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...
-Charlotte

10 comments:

Andy B from Jersey said...

Charlotte, I like your taste in bikes! Your and Andy's collection is strangely similar to my own. Lugged Italian road bikes, old Indy Fab Deluxe, a Brompton, several 3-Speeds including a Raliegh all topped of with Brooks saddles.

Shame about the old Raleigh. I lost an old 3-speed very much the same way but I saved the parts and used them again. Wouldn't surprise me if you could still fix though.

kpankow said...

Which is Charlotte's blog?

chic cyclist said...

Andy,
Thanks! We do indeed have the same tastes! I'd love to see your bikes.

It is a shame about the yellow Raleigh. The parts are getting recycled by the man with the basement and the line on other used bikes, which will be a lot better than me holding on to them.

-Charlotte

chic cyclist said...

kpankow,
My (brand new!) blog is linked above.

I should also clarify for everyone that my commuter is an old 10 speed Dawes with a Carradice bag.

-Charlotte

Anonymous said...

Charlotte,

I live in Boston too! That's a great bike you've got there, and those Japanese fenders you have there are great -- definitely on my wanted list.

Like kpankow, i couldn't find any link to your blog. But more importantly, who is this guy on craiglist, and how do i find him?

cheers,
Geoff
Jamaica Plain, MA

Anonymous said...

d'oh!

just saw the link to you user name. silly me.

Geoff

Zakkaliciousness said...

Hey I like this readers' bikes feature! i feel like i've invited some friends into a room and they're all having a lovely time together!

thanks to the lads for suggesting it.

chic cyclist said...

Geoff,
I got the Dawes from a bloke named Ian - if you search the bike section of Boston Craigslist for that name he always lists his bikes with his name and phone number, and never a photo. It's worth calling though, he has a basement full of bicycles waiting to roll again. You never know what he'll have on a given week.
-Charlotte

Andy B from Jersey said...

Gotta' get around to photographing my bikes one day. Maybe the fine chaps here wouldn't mind doing a feature since I don't have my own blog or flickr account. Still hooked on film too (I love my old indestructible, totally manual Minolta SLR along with Velvia and Kodachrome).

Anonymous said...

The Cayne Cykel (made by Sun Bikes) looks like a nice replacement for your Raleigh. Good price, too. Drawback: no chainguard.