13 March 2008

Readers' Bikes: Charlotte's Carradice in Boston

Boston is a notoriously unfriendly city for cyclists. The drivers here are legendary. I had the opportunity to live in Paris for a year where I developed the skills I needed to be more confident with urban cycling. I returned from Paris and fell in love with my first commuter bike:

I was devastated when it suffered a catastrophic failure.

I looked for ages to find just the right bike. There is a man here in Boston who finds old bikes that people are throwing away and fixes them up to sell on Craigslist. I called him about a bike he'd actually already sold and so we discussed my options. None were very exciting.

There was a moment of silence.

Then he told me he had a special bike that had been sitting in his basement for three years, waiting for the right buyer. He described it and it was intriguing. I showed up to see it and it turned out to be the right size and "my" color. The sale was a foregone conclusion. I really should get some more photos for you of the lug work, it is stunning. I am still updating and improving it for its new life as an urban cycle.

There is my bike and the outline of how I got here. I'm working on encouraging a number of women I know in America to get bikes, and so I've recently started a blog of my own, with yours as one of my inspirations.

Thank you for all your work, sharing cycling...