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Sunday, 20 September 2009

Comments

I have a friend that went from being a photography nut to a bike nut. Though he still has interest in photography, and will show interest if it is brought up, it would appear that bikes have won him over.

Custom made Italian road bikes to be specific.

Perhaps you can only have one true love after all.

Nice to hear you still tote an M sometimes Mike - I thought you'd gone over the Sony side of the street:)

Mike

Have fun bike shopping, Mike. I haven't done it for about eight years now. My oldest son is a year-round bike messenger in Minneapolis, and just informed me that he has recently bought a Rivendell road bike (one of your fine sponsors)!

Excellent Mike

I can help if you want or need any.

Have fun

Mike, as for the time to decide on a bike, take a page from Peter Gabriel's playbook. When asked when his new album is coming out, he always answers "It will be out in October" but declines to specify the year.

Patrick

I agree, I'm often astonished at how many people *don't* have a web site. Even some pretty famous actors. That's just dumb. If people want to look you up, your own site should be the first thing they find, so they get your own side of the story (any story), can find some pics and news, and contact details.

I made my first web site in 1996 after reading a couple of magazine articles about it. (And actually I'm still using 1996 technology on all my sites, haven't learned a thing more since.)

Serious cyclists are just as nutty as photographers--I speak from experience since I live in the intersection of the two.

I'm still trying to find a better way to carry my 5D MkII on my bike. I've got lots of options for how to transport it but they all require too much effort to get the camera out on a quick stop and put it away again. I'm thinking about trying a Think Tank Photo Speed Freak next.

I commute to work year-round on my bicycle. It's pretty easy since I live in the Seattle area and we only have snow on the ground a handful of days a year at most.

Check out your local Police Departments for their quarterly/monthly auctions of stolen, confiscated, and abandoned bikes. Expect to pay about 10-20% of the new prices and often some of the bikes are real high-end (stolen but never claimed).

Mike, I'm rather worried that the bikes illustrated have handlebars higher than their saddles. Poor weight distribution, too much on seat of pants is bad for comfort and control. Bike fit and adjustment of riding position is equally as important as choice of brand or model. Seek impartial advice.

Kurt - Your analogy works only so far as simplicity is concerned. Fixed gear bicycles are almost always cheaper than their more complex counterparts.

I feel like I should put in a plug for Zenfolio... ;) (It's the service I use, and I very much like it.)

There is indeed all kinds of gear-headiness about bicycles that parallels the camera geekery. I have the fortune to have a vintage Peugeot bicycle that I fished out of a dumpster which regularly makes the vintage bike guys drool. I rather enjoy that cachet, but if I could afford a more modern bike, with better gearing and firmer brakes, and a lighter body, I'd probably trade it. It's very sturdy!

I've often thought that people who use manual focus cameras are the same people who use friction shifters on our bikes. We're the same people who use waxable cross-country skis in winter time. And, we're fairly immune to fashion when we chose our clothes or music.

The person who wrote your Rivendell ad obviously understands this. They're a great company for those of use who are a little quirky.

I am both a crazy cyclist and a crazy photographer.

Carrying a camera helps you become a better cyclist, because you'll find yourself climbing hills just to take a picture from the top. And then, even if there's a "NO PARKING" sign, you can happily stop and take your pictures and then get going around. Because you aren't parking, you are just taking a breather after biking all the way up that steep hill.

Personally, I can't carry a camera on a strap while biking. I ride too hard for that. Too much bopping around. So generally I keep it in a trunk bag on my rack (You are making sure that your bike can take a rack, right? Bikes are useless without them) or strapped to my handlebars in a bag.

Also, the same mentality helps. I make sure that I'm able to handle any reasonable equipment failure with my camera gear before I go shooting. I also make sure that I'm able to handle any reasonable equipment failure with my bike before I go riding.

