A reader recently contacted us and asked how it came to be that Globe Bicycle gave me a bike. As anyone who has read this blog for a short period of time could imagine, giving me a bike is a dangerous proposition. Dangerous in terms of the bike taking a form most would likely describe as hideous.
I actually have over 20 posts on how I applied to get a bike, the bike I chose, and what I did to the bike once I got it. Those entries are still locked up in our Word Press archives from before the time our Word Press got hacked and we moved over to TypePad. Until I figure out a way to get all of our old content up, I thought I would post the first three Globe Entries in the form of one Bike Hacks Classic entry.
So, you will find three posts below, and please realize they are all dated from September and November of 2009 as you read them. Thank you again to Globe for their generosity and a special shout out to Jessica (in the video below) who helped oversee the project.ENTRY #1: The Project Begins
All sorts of new bike products and campaigns seem to be coming out of the woodwork which to me is great news. One recent campaign that caught my attention is The Globe Experience Project. The Globe brand is actually a division of Specialized. Their goal seems to be to separate simple exercise enthusiasts from those who see cycling as a lifestyle.
Their Web site states:
Globe is a brand of bicycles that have the unique ability to become an extension of people's lifestyles and personal tastes rather than simply a piece of sporting equipment. The products are inspired by and designed for urban cyclists, commuters, city dwellers, the progressively minded and the eco-conscious.
The Globe Experience Project seeks to provide free bikes to bloggers, who will then blog about their experience with the bike. It's a pretty genius campaign in that the cost of a few bikes is far less than buying advertising for sure.
Instructions are to come up with a blog post and then post a link to your post on the wall of the Globe Facebook fan page. I just happen to ride every day and to be a blogger, so I guess I qualify to apply. Here's my post . . .
Dear Globe Bike Folks,
If you decide to provide me with one your bikes I can assure you that it will loved - and in my case love is a verb. Some people "love" their bikes by riding them only on the weekend, leaving them at home and taking mass transit when it rains, storing them away for the winter, and stressing out over any little nick in the paint.
I don't own a car and ride almost every single day and in my case, the first thing I will probably do if awarded a Globe bike is scratch it - on purpose. I'm a fan of getting over the paranoia right away. In my view, a bike is not a prize to pampered and stored away when it's not sunny outside, it is an extension of oneself. I am active and my bike is active as well. I have scars, why shouldn't my bike have some healthy ones? A nice healthy scratch breaks in the bike right away and helps you focus on riding it rather than obsessing over it.
I'm also likely to "hack up" the bike to fit my own needs. For example, this is my current ride:
I am likely to immediately tie a sock to my Globe bike, perhaps attach discarded things I find in the street, cover it with miscellaneous stickers, throw a Monkey Light on it, and stick something in the spokes. In other words, just like your Web site states, I am going to make the bike an extension of my personal tastes.
It's going to be ridden daily, thus meaning it is going to get dirty, it will be exposed to all four seasons, and it is going to endure the mean streets of NYC. What you will get back is someone whose hobby is to blog about bikes and as a bonus, I get millions of personal "hits" as I ride daily in NYC each year. Reward me with a bike and I assure you it will be prized, stylized, utilized, pictorialized, personalized, and publicized . . . perhaps you could sum it all up by saying it will be Specialized =)
To all you readers out there, get mobilized! Here's a video from the folks at Globe bikes to get you up to speed.
ENTRY #2: NYC is in the House
Back in August some of you might recall that I wrote a post on the Globe Experience Project. The premise of the project is to provide bicycles to bloggers to help promote the brand (a division of Specialized). Globe requested that bloggers submit entries about why they might be a good recipient of a bicycle.
Well, even after I stated in my proposal that the first thing I would do to a bike given to me would be to scratch it, I ended up getting selected. I am excited because the last time I actually owned a brand new bike was 1986. At the same time, owning a brand new bike in NYC has already got me worried and I am going to have to revisit the bike hacks entries on how to ugly your bike so I can give my bike some urban camouflage.
Globe gave me free reign to pick the bike I wanted with no restrictions which is totally dope. The bike should arrive by early November. Globe's generosity has inspired me and I feel like giving something away too. I have a few bike nick nacks that companies have sent along to me over time and I am prepared to give something away to the person with the most creative comment guessing either what bike I selected or did not select along with some support for why. Bonus points for wit.
Feel free to be funny, sarcastic, logical, whatever. Approach it anyway you like. A list of models by picture is below and all of the models are detailed on this page of Globe's Web site. Each model has several variations so feel free to check all of them out, but I don't expect you to look through all of them unless you are so inspired. Just guess the basic model with some flavor on why the bike would either be a good or bad choice for me based on what you know about me from my writings on this blog. Have at it! Put your answers/comments/sarcasm in comments on this post.
