|Sadly, BikeE, formerly the world's largest recumbent bike manufacturer, went out of business in August 2002. I continue to ride and this page continues to be about the BikeE, and as BikeE was the closest thing there's ever been to a mass-market recumbent, you'll still see a fair number of BikeEs around in general. Even though, again, BikeE has been out of business for ten years, used BikeEs are still easy to find, and people continue to seek them out due to their comfort, ease of use, style, and low price. However, if you're looking for a bike similar to the BikeE in terms of being a basic, low-cost, easy-to-ride recumbent, but from a manufacturer that's still in business and able to support it, I recommend that you check out the Easy Racers/Sun Bicycles EZ-1 or the Cycle Genius Sparrow.|
In September of 1998 I bought a used purple BikeE recumbent bike through the BikeRoute.com classifieds, and have been having a lot of fun with it ever since. This is the basic "CT" ("Comfort Technology" :-)) model BikeE -- basically what used to be the "mass market" recumbent in terms of price (they usually ran around $500-600 new) and popularity (I believe there are more BikeEs out there than all other manufacturers' recumbents put together).
I'll describe the changes I've made since getting it, some of which are more visible in the above picture than others:
I got a black BikeE bag that sits behind the seat -- it's a really nice big "trunk" for hauling groceries, library books, food for potlucks, etc., and looks good too. Someday it may be as covered with buttons, pins, etc. as my backpack, but for now it's plain except for two of those little flashing-red-LEDs taillights. It used to have a guitar pin, but my habit of strapping grocery bags on top of it with bungee cords in addition to filling it up with groceries seems to have scraped the pin off at one point.
I put a lot of purple-glitter beads on the spokes, and I've also tried various colors of Tireflys and other flashing lights on the tire valves, but they never seem to work very well or last very long.
I named my bike Groucho, because the black-cased dual VistaLite headlights I had mounted under the short black handlebar "eyebrows" (as opposed to a handlebar mustache :-)) gave it a kind of greasepaint-and-glasses Groucho Marx look from the front. These were beautiful, bright lights, but between the short running time on a battery charge, and the fact that leaving the battery on the charger for too long would kill the battery, three batteries later I switched to a pair of Cateye CE-EL500 LED headlights. They're OK, but definitely don't illuminate the road ahead as well as the Vistalites did. However, their EL530 model headlights I got for my older son's bike are 50% brighter, and even brighter models have come out since then.
I also attached a flagpole with a purple-and-silver holographic-mylar-streamers windsock, and a string of three silver/multicolored holographic spinning pinwheels. They really sparkle and flash in the sunlight, and also put on something of a show in the headlights of a car. For some reason it seems right to me to think of this assembly as more of a "tail" than a flag. (In response to a reader question about my flagpole, it's this two-piece one from Hostel Shoppe, and I had gotten the holographic-mylar attachments at an unfortunately-defunct local gift shop of the sort that sold crystals and other sparkly things.)
As I rode up to my house one night, one of my neighbors started excitedly calling out "You have fairy powers, you have fairy powers!" She said that my bike's tail/flag had really been sparkling in the light of the full moon, and that as she had watched the approach of the dual headlights with floaty sparkly stuff above them she had been wondering what this entity coming toward her could possibly be.
And now I've done that one further -- I wrapped a piece of purple electroluminescent wire in a spiral around my flagpole, and set it to blink when turned on. It looks like some kind of insane twisted flashing lightsaber -- totally great! As I was leaving a music event last night someone called out, "I love that, it looks like a unicorn!" (p.s. You can get lots of colors of flashing EL wire with battery packs really cheap on Amazon these days -- often under $5 and most of the rest under $10.)
My latest addition is that I've put a Techass Rave'n2 party light between the headlights -- while I'm riding around at night the strobing multicolored LEDs fit in nicely with people's holiday lights plus make flashing reflections all over the place. And of course it's amusing to have something called "Techass" on my bike. (November 2011 update -- and this last Halloween my "GROWN THIS WAY" pumpkin borrowed it for the night for more of a disco look as opposed to the usual flickering candle.)