I don't think the fixie analogy holds. Fixies are cheap, basic bikes with zero bells and whistles. That's not what Leicas are known for. I think what Kurt may have been expressing is that fixies are for hipsters, and so are Leicas. But the problem is Leicas are really only for the trustifarians in the East Village, Williamsburg, etc., whereas typical fixie hipsters would probably be carrying an old film Nikon or Canon rather than a Leica. I think a more apt analogy is that old manual film cameras are the fixies of the camera world.

Tommy, I'd be very interested to hear if you find an acceptable solution. I have the same problem when I ride around town here in NYC. There are no options I can find that are both comfortable and quick to pull the camera out. Riding with the camera exposed worries me too much. I've been considering a decent messenger bag, but haven't had time to check them out to see if it'd be workable.

Have a look at a Kona Ute Mike.Probably be able to carry all your photo stuff and then some.Also you will be the absolute coolest bike dude on the block in just one move.I would urge any photographer who needs to haul their gear on a bike to consider this mount.Wait till you see the size of the saddlebags it comes with.

That bagel place is the only one I've found downtown where you can get something to eat on a Sunday morning (I guess Starbucks might have some stale cookie).

On the bike purchase: I'd suggest you support your sponsor and call Grant at Rivendell right away. You'll spend more now, but you'll eventually end up there anyway, so why put yourself through the misery of buying-and-selling a bunch of bikes to finally end up with the one you should have bought in the first place? You'll be glad you did it in the long run...

A woman who is a friend of mine in Colorado told me about the recent purchase of her new road bike. She proudly told me that she got a really great deal on the bike, she saved $2,500 on the purchase. That really amazed me, and made me wonder what the price that she actually paid was. People is Colorado are very serous about their bikes. My place is at 10,000 feet, and every day I watch them biking up the pass from there to 12,000 feet (reminding me of the "little train that could"). I'm lucky if I can walk at 10,000 feet!!

It's a shame Sheldon Brown has passed away, Mike you and he would have got on famously as his opinions on cycling would have dovetailed with your opinions on photography. He wasn't a bad photographer either.

http://sheldonbrown.com/home.html

I'm with Tony. You want an even weight distribution - half hands, half butt. And don't go too cheap! Like cameras, you do get what you pay for. I bought a Fisher ProCaliber in 1986 and it's still running like a charm. O.K., well, I'm still running like a charm (or pedaling) and it's still carrying me flawlessly. With maybe a grand total of two hundred bucks worth of maintenance in all that time.

I'd love to buy a new bike but I can't!

My bike - a silver Xootr Swift - is one of the best photography accessories I own. I use it to carry me and my camera(s) to parts of the city that I otherwise wouldn't visit, park it somewhere pretty, and then take dozens of photos of it.

Enjoyed your reported conversational snippets. Just something that I guess I take for granted while I ride.

Words of caution: don't wear your iPod while riding, always wear a helmet, and I'm sure I don't have to tell you not to attempt to ride too fast (or at all) down busy Chinese streets (or anywhere else) while holding an umbrella.

Paul,
And he used to be a manager for Steve Grimes, according to his site. You're right, wish I'd known him.

Mike

P.S. I should have kept a list of the all the mistypings I've made when signing my name to my comments. I just typed "Mime" for example. I have no idea why I'm not a better typist. Really bad.

Mike;
Please do your close-to-my-age body a favour and check out Hostel Shoppe for RANS Crank-forward bikes: http://www.hostelshoppe.com/cgi-bin/search.pl?category=104200
... and more importantly, ride one!
You're welcome.
Neal.

Another advantage of getting around on two wheels when you're in a tight spot: "No Exit" almost always means "Exit".

I only visit two blogs on the worldwide waste of time. My primary is TOP. My secondary is a bicycling blog - BikeSnobNYC bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/
Also, check out Cycle Chic from Copenhagen copenhagencyclechic.com

The lack of chain noise intrigues me with this model. HD and others have used it for years on their motorcycles, why not on bicycles.

