While Albert Einstein might’ve championed the bicycle as the ideal transport, the trusty two wheeled formula is sometimes lacking in the narrow lanes of today’s concrete jungles. No doubt the boy’d be proud of the various ways city-peeps are using their intellects to remix the deadly treadly.
The 3-Day Wheelie
If you’ve ever seen a cyclist balance on their back wheel and ride an entire block, then turn a corner, you already understand how the bicycle transcends mere ‘transportation’, how two wheels can have more style than four ( skateboards excepted ), and just how delicious biking can be in da urban terrain. A few quick mods later and it just gets better.
Undisputed Lords of the extended bicycle fork ( that’s the bit holding your front wheel to the frame ), C.H.U.N.K 666 take the chopper to crazy new lengths and include instructions for modifying your own. Nothing like an extended pair of chops for your street cred. And while you’re at it, may as well throw on an extended set of handlebars to round out a perfect Easy Rider profile.
You don’t have to be a stairs leaping courier to enjoy the satisfaction of good shox. Even just the addition of front suspension will do much for your riding-pleasure. Add a bouncy rear and you’ll be cycling everyday. On the other hand ( or cheek) a banana seat won’t provide the cushy ride of a dual suspensioned beastie, but what’s a little pain in the face of such effortless chic?
If you wanna get really comfy, recumbent (sit-down ) bikes are truly the bomb for the cosy-assed commuter. More ergonomic for your legs and back too. Greenspeed (www.greenspeed.com.au) in Melbourne are renowned for their 3 wheeled recumbents, and Sydney folk can test ride the comfort of a recumbent at Flying Furniture (www.flyingfurniture.com.au).
The simple addition of bicycle racks, and/or a stylish lightweight trailer behind your bike, can further do away with your need for a car. Make your own, or try the range at Cheeky Monkey (www.cheekymonkey.com.au) in Syd or downstairs with the infamous Space Station kids (www.spacestation.org.au) in Melbourne.
Greenspeed also sell a range of solar-assisted bikes, which with a little solar powered engine, give you extra power up hills. A range of fuel-based bike engines are also available, but if you’re bothering to use a bike you’d probably appreciate the lack of emissions anyway. Lighter frames help you get around faster, and word on the street is that ye olde recumbents are ultimately the fastest type of bicycle. Partially due to their closeness to the ground and partially the different ways it utilises your leg muscles (remember them?).
On The Road
Once your bike has been successfully remixed – time to join the monthly rides at Critical Mass (www.criticalmass.org.au), or catch some of the truly freaky vehicled action organised through the OZ-Human Powered Vehicle crew
( http://sunsite.anu.edu.au/community/ozhpv ). And for the vid-inclined, try capturing some of your new-found pedalling delight for New Yorkï¿½s Bicycle Film Festival www.bicyclefilmfestival.com ( May 8-11).