I also just ordered a purple "Down Low Glow" system for my bike, and am looking forward to being even more lit up.
I should also put in a good word for my insulated Polar Bottle that I take absolutely everywhere, whether I'm out on my bike or just walking around with it in my backpack. Fill it with ice cubes and water and it stays icy for hours and hours -- why would anyone ever buy bottled water?
Anyway, if you were me you would think it was the most fun, beautiful bike in the world, but if you were someone who didn't like recumbents you might think it looked like a piece of a two-by-four with wheels*. Most of the frequent comments I get are quite positive, such as "cool bike!", but I've also heard a "what in the world!?!?!" and an "I think those bikes are creepy ... are they comfortable?" :-)
The name "BikeE" is supposed to be short for "Bike Evolution", but after Lee Iaccoca brought out his now-defunct electric "E-Bike" as you can imagine people began to confuse the two -- many times people have come up to me and asked if my bike is electric, or started brief conversations like this:
"Does that bike have a motor?"
"You're looking at the motor!"
(Incidentally, many people have added motors to their BikeEs -- see the BikeE modifications section below for some links.)
(And for even more name confusion, there is now a children's balance bike called the Bikee. This would have made it much easier for my children to learn to ride a bike when they were little, because it gets the big step of learning to balance out of the way instead of them having to learn balancing and pedaling at the same time. For anyone interested in such things, you can get $20 off by using the promo code BIKEE20.
There have been several different BikeE models over the years -- again, mine is the basic low-end CT, but BikeE also put out higher-priced models with features such as rear or dual suspension, longer frames for especially tall riders, higher-end components, and even a tandem. Check out this archived version of the BikeE web site for more information on the different models. It's also worth pointing out that there were some changes made to the CT in the years after I got mine, the most immediately noticeable being that later CTs have a different, higher-backed seat.
Although the BikeE is generally regarded as one of the easiest recumbents for riders new to recumbents to be able to just jump on and ride around with no trouble, in my experience there are two things about it that did require a little getting used to:
The first is that the combination of long steering tube and tiny handlebars makes for very sensitive steering -- the first day I got my BikeE I would want to turn a little to go around a parked car and wind up swinging way out into the street. But when I went out to ride it on the following day I found I had somehow internalized all that and was now able to steer with no trouble. Basically, the secret to good steering on a BikeE is to relax your hands, arms, and shoulders instead of holding the handlebars in a tight death grip.
The second relates to stopping and starting at traffic lights and the like. With a non-recumbent you can stand on the pedals to use your weight to provide the initial push to get you going again from a stopped position, but with the BikeE I had to get used to using the foot I'd put on the ground for balance (when stopped) to give a big backwards shove against the ground at the same time I would start pedaling with the other foot.
My favorite place to ride here in Santa Cruz is the West Cliff Drive "multi-use" path that reaches all the way from Natural Bridges state park to the Boardwalk amusement park. It's an unbelievably beautiful ride (I took the picture at the top of this page along West Cliff -- click the thumbnail images to the right if you'd like to see some additional BikeE/West Cliff pictures from the same afternoon) with a lot of friendly cyclists, skaters, pedestrians and no cars, and a recumbent bike gives you a great view of the scenery, because you're sitting upright instead of hunched way over. I sometimes use this route to go downtown, and then on Saturday or Sunday I'll usually ride it along the ocean for a ways while out riding around looking for garage sales.
Here's a link to a message about my BikeE experience at Santa Cruz Pride 1999 that I posted to the alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent newsgroup.
*(Ted Ledbetter put some wood-grain contact paper on one of his BikeEs to maximize this effect -- see his HumanPoweredVehicles page for a picture.)
- As, again, BikeE has gone out of business, their nice and informative BikeE.com web site is no longer up for me to recommend, but you can see an archived version at BikeE.org (which also features a photo gallery).