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/urban/district/district/

Bill Mitchell seems to have the right idea for getting into it on the cheap..

62 and all this talk of cycling makes me want to pull the Rockhopper down from the garage rafters, lube it up and go for a spin or two. Make mine a G9 as company and yes I do buy shirts with pockets large enough to tuck it away.

Yes the Fixie is the Leica of the Bicycle world, but leave it to the Germans to turn the Fixie into, well I don't know what exactly--dance?, gymnastics?, but it is quite amazing:

Carla und Henriette Hochdorfer

I really want an M4-2 or M2 before I die so this winter it's sell a lot of photo junk. In the meantime the missus is going to print me up some of the red dots on sticky white paper and I can pretend.(and you all know what red dot I talking about)

a differnt look i n many ways but have you checked out http://www.xtracycle.com/ ?
I have have a G10 so no real manual focus, i do have a Canon FTb though, i us e click shifters but i do wax my skis! (old wood Norwegian ones at that)

For the record, a "fixie" gets its name from the fixed hub in its back wheel. The alternative would be to have a free wheel, a racheted gear which allows the wheels to move without pedaling. They can definitely have brakes.

I don't think the Leica comparison is valid, since anyone can make themselves a fixed-gear bike out of any parts they have or find (ask any hipster--if you BUY a fixie, you're only doing it half right). Leicas on the other hand are made by Germans in lab coats.

Maybe pinhole cameras would be a more apt comparison. I've found that hipsters also like to fashion those together. Or even a G1 with some c-mount Angenioux. (Also, I'm trying--and failing--to avoid suggesting Holgas).

Tony Collins is right on the ride info- check out the middle two on the list below for a more efficient/comfortable style. Several other makers have similar commuter/urban rides at comparable prices and quality!

Do Not, do not, do not carry your camera on a strap while riding! No matter how comfortable it felt during your test ride, things will get considerably hairier during real life conditions. At times you will lose focus (pardon the pun), as will others. Sudden stops are common, and a "small spill" inevitable at some point. Invest in a small camera back pack, some kind of waist pack (if you can stomach the sight of 'em), or a medium sized shoulder bag (Manhattan Portage) which you sling onto your back. You can put your camera into one of those cheap (and ugly- no one will see) triangular SLR pouches for protection and place that into the shoulder bag or a regular back pack. It slows ya down a tad but you're not going to be shooting from the hip here, you'll be stopping the bike first, and then hopefully getting off to get the best position- the bike is solely for the transportation.

Note: Flat shoulder bags are better at lying flat against your back than conventional camera bags which slide all over the place- a very dangerous weight and obstruction while you're trying to ride and maintain balance. And if you put your equipment in a saddle bag, it will absorb every vibration and bump the road offers!

Finally, if you don't get off the bike for a particular shot- watch the camera strap and the handle bars. The handlebar can easily (and without notice) get between the strap and camera, and when you pull the latter up- the handlebar will violently pull it down!


http://www.revolverbikes.com/Marin.Urban

Mike, your first choice of bike looks almost like an Electra Townie. And yes, Sheldon Brown's site contains very useful and accurate information that is relevant to bike shoppers everywhere. Anyway, make sure you ride the bike of your choice before you buy it.

Stephen and Tony are talking about one type of cycling, and it's certainly a faster kind of cycling, but its not the only kind.

I used to ride that style of bike, but my neck now objects to operating at the required angle for long (which can also limit my enjoyment of picture galleries). So, I adapted my classic long distance tourer to a Dutch roadster style, which needs a different saddle as well as handlebars. It's a very different style of riding, makes strong headwinds trying, but it can still get you to the city, or over the Alps, and the high viewpoint is a photographer's dream.

I would actually dispute the point Tony makes about control - the Dutch roadster style gives terrific steering control and the best possible view of other traffic, and you're also easier for other road users to see. It's horses for courses, and each style can improve your fitness, but only as long as you enjoy it enough to get out on it.

