Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Man Bag

Built a new bike this weekend that I'm calling "The Man Bag" in tribute to a color scheme that would be equally at home inside of a cupcake shop as it is on this bicycle.

The Man Bag wiggled into my life last week when I discovered an old Raleigh Technium hanging in my soon to be father-in-law's garden shed. Obscured by 20 years of dust and lawn mower exhaust, the true condition of the bike was difficult to determine.

I was nonetheless drawn in by the butted aluminum frame with internal cable routing and multiple shades of baby blue. This was more than a department store cruiser.

As I studied the decades-old pedaller hanging upside down above the snow blower, I saw potential for a grand polo machine or, at the very least, a fixed gear bicycle with enough street cred to validate any rider in skinny jeans and a welding cap.

So I asked for it. And it was given to me.

The bike originally belonged to my girlfriend's brother. It was no doubt purchased with lawn mowing earnings in the 80's and ridden with tube socks for the first 400 miles of it's life. But it has hung undisturbed in a 12'x20' shed ever since.

Until last week.

One wheelset and one trip to Cycle Circle later, I amassed the pile of bits and pieces that created the baby-blue chocolate sensation that you see before you today.

I tend to over-invest in projects that look simple from the get go. And this build was no exception.

With a single/fixed flip-flop hub and bars cut down for polo, this machine is ready for the hard court. But something tells me this bike is going to spend more time locked up outside of local pubs and eateries.

And for a bicycle named The Man Bag, a life of coffee shops and street festivals may be the most appropriate of destinies. The Man Bag is simply too pretty to be subjected to repeated lashings with a mallet. This ride will be more at home when paired delicately with a shade tree, soy latte and a fresh cupcake.

Perhaps we should toss this one to the skinny jeans.


  1. Fabulous color, and the name is brave.

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