Dwell on Commuter Cycling

The November issue of Dwell Magazine has a nice feature and photo essay highlighting the (hopefully popular) trend of urban cycling.  It’s light on text but heavy on bikes, bags, and gear to assist any newbie in hammering out the logistics of every day city cycling.  Check out the slideshows featuring commuter bikes, messenger bags, and accessories.  After all, owning a chic little city big is worthless if you don’t have some cargo capacity right?

I’m a big advocate of utilitarian cycling – or the every day use of bikes as transportation.  Whether commuting to work, running errands, or just getting from A to B, in many cities it’s much more convenient than using a car, keeps you active, and often much faster than using transit.

My only contrarian angle would be that some of this gear is, well, way too nice.  Many of us live in environments where we get bombarded with rain, snow, slush, and worse – thieves.  And we share our parking spaces other bikes which can scratch and chip our nice new gear.  It’s often better to just pick up a used beater bike, tune it up, and use that for your daily errands.  I prefer function over fashion anyway.  Still this is a pretty cool slideshow, and a hip way to roll around town.

Don’t forget to study up on “vehicular cycling” too.   Know the rules of the road to protect yourself.

Dwell article by Chelsea Holden Baker and photos by Andy Reynolds.  Pictured left:  Kona Bike’s “Ute”  and the Tektonic Messenger Bag by Silent Revolution.

6 thoughts on “Dwell on Commuter Cycling

  1. Def. much better to get used stuff. Unless you’re out in the country or biking for pure sport, it’s not worth having your stuff stolen.

    The thing I worry about is that most US cities are not designed to handle large numbers of bicyclists. It could get dangerous out there…and not for the car drivers!

  2. Thanks Fox. I do think cities are getting better. I recently visited Chicago and was quite impressed at their establishment of bike routes, bike lanes, and biking infrastructure compared to recent years.

    Smart cities are encouraging bike transit as a viable solution to traffic congestion, especially combined with transit.

    The only downfall is our horribly designed far flung suburbs and exurbs. I agree with you – I don’t care to bike on or adjacent to a six lane arterial. That and the winding streets are a maze to navigate, and the trails, which are sold as recreational facilities, don’t go anywhere near shopping or services.

    Thanks for the note – have a great weekend! james…

  3. Hi James,

    thanks for the mention! It’s been exciting to see how popular bikes have been up against home products. Truth be told, they are all nicer than my bike, which I got on Craigslist and ride to work.

    Anyway, the slideshow is light on text because the November issue is on newsstands. In the article BikeHugger and I review 6 bikes– Check it out!


  4. Hi Chelsea – thanks for the note. Here’s the link to BikeHugger. I’ve never seen that site before and it looks great. Laid out well and lots of useful info!

    Take care – james…

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