Archive for the ‘Useful Things’ Category

Woman on the street: “Are you Dutch?” Me: “No, just the bike.” Woman: “Classic Amsterdam!”

It’s a box of cushions, so it doesn’t weigh as much as it looks it might, but it’s still a huge awkward box. The bakfiets doesn’t care. The only differences between carrying this and other loads is you need a little more room around cars and you can’t see exactly into which potholes the front […]

If you want, the bakfiets can take the place of a car. That’s what it does. You don’t need to live in a place without hills. You don’t need Dutch cycling infrastructure (although I wouldn’t turn it down). You need only a fair amount of urban density and the patience to ride a bike more […]

Hand made


I didn’t understand cycling caps until very recently. I thought the bills were for show and the style was for Bushwick hipsters, but it turns out they’re just as practical as a ball cap in the outfield. In the winter, about all I ever wear is a wool cap with earflaps from Walz. It keeps […]

At fourteen months, the twins aren’t yet walking enough to go anywhere without a stroller, especially if only one of us is taking them. It’s winter and the wind is gusting to 35mph today, so the cover is on to keep their faces from turning pink. With the cover on, you can’t carry anything in […]

Back on the Raleigh today after nearly a week breaking in the bakfiets. Riding to work felt like I’d stepped out of the on-deck circle and slipped the donuts off my bat. The old steel of the Raleigh rode like it was built for the Tour in comparison. I like to talk about frame weight […]

Oil your chain. You’ll feel better!

The fancy/weight rule states that as the cost and/or mass of a vehicle increases, its driver cedes proportionally more culpability for his or her actions on the road, with a special obliviousness reserved for cyclists. I found myself unwittingly in a proof last Thursday night when a certain Mr. Porsche cut in front of me […]

First ride


We had a snow day from work. Only the snow didn’t come until late in the day, so we set the kids off on their first ride to pick up blizzard supplies from Nana, like dutiful New Englanders. R was smiling long after he came inside and G fell asleep on the way home. It […]

… is a bike! It’s a Dutch bike and it’s called a bakfiets, which translates literally to box-bike. (Quick Dutch lesson: fiets = bike. That’s the singular. In Dutch, the suffix -en denotes the plural, the same way in English we say ox and oxen. So: many bikes are fietsen; many boxbikes are bakfietsen. Bike […]