I bought this semi-reclining bicycle and not only is my prostrate much happier, I can take pictures much more easily than I could when I rode a regular bicycle:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/poagao/2448890289/

Strange things those hipster fixies.

I always associate fixies with a very old-fashioned single-gear bycicle which does have brakes, i.e. it brakes when you try to backpaddle. It is quite handy, but unfortunatly it cannot (easily) be combined with gears. (gears need slack).

The last thing I would associate them with is "hip" though.

Makes for a great city-bike, but for long distances I like gearing. (also: for hills)

To clarify the point, when I hear fixie I think of this.

A very sensible bicycle for the city.

You're right, they are both wimp bikes. I would also chime in on the "get a bike with another weight distribution" song - bikes with this kind of seating position and without sophisticated rear suspension (expensive) tend to put more weight than healthy on your spine. If you put more weight on the arms, it might be harder in the beginning, but in the long run, as your muscles get trained on this kind of usage, much more comfortable. It's also faster. I ride my bike every day about 40-50 kilometers, and although it doesn't look as comfortable (see below), I wouldn't want to change. I even put my saddle further up and my handlebar further down recently, which allows for even faster riding.

Also, don't get a bike without a high-quality rack and panniers! I can carry my smaller on-site photo kit in two Ortlieb bags around town at any time of the year and in any wheather (OK, one exception - it's not very practical to bring your lenses from -8°C indoors and except to start shooting right away).

A thing about light: If you plan on riding all year and also on dimly lit or dark streets, get decent lights on your bike, which do not only make you visible but also make things in your way visible for you. I am very happy with a Schmidt hub dynamo and Busch & Müller lights - but they might be hard to get and/or very expensive in the US.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3283/3689804001_a14d23a380.jpg>

"I agree, I'm often astonished at how many people *don't* have a web site. Even some pretty famous actors. That's just dumb. If people want to look you up, your own site should be the first thing they find, so they get your own side of the story (any story), can find some pics and news, and contact details."

The problem, Eolake, is that around 96% of the times, the website does more harm and turns out a worse asset than not having it.

There's a real money-making opportunity for someone here. I know I've been taking few pictures since I started cycling to work instead of walking. If I take a camera with me it is usually in the back panniers. Can someone really not design a decent bike-friendly camera bag? And a solution for transporting a tripod would be handy too.

(Not sure about all the love for fixies here: I guess you guys don't live in a place with serious hills.)

Your "wimp bikes" really are exceedingly gruesome! - must be the cycling equivalent of a cheap pink P&S with a very small sensor....

Carla und Henriette Hochdorfer

Hugh,
I could do that.

Mike

Interesting - what are you doing with a Leica again? You wouldn't happen to have an M9 on loan, would you?

Mike,
After a hiatus of 10 years because of back issues, and after surgery I finally got back into biking, and I tell you what the new bikes are something else. I bought a carbon fiber bike, (Trek Madone) and find myself riding more than I ever have. We have a local bike club, which I would suggest you join for weekly bike rides.
I have a front bag I use for my wallet, cell phone and Canon G9, which I find is about perfect for riding. Bigger cameras (like my Nikon D300) just get in the way.

"(Not sure about all the love for fixies here: I guess you guys don't live in a place with serious hills.)"

Chris,
No love here. At least not for personal applications. One of the conclusions I made from my Saturday test rides is that I need 21 gears rather than just 7. 7 doesn't go granny enough for an overweight 52-year-old to get up the kind of hills we have around here. We have no mountains, but there are some serious hills, in view of biking at least.

Mike

Just so you know, helmets are a contentious issue. After Australia mandated helmet use, head injuries went up per mile ridden.

My favorite image of Kunming, China, is the lady in skirt, high heels, and umbrella, riding through the mist. No helmet. Probably no Leica, either.

P.S.

You really should talk to Grant Peterson about bikes.

