This bicycle is my main ride, my daily driver.
It is fully equipped with lights, fenders, racks, a front basket and a saddlebag. It's got a wide gear range, powerful brakes and flat pedals. The saddle is leather and is super comfortable, as are the shellacked cork grips.
Despite appearances, this bicycle isn't sluggish. Its wide, supple tires (Compass Snoqualmie Pass, 700c x 44mm) offer a super smooth ride, plenty of grip and surprising speed. With these tires, I feel that I can ride anywhere in and around Putney: on pavement, dirt roads, gravel, and dirt trails in the woods. In the winter, these get swapped out for a pair of 45NRTH Gravdal studded tires.
This is the kind of bike that I get on and think, "Ah, this feels just right!" From the way the saddle has broken in, to the way my feet hit the pedals and my hands rest on the cork grips, to the way the bike handles and responds to my efforts. It all just clicks and works so well together.
A beautiful, custom-made saddlebag by Dave Cain of Waxwing Bag Company in Waitsfield, VT adds to the bike's practicality.
The bag support rack was made by me. It's just big enough to support the saddlebag and to keep it up and out of the way of my legs as I pedal.
It's hard to see in these pics, but I added a M5-threaded boss to the steel rack support strut (the shapely, waterjet-cut black piece underneath the rack) to act as a fender eyelet. Securing the front of the fender like this greatly increases fender rigidity.
The rear tail light is battery powered, and doubles as a reflector. It is bolted to the fender. I also have a rear light "tab" on the saddlebag, in case I feel a need to add a second light for safety.
Hubs by Phil Wood: sealed bearings, steel axles, almost zero maintenance.
Speedplay pedals and Deore drivetrain. A third set of water bottle bosses are under the down tube in case I'd like to carry extra water for a really long ride.
My cast and enameled head badge! Sometimes I line up the flat head screws in line with the graphics on the badge. Other times I let the screws orient themselves.
I love to build practical, versatile bicycles. A bike like this can become your main mode of transportation, even a car replacement. Besides running errands, a bike like this is a great tool for getting away on the weekends, for longer tours, and for just riding around (the best kind of riding, sometimes). Transportation can be fun and can give you a workout at the same time!