Urban Road Biking: America Takes On a New Passion!
06:50:17 PM Tuesday Jun 30, 2009
I live in a Boston neighborhood full of college kids called Allston. Allston is all about college life, party time on weekends, good asian food, guys and girls with hoodies, tight black jeans and a few dimes in their pocket. No fancy cars even if there is a porshe and bmw dealership although these are targetted for the posh BU kids. The trend on the streets is two-wheelers: bikes, bikes and more bikes. These kids have developed biking to another level. Most bikes are the road or track type stripped to the bare minimum. You see vintage bikes, the likes of motobecane, peugeot and Shwinn pimped up with the latest gear and sometimes with none at all. The minimalistic design of these bikes is not straight from the factory. These people are either amazing hands-on craftsmen or save as much money as they can and pay a guru to transform their bike. Sometimes even the expert cannot recognize the brands of frames, because perhaps they were hand-made, and solid color-sprayed. You see strong tires, all kinds and shapes of handlebars, brakes, gear shifters or fixed gearers. Most of the time the owners would have converted the bike from multiple gear to fixed gear for an extra touch of minimalism and to lose a couple of pounds. On their journey through the busy streets, they're reasonable enough to wear a helmet, roll their tight jeans up to the calf, protect their books and stuff in a messenger bag. I got so intrigued by this new trend, and after searching a long time for a hand-made Allston-style bike, I settled for a road bike a friend of mine was selling. A black demon, light as the wind and a great companion. I am still learning the road biking techniques especially in a city where drivers are not accustomed to bicycles sharing the road with them. I am envisioning that I will render my bike into a minimalistic design and perhaps spray-paint it something totally bizarre. For the meantime, my trips to the neighborhood mosque YUSUF MOSQUE have been tiring. My hands, legs and back are soar.
To get an idea how these wind riders are operating in Allston, Cambridge, Boston and NYC, check out these videos ~ This stuff is HOT!
The first two and last bike in the photos are designed GEEK HOUSE, a Boston small shop that's whipping some stunning handmade bikes. Check out the man at work:
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