Mike,
You do know that you are about a hundred years late on this, Kodak had a complete line of "Bicycle Kodaks" and accessories.

http://www.cameramanuals.org/kodak_pdf/kodak_bicycle-1.pdf
http://www.cameramanuals.org/kodak_pdf/kodak_bicycle-2.pdf

"P.S. You really should talk to Grant Peterson about bikes."

Have been doing so, rather intensively. Thanks Bron.

Mike

Ah, biking equipment advice following thesame line as camera advice: "definitely get an x,y,z - it's just what I use and is perfect".

Having helped various people pick bicycles of various types, I would suggest that there are many ways to solve any particular riding situation. And there are many factors to take into account, not least is price.

I would, however, offer 4 particular bits of advice:
1. Test riding is good. If you're not happy with even a short ride (comfort, control, gear changes etc) then the bike's no good for you
2. Get lower gears (you've figured that). 99% of off the shelf bikes are over-geared for the user, and I inculde high-end racing bikes.
3. Have the bike properly fit. Rivendell have probably the best advice on the web for doing it right without needing lots of fancy geometry.
4. Invest in a good saddle, that has been properly fit. I reckon the majority of riding comfort comes from keeping ones butt happy.

I have a bunch of bikes for a bunch of riding types. All slightly different and tuned to application. There's no way at a distance I could presume to figure the right bike for you (or anyone else for that matter).

Cycling, like photography, lies at the intersection of technology and art – well... perhaps a bit more technology than art... until you look at frame building. There is nothing quite as wonderful as the variety of beautiful bicycles at a North American Handmade Bicycle Show. We photographers use technology to make art; framebuilders merge technology into art.

Lens lust can’t compare to the lust I have for the machines built by Vanilla Bicycles here in Portland. Even if I had the money, there’s a five-year waiting list.

"Along the Riverbank Bike Path with
a Recumbent Bike and a Box Camera".
www.efn.org/~hkrieger/bikepath.htm

I love cameras and I love bikes and I've long made a camera/fixie analogy. To me, the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens is the fixie of the camera world. Cheap and simple, no bells or whistles, and it brings you back to the very basics of what the activity is all about.

Hey Michael,

I have been riding bikes for over fifty years, and still do. A few weeks ago we got a Mongoose 'Paver' for my wife. It think it is a lot of bike for the price - $119.00

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=8399245

Mike,

I vaguely resent that description of fixies and fixters. According to that description, the analogous camera is Holga.

For the record, I am not nearly cool enough to ride fixie. I ride fixie out of cheapness.

And if you want visibility, wunderplastic LED lights are plentiful, cheap, and do the job. And since they're LEDs instead of incandescent, battery drain isn't a huge deal.

For portage of valuables I'd suggest either a decaleur bag or a traverse saddle bag. Gilles Berthoud makes about the best on the planet. I also like Caradice for good bang for the buck. And thought I don't like the construction of the Velo Orange labeled bags they import the Ostrich brand at a fair price for a really nice bag. And since you're talking to Grant, ask him about the Nigel Smythe/Sackville/Brand V bags. All are stylish (and safe) ways to carry your camera gear.

The only indispensable accessory for a cycling photographer is a handlebar bag. If it is mounted using a Klik Fix quick-release fitting then so much the better because the bag (with a shoulder strap) easily goes with you when you leave the bike.

Most bags will accept foam pads to separate a DSLR from a lens or two, and most have an internal division or a small external zipped pocket for a spare battery.

The beauty of such a bag is that you don't have to dismount to take a shot - simply stop, stand astride the bike, open the flap of the bag that's immediately in front of you, and take out your camera. However, you do have to check that your handlebars will take the bag you choose. My "butterfly bars will mount my Agu bag, but not my wife's Altura.

Mike:

If I may (I'm going to regardless), a word of advice...

A bicycle purchase is an important one. Much like a tripod. If you really get into cycling, you will want a good one eventually, and if you go less expensive now, you will upgrade and lose money in the process. If you don't get into cycling, it will sit in your garage and collect dust.

