So, with the Africa Bike back on the road (just in time, the car is away for a week!) we now have a full set of bikes. Here’s just a few of them in a bundle:
From back to front:
Caz’s Gazelle Impala 7 with basket and silver Clarjis bags,
Big Blue Bakfiets with orange Clarjis bags,
Caz’s Custom Thorn kiddy-back tandem with SON and Rohloff. Attached to it but just out of shot is her (third!) Burley trailer.
And my Africa bike.
With the exception of the Thorn these are our ‘outside’ bikes. Everyday bikes which spend their whole lives in the *outdoors. In the coming weeks I’m planning to introduce y’all to these bikes individually. Why? Because these are tools, built to do a job. Not super high mileage bikes, not road bikes or dirt bikes. No exotic materials here. Just ordinary – dare I day boring? – everyday workhorses. They are answers to individual questions. Such as ‘How do I deliver a ten year old and a five year old to school and bring home the shopping?’ They are all very capable and share some things in common – such as high bars and hub gears – but different in their specifics.
Yeahbut. Why? Because if we want people to give up their cars we need to present them with realistic practical alternatives. And somewhere in that pile is the ultimate utility bike. Or perhaps its mummy.
It’s extremely unlikely that the quest for the ultimate utility bike will result in just one bike which can do it all. But that shouldn’t stop us seeking it. I’m really enjoying the journey.
*Of course the real reason these bikes are ‘outside’ bikes is because there is no room in the garage. Because it’s full of bikes.