- You can also see the BikeE company's original promotional videos on YouTube.
- Philip O'Leary runs an active BikeE message board with a BikeE Stuff For Sale or Wanted forum in addition to a BikeE General Discussion forum and BikeE Technical Issues forum.
- Subscribe to the BikeE mailing list for lots of conversation and information about absolutely anything BikeE-related, from the very technical to the very silly.
- There are also two active Yahoo! Groups BikeE mailing lists: BikeE and Bike E Forever!.
- Facebook users can join the Facebook "Bike E" Riders Group, described as "a group for owners and would be owners to exchange info and ideas on the now defunct Bike E semi-recumbent bicycle".
- Warren Block's BikeE Tips page talks about, yes, BikeE tips and tricks.
- Randy Brown's RecumBike.com, a site for BikeE enthusiasts featuring tips, photos, bumper stickers, etc.
- The Bicycle Man bike shop's BikeE Recumbent Bikes page talks about BikeE history, also linking to other pages on the site with information on each model, offering accessories for sale, and listing safety recall information.
- To see some example videos showing (1) what the BikeE looks like in motion, and/or (2) a rider's-eye-view of riding a BikeE, do a YouTube search for "BikeE".
- The alt.rec.bicycles.recumbent newsgroup used to be a good place to ask questions and find discussions on any recumbent-bike-related topic, but unfortunately right now it's being seriously overrun by cross-posting trolls and spammers -- I hope it recovers!
- eBay usually has various BikeE bikes (almost all used, as you can imagine, but occasionally some turn up still new in the original box), parts, and accessories listed, with some up for auction and others offered as instant-purchase "Buy it Now" items -- click here to see what they have right now. I bought a replacement kickstand there myself a while back after my BikeE's original one somehow fell off and vanished (!) during a ride.
- For that matter, "krigster"'s eBay shop usually carries kickstands and "swept back" handlebars for BikeEs.
- Philip O'Leary's BikeE Pages message board includes a "BikeE Stuff For Sale or Wanted" forum.
- The 'BentRider Online Classifieds usually has some listings for BikeE bikes.
- Again, I had gotten my bike through the BikeRoute classifieds many years ago, and they still sometimes get BikeE bikes listed there.
- As you can imagine, some people have bought used BikeEs on craigslist.
- The Bicycle Man bike shop carries many BikeE replacement parts and accessories.
- The official BikeE bag/pannier was designed by Jandd Mountaineering, who still manufactures and sells them.
- I've also seen the Radical Design Universal Large Allfa top bag recommended for the BikeE.
- Larry Reynolds makes a popular frame-mounted accessory bag called the BagJob1.
- Windwrap makes fairings for both single-rider and tandem BikeEs. See their Fairing Fit Chart page for determining and ordering one of their fairings (plus mounting hardware) for your BikeE.
- I've seen Planet Bike's Freddy Fenders Hardcore Recumbent fenders recommended for the BikeE.
- Hostel Shoppe Recumbents has an online guide to determining what kind of fork your BikeE has and what kind of fenders you can use with it.
- BikePartsUSA.com sells two kinds of replacement BikeE top loader stems for people who want to change their handlebars.
- Easy Street Recumbents has a good selection of BikeE seat, steering, and drivetrain parts for sale. They also carry BikeE accessories mounting brackets you can use to attach other manufacturers' seats and various other things to your BikeE's frame.
- As above, I had gotten a replacement kickstand on eBay, and The Bicycle Man sells BikeE kickstands in addition to many other parts and accessories, but I've also seen someone recommend this inexpensive axle-mounted kickstand for BikeEs.
- Every now and then someone asks what to do about replacing a fraying mesh-fabric seat-back on their BikeE -- some of the recommendations I've seen include hand-sewing a new back panel out of "shade cloth" or double layers of heavy-duty door and window fabric screening, or ordering replacement mesh fabric from Velogenesis or Power On Cycling.
