I’m sure at this point my hordes of readers are wondering what kind of mean machine gets me to work every day (or at least 3 times a week). Here’s some info on good ol’ Pinkie. I’ve made a few modifications since I started commuting (like putting on new tires; the originals were pretty worn and dried out after 15 years) but most of what I’ve got on there now can be bought at your local Target or on Amazon.com.
There’s the bike. It is a 1990 Schwinn Frontier. As you can see, it’s bright, bright pink. When I was 10, this was an asset. Actually, now it is, too, as I can leave my bike unlocked anywhere in town and no one will steal it. I joke because I love, Pinkie!
This Bell bike basket was donated to me by a co-worker whose daughter decided not to use it (doubtless she was far cooler than I). This happened over the summer, when I was eager to seize on anything that meant I did not have to carry my backpack on my back (the ensuing sweat spot was not office-friendly). Later I used it for grocery store runs, etc. If I buy another basket, I’ll spring for one that’s mounted on to the bike frame — when you get more than a few pounds in this one, steering is difficult. For free, though, you can’t beat it.
Commuting after dark is still something I’m a little leery of. But now that dark comes at 4:30 it’s pretty much unavoidable. The larger light was the first one I bought. It may be good for being seen, but it’s no brighter than your average flashlight. It was a cheapo, came as part of a pack with a flashing tail light that I like much better (think the brand is Back Trails). So after a few scary rides home I bought the Schwinn brand light on the right. Though it’s smaller, it’s much brighter (an LED). Now I use the weaker light as my spotlight and train it on the street. Works pretty well.
This was a good buy. It stays on or flashes in one of three different patterns. I feel like people behind me can see me well, and am thinking of getting another one to wear on my helmet. It’s just clipped to the seat and I’ve yet to lose it.
I bought this thinking to free myself from the basket. But so far I haven’t even used it — in fact, I had it for several months before a friend kindly helped me install it (my seatpost was rusted and wouldn’t come out). I like seeing my purse in front of me instead of wondering whether it’s fallen off halfway to the office. Plus the thing is only mounted to the seatpost and can’t hold more than 20 pounds, which means no panniers. I have however used the red bungee that came with it to tie my Christmas tree to the back of my Mustang, so that’s something.
So that’s it. Maybe later I’ll show you my dorky helmet and jerryrigged ear coverings…but I really shouldn’t punish those who have made it this far. If you have any terrific suggestions for what should be on my bike instead of these items, please advise in the comments!