Showing posts with label cruiser. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cruiser. Show all posts

24 September 2010

Selling Bicycles With Johnny Loco

Johnny Loco 04
Dutch brand Johnny Loco seem to understand that tech-geek advertising for their products won't attract a mainstream clientele - the clientele that is the most lucrative, by the way. Their cheeky, picante and not a little bizarre marketing in these photos show that they understand how to create awareness around their brand and the are clearly aiming for Citizen Cyclists with their angle.
Johnny Loco 01 Johnny Loco 02

Johnny Loco 03

Johnny Loco 05

15 March 2010

The Joy of Bicycles in Mexico City

Reforma Sunday Angel
After my recent visit to México City I am left with a myriad of impressions from all the different events. I'll get to blogging about them but sitting here wondering where to start there is one thing that keeps elbowing itself to the forefront of my mind.

Joy. The joy of cycling.

Each Sunday, the massive Reforma boulevard in the heart of the city is closed off to cars until 14:00. The citizens of the city take to Reforma to... go for a bike ride.

I've been on bike rides in many cities over the past couple of years but for some reason the experience in Mexico City last week was simplified and yet poignant. When riding in the very inspiring Critical Mass in Budapest you are actutely aware that there is a purpose overshadowing the simple art of going for a bike ride. There is politics and societal change on a big ol' soapbox. Which is great, sure, but in Mexico City it was just... a bike ride.

Thousands of people enjoying the simple joy of cycling. Not out to prove anything, not intent on being seen and keen to show off their 'gear' or what have you. Just families, friends, couples riding up and down the boulevard.

I can't actually remember experiencing this sensation before on my copenhagenize travels. Perhaps the bike ride in La Rochelle, France comes close, but it is still far off the mark.

Reforma Sunday Smile
This smile from one of four young friends on funky bicycles says it all. Summed up right there.

Reforma Sunday Family Reforma Sunday Crowd_1
Reforma Sunday Father Daughte Reforma Sunday Family Crowd
The number of families, large and small, was amazing. So many kids, too. Reforma has a the smoothest, newest asphalt surface so it was wonderful to ride on.

The idea stems from Bogotá, where these closed off streets have been happening for a few years. It's a brilliant idea and a great step on the way to reestablishing the bicycle on the urban landscape. I have heard, however, that the police in Bogotá are now confiscating bicycles from people who don't wear a helmet. [No reports of car confiscations for automotive traffic violations]. So thanks, Bogotá, for the previous inspiration. Hope you enjoyed your stay in the urban cycling spotlight. Shame you have to go.

Reforma Sunday Piggyback Reforma Sunday Father and Daughter 2
Here's my friend Peter handing out a flyer for the Dreams on Wheels exhibition to a father and daughter. And, on the right, a dad on a Kickbike giving his daughter a push.

The street is closed to traffic but there are a couple of massive roundabouts where we had to stop for cross traffic. I'm guessing we had a stretch of about 4 km to ride on, not including the traffic calmed old town up near Zocalo. Eight lanes of take-it-easy and enjoy-the-ride goodness in the splendid Mexican sun. Far from any destructive and virtually pornographic obsession with safety.

Reforma Sunday Pink Trike Reforma Sunday Trike
I loved seeing the great numbers of kids on trikes or bikes with training wheels out with their mums and dads.
Reforma Sunday Chopper Heaven
Bicycle-wise, there was the wildest collection of bikes to be seen. Old cruisers, chunky mountain bikes, Chinese workhorse bikes, you name it. And, like above, an astonishing number of retro-chopper bikes, like right out of my childhood. Unbelievable.

Reforma Sunday I Bike CPH
And the ever-present I Bike CPH t-shirt.
Reforma Sunday Dog
And dogs in baskets.
Reforma Sunday Standing Room
And the occasional new bike from Mexico City's recently launched Ecobici bike share programme.

Ah. The simple joy of going for a bike ride.

27 November 2009

Fretsche - Swiss Morphed Bicycles

The Studie Bubentraum by Thomas Neeser.

Thomas in Switzerland emailed me a while back about his diploma project from Zürich's University of Art and Design. The project involved taking old bicycles and redesigning / morphing them into new and interesting forms. Quite brilliant designs, if you ask me - which you didn't.