- EcoSpeed makes Electric Mid-Drive Kits for adding an electric motor to your BikeE. (Also, check out their video of people riding an EcoSpeed-motor-equipped BikeE Tandem around Portland, Oregon (as my older son is going to college in Portland I got all excited watching it :-)).
- Angletech Cycles sells an adapter for using a Redline trainer with your BikeE.
- The bicyclecommuter.com site has plans for a PVC workstand suitable for BikeE and other recumbent bikes.
- Atoc's model BT-63 Bike Topper rack (for transporting bikes on top of a car) was designed specifically for the BikeE.
- And talking rentals rather than sales, The Bicycle Forest in Waterloo, Ontario, has both a BikeE CT and BikeE E2 Tandem for rental to local customers. You can also see pictures of their BikeEs in the Kitchener-Waterloo Santa Claus Parade. And a video of some people taking a ride on their BikeE tandem.
- And on the topic of buying second-hand BikeEs in general, the Bentrider Online site has a nice multi-page forum discussion on used BikeEs being a great value for sharing with visitors, cruising around the neighborhood, as commuter bikes, and so on. To quote from user "Moosebear":
I found the BikeE a superb city commuter. In winter, one's feet close to the ground combined with the upright body position... just a great, stable, easy ride. The same thing that makes it easy for people to learn also makes it very safe and steady, I think.
Also a fantastic beast of burden: with the mid-ship pannier rack I could carry 100's of pounds of stuff, without that changing the handling.
- The BikeE Technical Issues forum on Philip O'Leary's BikeE message board has many posts about BikeE repairs and modifications.
- "LinusPete" has put up multiple YouTube videos where he talks about and demonstrates his BikeE and its modifications: One is about his BikeE's Ecospeed Mid Drive electric motor, fairing, and GPS, another is about riding his BikeE in the snow, and he also has a part 1 and part 2 behind-the-fairing view of a ride to a restaurant.
- Kent Peterson's "fastpig" BikeE is decked out for serious speed with a coroplast fairing and lycra body stocking.
- Check out the amazing roll-up/roll-down fairing on Gaston Daigle's friend's BikeE -- on this page you can see the BikeE with the fairing rolled up, and on this page you can see the BikeE with the fairing rolled down.
- Wow, check out Les Young's BikeE converted into a trike!
- Wayne Dunn is just thrilled with the electric hybrid conversion he gave his BikeE.
- Jason Norris attached a Heinzmann electric motor to his BikeE.
- The author of the ElectricBikeBuilding blog did some upgrades to his BikeE including repairing a cracked seat frame and adding an EcoSpeed electric motor.
- Gaston Daigle has some very detailed, step-by-step illustrated pages showing how he installed a Cyclone electric motor on his friend's BikeE.
- Richard Lawler is rebuilding a used BikeE with a BMC motor and other upgrades.
- "Silverheels" is also working on an electric BikeE project.
- Chuck Wood used a RANS 20" fork to give his BikeE a 20" front wheel -- take a look at his photo and description.
- Scott Anderson is adding a REAR 20" Geared hub motor from E-Bike Kit to his BikeE.
- Wow! "The Freewayblogger" built a bicycle sail and used it to ride a BikeE all the way across the United States!
- YouTube user "hoxtonhopper" has two videos (here and here) showing off his BikeE's modifications, including disc brakes, fairing, a Schmidt Original Nabendynamo hub generator, generator-powered headlight, and a Zzing charger for USB devices.
- "recurry_62" has a photo set showing a cracked BikeE frame before and after a welding repair.
- Tim Karle built a BikeE from parts and also made a number of modifications: a 20" front wheel, a 48-tooth chainring, an improved seat, and a tail light. You can read even more about it on this page.
- On the Recumbent Bicycle and HUman Powered Vehicle Information Center forums, user "Azrial" and others talk about modifying a BikeE to use a 26" rear wheel and 20" front wheel.
