Henry’s own daily ride

You’ve probably never even thought about what bike the owner of WorkCycles rides every day. Fortunately that won’t stop me from showing you anyway. So here it is, in all its unwashed glory, plucked right from the street for its own, unglamourous photo shoot. I left the lock on the handlebars because I never ride without it. No gleaming, lustrous paint, polished anything, fancy parts, hydraulic anything or obsession about saddle care to be found here. Just to note: this Brooks B66 saddle was found on an abandoned bike and had probably sagged to death before I was even born. All the better – nobody will steal it.

My bike is an outdoor dog and that’s just a fact of life around the center of Amsterdam. Its about three years old and always sleeps chained to a lamppost right in front of our house. I ride it a couple times almost every day, for everything from commuting to riding to the station with a suitcase for traveling. There’s also a hitch that tows a nifty Carry Freedom trailer when the load gets too big. My wife Kyoko sometimes sits on the top tube, since I’ve no rear carrier… or at least she did until we had a baby a couple months ago. We have no car and I’m not much of a tram fan so the bike gets ridden in sun, rain, hail and snow. I enjoy almost all of it.

This bike gets cleaned only during repairs, which are extremely seldom. Nonetheless, it is smooth and silent and has never let me down: the lights have worked without a single failure, there are no gears to go out of adjustment, the brakes brake just fine, nothing has ever broken and probably never will. I can’t even recall ever having a puncture in this bike. Yes, I’m knocking wood right now. I pump the tires up either when I remember to, or the rims begin bottoming on the ground.

My bike has, however, been damaged for me, as described in this earlier post. Occasionally my bike falls or gets knocked over while parked. It has also inadvertently (and maybe not so accidentally) inflicted damage on some cars, as seen in the red streak of paint on the front carrier. That resulted in a car mirror flying though the air. Oops.

By no means is this my only bicycle but it is my only city bike and the one I ride 99% of the time. I love it but don’t obsess about it.

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4 Responses to “Henry’s own daily ride”

  1. mindcaster Says:

    Nice post, Henry. I’m doing everything I can to get my bike to look a little worn…it’s a tough job! Bring on that winter :-p

  2. henry Says:

    Matte black paint and Scotchbrite sanding pads help. Hell, your Sparta is aluminium; you could sand that right to raw metal without causing damage ;-)

    I actually fake “rusted” a couple bikes a while back. Matte spray lacquer dotted with iron oxide powder is very convincing, even on non-ferrous materials, plastic etc.

    -H

  3. Ned Says:

    Hi Henry,
    Just wondering what bike this is?
    Opa? SS?

  4. henry Says:

    Ned,
    The frame is from a Secret Service but the rest is all prototype, test pieces or scavenged from the reuse bins in our shops. I use my own bikes to test parts, experiment with steering geometry etc.

    Since these pictures in 2008 the bike has changed a little: The tires are now white. The taillamp migrated to the left rear dropout, it has a better B&B IQ Cyo headlamp and the decals were updated to the current downtube version.

    This bike now lives at our Lijnbaansgracht shop since I ride a Fr8 to carry the kids. Perhaps I’ll sell the black bike some day but in the meantime it helps sell a lot of bikes.

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