When we lived in California and I was working a few miles from home in Berkeley (in the gorgeous Strawberry Creek Design Center), I was able to realize one of my persistent romantic fantasies — a bicycle commute! I’d hitch up the Burley bike trailer to my mountain bike, get Callum snugly settled inside, and take off down the greenbelt path to his family day care. I’d drop him off, park the Burley there, and resume pedaling for the Berkeley office. There was even a shower there, though I never really had to use it.
In my fantasies, I also cycle through the streets of Paris, stopping by farmers’ markets to get the freshest bread, soft creamy cheese, haricot verts and strawberries — placing them all in a woven basket on the front of my bike and riding back to the gourmet kitchen of my pied-à-terre. Ok, ok, so that’s going a bit too far from reality.
The reality is that I’ve rarely used a bike for utilitarian purposes. What has kept me from bicycle commuting in all my other gigs? Distance, stuff to carry, fear of sweat and weather, unsuitability of wardrobe. Today, I came upon a cool Kickstarter project that might address some of these objections for people (though it’s not clear what the price point will end up being).
It’s an electric-assisted bike, the Faraday Porteur, that can provide 10-15 miles of assistance on one charge, and charges up in 45 minutes.
This bike is gorgeous in a retro geek-chic kind of way and it’s relentlessly practical with built-in lights and a platform for clip-on carrying racks. The battery isn’t glaringly obvious. I’m dying to try the “turbo” mode for going up hills or against headwinds. I kicked in a couple of bucks to help bring the designers’ vision to fruition. Perhaps you’d like to do the same.
(via Laughing Squid)