- "UechiMike" designed a 3-D printable "Bike-E seat post accessory adapter" for mounting a rear tail light or other standard seat-post accessories -- you can use the link to either download the .stl file and print one yourself, or get a printed one from him for "a nominal fee" to cover the plastic and postage.
- Larry Reynolds replaced his stock BikeE seat with a boat "trolling seat". He also built a rear rack for his BikeE using BikeE accessory mounts and PVC pipe -- here are five pictures showing it both "empty" and being used to haul various supplies: one, two, three, four, five. And he is also well-known for making a popular frame-mounted accessory bag called the BagJob1.
- David Balfour built a replacement seat for his BikeE AT out of plywood, a camping pad, and some carpeting, for a lower, firmer seat.
- This isn't exactly a modification, but in these photos Mark Philips shows how he carries a messenger bag or a large laptop bag on his BikeE.
- John Huddleson modified two BikeEs to make the seats more comfortable and attach inexpensive rear racks.
- Rick's BikeE that he bought for only $20 has a nice basket attached behind the seat.
- In the Spring 2003 issue of Bikesonoma, Kim Stufflebeam describes how his family uses one of their BikeE Tandems for hauling: "For big jobs, I built a flatbed hauling platform for the tandem BikeE. We take off the stoker seat and handle bar and turn the BikeE tandem into a flatbed truck."
- Sam Placette modified his BikeE Tandem with a homebuilt flatbed cargo deck to create a "TruckE" cargo bike.
- Denis Diekhoff's "Make a BikeE faring for $30" page includes instructions as well as photos.
- Bill's BikeE AT with Coroplast fairing and Tailbox
- Charles Jacobs is making a BikeE fairing out of an old motorcycle windshield.
- Richard Myers has a photo album of the BikeE racing fairings he's built from coroplast, PETG and cloth.
- If you don't care for the stock BikeE handlebars, "krigster"'s eBay shop usually carries replacement BikeE handlebars that are longer and curve around in a more "swept back" position.
- Dick Arnold is running a mobile ham radio setup on his BikeE.
- Take a look at Calhoun Cycle's "Ice Bikes" page, featuring among other things a "winter conversion" BikeE with a ski in place of the front wheel.
- Check out Israel Urieli's "Grasshopper" modified short wheelbase BikeEs.
- And Tom Schneider's "BikeE LowRacer".
- Here's another BikeE LowRacer.
- Check out the front and back views of this great BikeE "sociable" (two bikes attached side-by-side instead of one bike with front and back seats) tandem at the 2010 Portland Tweed Ride.
- Carl Chatfield's Carl's BikeE Recumbent page is nice and detailed -- among other things he added an electric motor.
- William Thomas's ELECTRIC BIKER page happily describes the fun he's been having with (and many other benefits of) his Crystallite-motor-equipped BikeE.
- Rob Cameron motorized his BikeE as well.
- Michael Ross's BikeStuff image directory has pictures of his BikeE tailbox and other projects.
- Andrew Morton took some pictures of a fixed-gear BikeE.
- Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see Andrew D. Carson's interestingly-modified BikeE.
- Scroll down to the bottom of BikeE founder, first president, and chief product designer David G. Ullman's BikeE page to see a picture of the "FantacE" -- a 1994 concept BikeE constructed of Kevlar, glass, and carbon fiber.
- The refurbishing of Keila's BikeE included painting it turquoise with a white pegasus -- in this YouTube video you can see her taking her BikeE for a "maiden voyage" in Tennessee's Cades Cove.
- Two protest pictures on this SF Indymedia page feature a BikeE done up as the "Condoleeza Rice" oil tanker.
- J.J. Boriss made a sculpture out of old BikeE frames and other parts he found in the BikeE company's dumpster.