The Albisreiden Touring by Thomas Neeser.

The project was a great success and now Thomas continues his artistic and design journey by converting other peoples' bicycles. Thomas' website is and while it's in German, if you click on Modelle on the menu, you can see a bike, mouse over the photo and see the original version.

The Selnau Deluxe by Thomas Neeser.

This is my favourite. The Selnau Deluxe.

Congratulations to Thomas for winning a prestigious design prize at the Blickfang design and fashion event in Zürich last week.

11 December 2008

Worksman Industrial Bicycles

Thanks to Alex in NYC for letting us know about Worksman Cycles. He was doing a bit of research about NYC's pizza delivery bikes - the ones with a box on the front - and stumbled upon this company.

Founded in 1898, Worksman Cycles call themselves the oldest bicycle manufacturer in the USA. They produce human-powered transport for industrial and recreational use and it is wonderful to see all the cargo bikes and trikes they build.

The photo above is from their Photo Gallery, featuring an IBM repairman ca. 1957 on his cargo bike.

Here's an interesting variation on the kid carrying theme. I love the cosy canopy. Worksman Cycles state on their website that "Worksman Cycles has long been known as the world-leader in Industrial Cycles (Bicycles and Tricycles)".

A bit farfetched perhaps... what is the yardstick? Most bicycles sold? The most recognisable cargo bike brand in marketing surveys? Who knows. Maybe they could follow Carlsberg's lead. Their 'Probably the Best Beer in the World...' slogan is an advertising legend.

But let's not let a bit of exageration get in the way of what it a fine fleet of industrial bikes. Ice cream tricycles with umbrella and bell options, pizza bikes, 'hot rod' trikes and even cruisers.

About the cruisers they write; "These incredibly durable Worksman Cruisers are used by all major Downhill companies in Maui with over 40,000,000 miles (that's right...40 million miles) of tough use over the past 20 years". I don't know what a Downhill company is, but that's a lot of miles.
The bike above is equipped with coaster brakes. None of those high-maintenence, cumbersome cable thingys.

This is one of their 'hot rods'. Interestingly, you'll see versions of these in Denmark but they are usually used by elderly and handicapped citizens:

It's impressive that an American bicycle company has been around since 1898 and that it survived the car boom. Perhaps their ice cream trikes - a staple feature in neighbourhoods in North America for decades - were the key to survival. The prices of their bikes and trikes seem quite affordable, too. The website has an old school charm that signals these people are more content with making their bikes than worrying about navigation and graphic design. No nonsense. Just elbow grease. Which is quite lovely.

Check out their accessories page, too. Flashing pedals, bike racks, ice cream bells, baskets and stuff.

Cargo bikes are booming all over the place. New brands are popping up and that's great. It's also great that Worksman Cycles have been around the whole time and are still making their bikes.

28 August 2008

Bike Ride in Berlin

One of our readers, Kristin, sent us a link to a bike ride in Germany called Sternfahrt back in June.

"I just wanted to show you this as a nice summary of all kinds of Berlin cyclists (beginning with racers, tour cyclists, ending with normal commuters and some freaks).

"On this Polish website are some photos from the so-called "Sternfahrt" in Berlin ( , where people bike from towns outside Berlin on different routes to the city-center.
This Polish group started in Eberswalde. The ride was full of normal Berlin cyclists.
This took place on a Sunday at temperatures around 30 degrees."

It's always great to see glimpses of cyclists from other European countries and the Sternfahrt looks like great fun. Thanks, Kristin, for sending us the link to the photos.

Berlin is a fine cycling city. I've ridden around it many a time and it's the quickest way to get from A to B. Berlin has made an effort to increase the number of intra-neighbourhood trips made by bicycle. There are efforts for increasing the number of cyclists commuting from the suburbs, but this intra-neighbourhood angle seems to be a good way to reduce short trips made by car.

It's an angle that other cities are adopting. The entire Vélib' scheme in Paris is geared at helping people choose the bike for short trips. It's a tall order for cities without any major urban cycling tradition to all of a sudden build bike lanes and infrastructure from distant suburbs into the city centre. Intra-neighbourhood trips are a good place to start. Isn't this what we we're seeing in New York City?

I have a number of photos of Berlin Bike Culture over at Flickr if anyone is interested.