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My Pick-Up Grocery Bike

19 September 2010 No Comment

I built this bike from pieces left over from other projects, bikes I found in garbage piles, bikes left next to dumpsters, and a few small but crucial parts from The Austin Yellow Bike Project. After completing it and riding it for about a month now, I am convinced that it’s a viable set-up for more than just trips to the grocery store.

This build centers on a Spalding “Blade” ladies hybrid frame that was left in the garbage at my old place here in Austin. The geometry is not super aggressive, but it’s very up-right — definitely not a “cruiser.” That helps when tackling the small but frequent hills in Austin. It’s a single speed but pretty easy (170mm cranks, 39-16 gear ratio), which also helps. This thing is set up strictly as an around-town bike and not one that you would consider taking on long treks.

The front end sports a basket I found on an old Schwinn someone left by a dumpster here in Austin (that I will likely rebuild later), handlebars from a mountain bike someone was throwing away in Dothan, Alabama (I used to run them on my old Schwinn fixed-gear), and front and rear caliper brakes (from the parts pile).

I’ve had these rear baskets since the eighth grade. I believe they were left in the garage of the house my family moved into then. Somehow they’ve survived fifty-odd moves and are now firmly affixed to this build. There are lighter, easier ways to haul things on one’s bicycle, but this bike was built for next-to-nothing and is probably the most useful bike I have. I rode it everywhere exclusively for two weeks straight after I finished it, and I have to say that it’s perfect for running errands around town — and damn fun to ride.