Even though Santa Cruz is a good bike town, with much bike awareness and activism in addition to the wonderful scenery and weather to ride around in, I'm often surprised at how many people don't use bikes for their short trips around town. So many times I have gone to a party, meeting, concert, etc. and found it strange that everyone else arrived by car even though many of them only lived a very short distance away. Anyway, if you happen to live in Santa Cruz like me, and would like to find out more about getting around town on a bike, here are a ton of local links for you:
- The santa-cruz-bikes mailing list is a must for staying informed on the issues that affect cycling and cyclists in Santa Cruz, and what you can do about them
- The Santa Cruz Cycling Scene resource page
- Santa Cruz Walk and Roll Transportation Discussion Lists & Library
- The HUB for Sustainable Transportation is a bicyclist cooperative resource center located in downtown Santa Cruz
- The Bike Church is a do-it-yourself bike-repair cooperative, with tools and skilled mechanics on hand. It also offers free classes and workshops, plus free bikes for kids in need!
- For college students, there's a UCSC Bike Co-op and a Cabrillo Bike Co-op
- For people on the Watsonville end of Santa Cruz County, to quote from the Bike Church Related Projects page, "The Watsonville Brown Berets are collaborating with Bike Churchers to help folks fix bikes at the Bike Shack Warehouse on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 6pm and at the Friday farmer's market in downtown Watsonville from 4 to 7pm."
- The City of Santa Cruz requires a bicycle license "for bicycles operated on any public street or sidewalk, or upon any public path set aside for the exclusive use of bicycles (Municipal Code 10.68.110)".
- The Bike Dojo is a new Santa Cruz cycling community offering multiple rides a week, training and classes for every skill level, and a newsletter, created by local cycling champion Rob Mylls to provide "a community in which everyone rides in a safe, friendly, and supportive environment." You can also read a Santa Cruz Sentinel article on the Bike Dojo.
- People Power, a Santa Cruz bicycling advocacy group
- The Santa Cruz County Cycling Club is "a not-for-profit organization working to support cycling growth and education in Santa Cruz County". Among other things they host many local rides and maintain a list of bike routes in and through Santa Cruz County.
- Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz
- Santa Cruz Pedaler's Express is now offering road service and towing for and by bikes
- Check out Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History's education manager Kristen Van Kley's Santa Cruz Sentinel article "This spring, pedal into nature".
- "Santa Cruz, The Bike Town", a great article by Ashley Barnes
- Martin Krieg's virtual bike tour of Santa Cruz
- The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission's Bicycle Programs page
- Critical Mass Santa Cruz
- Alan Wachtel's analysis of California bike law
- Wikipedia's "Bicycle law in California" page.
- The Santa Cruz Bike to Work/School program has been going on for 25 years now -- see the Santa Cruz Sentinel article "Local advocates celebrate 25 years of biking to work".
- The Bike Smart! bike safety program for Santa Cruz youth
- Santa Cruz County Friends of the Rail Trail is working towards building a bike and pedestrian path alongside the train tracks, running all the way from Davenport to Watsonville.
- The Santa Cruz bus system's Bikes on Buses Program
- The Santa Cruz Area Transportation Management Association has some great programs encouraging biking as transportation, including up to $375 rebates on electric bikes, up to $200 discounts on folding bikes, and bike-related benefits programs employers can offer employees.
- The City of Santa Cruz now has over 100 bike lockers at various parking lots and other downtown locations, that the public can rent for five cents an hour.
- The Community Traffic Safety Coalition of Santa Cruz County's monthly Bike Traffic School is now open to any members of the public who want to attend -- not just cyclists who have been ticketed for disobeying traffic laws.
- The yearly Surf City AIDS Ride features a choice of fully-supported 12, 30, 60, and 100-mile routes as a fundraiser for the Santa Cruz AIDS Project.
- The Santa Cruz Sentinel's "What to wear when biking to work" article talks to many local cyclists in a variety of jobs about how they as bike commuters deal with the "work clothes" issue.