ENTRY #3: The Chosen Whip
I was quite impressed with all those who chimed in regarding my bike of choice for the Globe Experience Project. Logic, humor, sarcasm, culture references, and personality analysis all made appearances. Most of those that commented seemed to believe I am a pack rat of some kind and leaned heavily toward bikes with built in racks or the potential to carry heavy loads.
One reader stated that a rack would allow me to “attach garbage with zip-ties.” It is true that I have a propensity for “customizing” my bike, and I am 100% guilty of attaching garbage to my bike in the form of discarded car air fresheners I find in the street.
I do like having a rear rack to fight sweaty back syndrome from riding with a bag or backpack, however living in a fourth floor walk up apartment is also a consideration since I haul my whip down and up the stairs each day. Astute readers also referenced the importance of where I live and the fact that I deal with urban traffic and roads pockmarked with potholes, grates, steel plates, cracks, manhole covers, and all other manner of bicycle landmines.
Two commenter’s hit the proverbial nail on the head and listed the bike I chose along with providing some of the same reasoning I used in making my final selection. So here is a countdown to the bike I chose, along with references to why I did not choose the other bikes, with comments from readers mixed in.
Let’s start with the fact that I ride with a helmet mirror and have no visible tattoos. This immediately disqualifies me for the Roll. I certainly would be assaulted by a pack of tattoo festooned, fedora wearing, tight jeaned hipsters if they saw me on a fixie rocking a bike helmet with a mirror attached.
One commenter hinted that I was not cool enough to rock the Roll, and I could not agree more – I am no where near hipster cool. I must admit though, my first impulse was to choose the Roll because I have never owned a fixed gear bike and I liked the thought of its simplicity.
Plus I have two bikes already, a Cannondale Road Bike and a utilitarian 1985 Peugeot Orient Express (basically a hybrid with a steel frame) so a bike of a different ilk would be nice. But I do have a wife and I think she wants me around for the long haul so riding around NYC without any brakes is probably not the best idea. Also, we already have three bikes in our 500 square foot apartment so I might just have to get rid of my Peugeot and replace it with the Globe bike. So I nixed the Roll because it's not too utilitarian.
On to the Carmel . . . best described by one commenter as a bike that would be suited for his/her grandma. The Carmel is just not my speed – literally. The Carmel strikes me as a bike meant for those never in a hurry to get where they are going. I like to pump the big meat and go fast most of the time and I cannot see myself racing other commuters on a Carmel – the suspension would take away all my torque =)
The Haul certainly had appeal, mainly due to the extended coverage fenders and unique integrated rear rack. I really wanted to choose a bike with disc brakes since I have never had them before and the Haul 2 was tempting, but I was not a huge fan of the internal hub on that model. The integrated lights were also tempting, but in the end I could not see myself hauling the Haul up and down my stairs each day. If I lived on the first floor or in an elevator building, the Haul may very well have been the choice.
The Live held a certain appeal, but the speed/style issue came up for me again. I wanted to choose a bike that could be flexible to my needs. Sometimes I commute, sometimes I haul a trailer and go camping, and sometimes I want to hit some dirt/gravel paths. As Montana Mike alluded to, the Live looks like a bike “more fitting for an English countryside than the streets of NYC.”
That left me with the Vienna and Montana Mike must be a mind reader because he basically summed up what I was thinking when I chose the bike when he described the Vienna as “A veritable clean palette for customization.” It has braze-ons all over it for rack and fender options and although I was not super stoked on the sloped top tube, the lines on the bike were appealing to me. It looked sleeker than most of the other utilitarian models to me. There are actually eight different Vienna models and I went with the Vienna 3 Disc seen here:
I wanted traditional gearing and disc brakes and this model has both. The color does not really matter to me because eventually the entire frame is going to be covered in stickers and inner tubes. I certainly don’t need the triple chainring for my daily commute, but if I do haul a trailer to go camping those granny gears might come in handy.
As the Globe site states, the Vienna is "about versatility and efficiency" - yep, that's me. Montana Mike and Elmonica both guessed correctly, but Elmonica one upped Montana Mike by digging deep and picking not only the model, but the specific sub-model. However Montana Mike one upped Elmonica by using deduction to evaluate each bike in the Globe line up. Therefore I call it a tie and will award some sort of prize to both. So Montana Mike and Elmonica, go to the Submit Your Bike Hack page and send along your name and mailing address. Lots more entries to come when the bike arrives!