!) to let others know you’re there. Eye contact is important, too. Plus, you make more friends that way.
A bike that fits is worth more than the best, most elaborate bike like this, so get one that’s comfortable.What do you ride? What works for you when you travel? Ever hear of Bike Friday? They are folding bikes. (Stay tuned for a piece on one of them I spotted in Portland) Yoga? Meditation? Become one with the world around you. Try biking. Trust me. As you cruise through paths and traffic, your mind becomes clear of all distractions. You can do good deeds by communicating with traffic with your actions. Pedaling a bike is a non-impact exercise.
Someone once said: “When man invented the bicycle, he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And, (unlike subsequent inventions for the man’s convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man’s brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle.”