It's funny how expensive items, for the most part, seem to retain their resale value better than inexpensive items when it comes to bikes and cameras.

I hope you find the perfect bicycle for your needs.

Parker

Ha Ha. Told Ya! Now find a bike gang to hang with (Aka, Go fast, Eat lots, check out the tight shorts...you'll figure it out). It's all good. Enjoy the ride.
My cycling Buds Blog.

http://50kloopns.blogspot.com/

Mike,

I mostly agree with Grant Peterson on bike stuff; I'm still riding; I'll be 59 in a few weeks. Saddles, are tough. Grant loves the Brooks B17, a wide saddle; for me, it was so wide that I slid forward, and ended up on the narrow part. I'm using a fairly narrow saddle. One of my saddles is the Brooks Team Pro. The one thing I would advocate on saddles is that it be firm; you sink into those cushy ones, and pretty soon blood isn't going to parts that need it, and nerves get mushed.

Saddles are probably the equivalent of camera bags, try lots, and few are right. And very individual.

Fixed gear bikes were originally track racing machines. Messengers use them to prevent theft, as they are difficult to ride, messengers are bikies, too. Track stands, anyone?

If you have to hoist the bike up any stairs then do yourself a favour and find a light bike. Apart from that, weight means more effort to accelerate and longer stopping distance when it counts.

I started riding 6 months ago. The bike has paid for itself already since I don't need to take the train any more. The camera goes in a fitted case in the backpack I ride with.

I read your site(and BTW ALWAYS order my gear thru your links) and here is a bike that just seems like the kind of thing you'd at least be interested in, if not actually buy:


http://www.pedersenbicycles.com/index.htm

Bicycles are like cameras. How many cameras do you need? Usually one more than you've got. Its the same with bikes. I must confess that I own 3 bikes;

1) Canondale T1000 - this is my general purpose do anything bike, to me its the bike version of the family wagon. I can pretty well carry anything comfortably using a combination of panniers and/or a trailer. Its good enough to do a quick metric century and comfortable enough to go touring on for several weeks at a time.

2) Giant VT 1 MTB, my play bike, it was a frivolous purchase but worth it as get a huge amount of fun out of it riding on the farm tracks and paths around here.

3) Bike Friday New World Tourist. This the bike I use when I want to multimodal travel, its also a great urban bike because it can be folded and taken into buildings so I don't have to park it on the mean streets.

As to saddles well I'm lucky in that I can sit on just about anything, my favourite is the Turbo in leather.

Carrying a camera on a bike can be a little problematic. If the main purpose of the ride is riding then a well specified compact is the way to go. But if you are going to do serious photography and the bike is transport to get to the location then a handlebar bag with foam insert is great, I've also tried using a LowePro Toploader Zoom AW with a chest harness. It works very well but my only reservation is what it looks like. Its not a good look on a bearded middle aged portly male cyclist.

If you want to be able to take quick "street" type photos, you will want to do one of two things.

1. Mount the camera to the bicycle with a cable release. Always focus first on riding the bike. Then the camera. Just like taking pictures from cars, this requires lots of shooting and lots of editing.
See my 2008 sofobomo book:
http://www.bryanwi.com/webbooks/bikecam1_book_small.v4.pdf

2. Put the camera on some kind of *chest strap* - probably with stretchy bits, and deifnitely mounted over both shoulders. Idea being that you stop, sit/stand up, and pull the camera up and shoot with it. Various folks list things like this, I've not tried any of the ones in current production.

A link to my Flickr site of a trip I did this summer... RAGBRAI... Regents Annual Great Bicycle Ride Accross Iowa. A Great time and a great way to meet fellow bicyclests... 15000 of them. You want to carry a camera for this one. Met a few bicyclests from your home state there.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/bakerdk/sets/72157622028086942/

I doubt that there's any "historical commemoration" reasoning behind some businesses deciding to remain closed on Sundays. Successful business people are much more pragmatic than that. The hugely successful Chick-fil-A restaurant chain closes on Sundays so that their employees can "rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so" (from their website). They believe this is an important part of their recipe for success. Even in the post-Christian 21st century, some businesses realize that the principle of one day of rest in seven is still a very good idea.