- The Santa Cruz Sentinel's "Bicycle industry rivals surf culture for heart, soul of Santa Cruz" article paints Santa Cruz as "Cycle City" in terms of world-class cyclists and cycling events, innovative manufacturers, ideal location and dedicated cycling community.
- Speaking of Santa Cruz, recumbents and the Sentinel, check out this article on a local recumbent-riding father-daughter pair who both set world speed records in human-powered vehicle races.
- Ramona Turner's "Street Smarts" blog (which also appears in the Sentinel) features a mix of Santa Cruz car and bike postings and answers to readers' questions.
- Cheryl Schmitt, bicycle coordinator for Santa Cruz's public works department, contributed this "Street Smarts" blog entry "Bicycle detection at traffic signals".
- The Metro Santa Cruz article "The Top 10 Things to Do With a Bike in Santa Cruz" article has some good information and links.
- The Santa Cruz Police Department has a web page listing bikes that have been stolen and bikes that have been found.
- You can even see another BikeE among these fantastic photos of the May 2007 "Cycle-Logical Celebration" downtown Santa Cruz Bike Art parade.
I have one more comment to make on cycling in Santa Cruz: especially in a small city like Santa Cruz, bike laws, lanes, parking, paths, etc. are not things we just have to live with so much as things that are constantly being changed and decided by small groups of people at City Council meetings and the like. IMHO subscribing to the Santa-cruz-bikes mailing list is one of the best steps you can take toward making sure your own concerns and issues are represented and taken into account when ideas are proposed or decisions made, because the discussions on the list will alert you to everything going on in town that affects cyclists.
At one point I got email from an eBay seller asking if I wanted to buy a second BikeE. I love my BikeE, but if I was getting another bike it would be one that did something the BikeE didn't do, rather than just to duplicate what I already have.
- I actually did wind up getting a Rowbike rowing-powered recumbent bicycle to play around with, but never really felt comfortable on it (though I know a bunch of other people love them), so I sold it.
- I wouldn't mind having a folding bike to take on the bus or train -- right now Santa Cruz even has a program offering up to $200 discounts on folding bikes.
- I wouldn't mind having an Easy Racers/Sun EZ-3 SX -- about the closest thing out there to a three-wheeled BikeE -- for yet more riding and hauling.
- I wouldn't mind having a Lightfoot Recumbent Pedicab -- talk about rides and hauling! (And talk about bye bye $5000, too, unfortunately!)
- I wouldn't mind having one of those cheap, pretty, candy-colored beach cruisers -- then at least one of my bikes would be able to fit on a city bus bike rack!
BTW, here's a picture of me on my first bike.
Here's a quote I found in the Terry Precision Cycling (some cool women's biking stuff, but not a recumbent to be seen, alas) catalog:
In the late 1800's, an anti-feminist writer warned of the hazards of cycling, "chief of all the dangers attending this new development of feminine freedom is the intoxication which comes with unfettered liberty."
When I first saw that quote my reaction was along the lines of "What a crank! That's so funny! I should put that on my page somewhere, along with a statement urging us all to enjoy our unfettered liberty!"
So I did. However, what I didn't know was how much the women of the time actually did owe what "feminine freedom" they had to bicycles -- so much so that Susan B. Anthony said "The bicycle has done more for the emancipation of women than anything else in the world." The technological advancements and popularity of the bicycle in the late 1800's both revolutionized women's fashions (dropping corsets and bustles in favor of more practical clothing allowing for more freedom of movement) and made it possible for women to travel longer distances without chaperones. More later, but I think we cyclists can definitely feel very proud of our chosen method of transportation.
And for a fun visual take on this, check out Portland's Sellwood Cycle Repair's huge and wonderful gallery of vintage bike ads, many featuring women either just out enjoying a ride or as goddesses flying around with their bikes. I'm especially partial to this one, but wonder how she keeps the sword out of the way while riding.
Copyright © 1999-2013 Tané Tachyon
Last updated January 6, 2013
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