Mrs Armitage’s Wheels, Redux

Whoops, did I really think a year or so back that my bike had reached peak Fred? Since then I have not only added a hub dynamo (and a cow-patterned pannier bag) but the other half also got me a dynamo-driven rear light which he fitted a few weeks back in time for the nights closing in. This necessitated a cascade of changes (which seems to be the law for any bike modification): the rear light wouldn’t fit on my back rack, so a new rack with a light mount had to be purchased and then it emerged that my bike had no rack braze-ons despite looking like a touring bike.* The old rack had been inventively bodged on by Common Wheel when they fitted out the bike, and the other half had to equally inventively bodge the new one on, a job which involved finding a nice piece of alloy, machine tools and some whistling and sorting through his screw collection. Rack bodged, light fitted, and it emerged that my lock could now no longer be bungeed securely to the top of it (or even insecurely; to be honest it had already had a tendency to leap suicidally into traffic whenever I hit a pothole).

large pannier bag

Previous lock-carrying bodge.

Now, while any sort of practical modification to a bike tends to increase its freddishness, especially if it looks a bit eccentric and proper cyclists sneer at it (see also kickstands, mudguards), I would maintain that true fredism is achieved when the modifications are also home-made, unique and improvised from unlikely materials, ideally recycled.

I therefore present to you my hand-carved varnished wooden-and-recycled-inner-tube lock-carrying solution, courtesy of the other half, much shed time and a number of design iterations.

lock carrying solution

Pleasingly minimal yet secure (so far…)

And yes, I know one can buy a plastic lock carrying bracket thing for your frame but where’s the fun in that?

As a bonus, the top of the rear rack is now free, which means I can investigate the practicalities of fitting a rear crate on the back, which will increase its freddishness further but may necessitate another cascade of changes to allow me to continue to use the cow pannier as well. I suspect further bodging may be in prospect.

* I write that as if I knew what it meant, but all I really know about braze-ons  is that every bike seems to have to have a unique combination of them and that any attempt to fit anything on a bike ends up with somebody sucking their teeth and explaining that it can’t be done because you don’t have the right ones for that particular thing.

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8 Responses to Mrs Armitage’s Wheels, Redux

  1. Steven Hope says:

    If your man likes to bodge things, here’s a non-Fred rack to make: http://wp.me/s3jy2S-deluxe

  2. disgruntled says:

    That’s gorgeous (and I would say gloriously Fred-like in a good way)

  3. “…and proper cyclists sneer at it (see also kickstands, mudguards),…”

    Ah yes. You too, eh. I left my local “cycling club” (after several years of active membership, including serving on the committee) after I was told on two seperate occasions that I wasn’t a “proper cyclist”. I left because I didn’t know what one of those was and wasn’t interested in finding out. I suspect that it partly stemmed from my retort when asked if I wanted to take part in a ten mile time trial series. I said that if I wanted to be ten miles away in twenty minutes I’d take a bloody taxi. Well, maybe that and my prediliction for stopping to admire the view rather than the guy in front’s back wheel.

    My recent n+1s might cause my former clubmates’ to sneer themselves into orbit. One was specified from new to have mudguards, hub dynamo + lights + usb charging point, racks front and rear, centre stand, kitchen sink*, missile launcher*…

    *May be figments of my imagination added for dramatic effect.

  4. stcleve says:

    I would get that wire tidied up before you snag it and pull it out. Usually happens in the dark just as you need your lights. 😄

  5. Paul M says:

    With a bike rack like the one featured in your pic, you might as well leave your lock at home – at least you’ll get to keep the lock 🙂

    As for crates, you could go Montreal Cycle-chic and attach an old milk crate with cable ties. When I got my daughter a nice new bike from Montreal’s answer to Bobbin Bicycles Fitz & Folwell, I thought she might like a smart stainless-wire basket-thing for the rear rack but no, it was a surreptitious snaffling of a plastic crate from behind a dairy, and a pack of cable ties from the local hardware store.

    At least it brought the cost down to about a dollar.

  6. disgruntled says:

    @Nigel – to be fair, most people around here are pretty keen on all the bits and bobs, although very few have kickstands.
    @StCleve – I will get the bike fettler on to it
    @PaulM – there are very few decent bike racks around here. A lot of time I don’t bother locking it up at all, or use the D-lock as a nurse’s lock. I reckon the bike is distinctive enough that it wouldn’t be a thief’s first choice

  7. CHRIS says:

    where did you get the cow-patterned pannier ?

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