Tommy,

I mostly ride off road and use a camelback (a rucksack based "hydration system" for the uninitiated). I carry a DLSR in a lowe-pro toploader style case karabina'd between the shoulder straps so it hangs down from my chest. This works very well and I can get the camera to my eye extremely quickly.

The "Fixie Clone" had me in giggles. The only problem I had with that blog post is - what bag brand should I go for *now*? It says Chrome, but the post is two years old so surely we've moved on and I can risk being seen with the wrong bag! :)

(Bagels. Hmmmm. Why don't we have them over here, I'll never know. 15 McD's in my town, zero bagel place.)

Try a Jamis steel-frame bike.

They are very comfortable because the frame is more flexible than an aluminium frame.

In terms of weight they are *marginally* heavier - but for a sub $800 bike an aluminium bike won't be noticeably be lighter.

Yes, biking can be definitely fun as soon as you get over the first dry period - but this is probably quite similar to photography or many other more serious activities. Just don't overdo it, but also don't stop when the untrained muscles are aching. Try to go on easily and to get over it.

A lightwight and stiff bike like the cannondale alloy frame ones gives an earlier sense of achievement or return of invested muscular power, so it can be worth the higher price. (Otoh, reducing body mass by 2kg is supposed to be magnitudes cheaper than reducing bicycle mass...)

And you don't have to always stop the bike for taking pictures, but could resort to photographing without framing, like here:

But note that this was taken at a car free day, I would not recommend to do this in normal traffic.

The problem with a fixie is that it's a bike intended to go really slowly. Unless you're fifteen like I was when I had mine (Painted blue and white. Yes, that blue and white.)

An ancient bike, you braked by backpedalling. And the front brake was a lever. Literally. You pulled a lever on the handlebar and that would push a rubber pad against the tyre. That type of bike was popularily called "cargo bike" and now you see only old people in boondocks using them.

The point of this meandering reminiscence is that you might be satisfied by going slowly if you're looking around for photo oppportunities, but I'm certain you'll need more speed when you want just to go from one place to another. Gears.

BTW, I'm also certain that you thought about it, but pay close attention to the seat. Close attention. I find the narrow "racing" seats quite uncomfortable.

Mike, Good luck with bike selection; My unaskedfor advice: In car-infested zones, do not relax/daydream while riding. You'll need to stay alert for "...the paranoid apes in their vicious gas-buggies."(Ray Bradbury)

Come on Mike, tell us 'bout the Leica!

Mike

For pure comfort try a tadpole trike. I quit biking because I couldn't take the pressure of a regular saddle, but a tadpole trike is like riding in a beach chair. And trikes with racks can carry enormous luggage. And you can get as many gears as you want.

http://www.catrike.com/expedition.htm

About the only disadvantage of a trike is that your butt is planted in an easy chair, so you feel every road bump. The Germans have a solution - the trike with a suspension system to absorb the bumps.

http://www.hpvelotechnik.com/produkte/scorpion/bodylinksitz_e.html

If I understood the advantages of a trike with suspension when I was shopping I probably would have gotten an HP Scorpion rather than a Catrike.

One of the best things is that when you come to a stop you just comfortably sit there in your rolling beach chair until you are ready to go again.

You do need to wear bike shoes with cleats with a trike which are a bit geeky. But if your foot falls off the pedal of a trike at speed you leg tends to be swept under the bike and suffer big time. So you want your feet firmly attached to the pedals.

just thought you would like to know that 'fixies' and their variants are the de facto rides in india (and to an extent, in china)

probably the most popular bike in south india:
https://www.ticyclesindia.com/ProductFeatures.asp?pid=68


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