The timing of cosbear's email to me about concerning the health impact of using a bicycle (specifically a Globe) was a bit eerie in regard to timing. I had been planning for some time to celebrate the one year anniversary of receiving my Globe Vienna. For those not familiar with the Globe Experience Project, they gave away bikes to some bloggers and only asked in return that we write about our experience with the bikes for a period of three months.
I submitted an entry and received the good news that I could pick any bike from their line-up. As some might remember, I detailed the process of how I selected a bike on Bike Hacks. I had not visited the Globe site in a while and when I clicked over I noticed that two models from their original line up had disappeared, including the Vienna. Here is the original line up at the time the project started.
Along with the Vienna the Carmel (cosbear's bike) is no longer listed, but there is a new model called the Daily. Overall I have been pleased with the model I chose. The only major downside for me is that it is a bit heavy. This only matters because I haul the bike up and down four flights of stairs each day. It does absorb a lot more road noise than my Cannondale racing bike (good considering the noisy nature of the NYC streets), the geometry fits me well, and it has brazons all over the place for racks and fenders. My model also has disc brakes and I had never had them before.
The project was exciting for me partly because I had not had a brand new bike for over 25 years. Most bikes I have owned have come to me second hand and had in some way been "pre-personalized." This bike was coming to me off the factory floor. Here is what it looked like the day I picked it up, November 8, 2009.
Some people get a new bike and the goal is to keep it looking the way it was purchased. This is all well and good, and I used to have the same mentality, however somewhere along the line my mentality changed. I now see a bike as a blank canvas. I would not go to an art store, pick up a blank canvas, and proceed to hang it on my wall would I?
Some readers commented and sent me emails as I documented the "personalization" of my bike. One person said I was "ruining" my bike. I beg to differ on two levels. First, most of my changes were aesthetic in nature and had no impact on the function of the bike. Second, one man's idea of ruining something is another man's idea of beauty. Other readers sent me stickers to put on the bike.
Some stickers were functional (stickers typically used for road signs to add visibility) and others were just for pure entertainment value. One person that worked for Google sent me a bunch of stickers and I use Google every day, so adding them to my bike was only appropriate. To let you form your own opinion of whether the factory version or my version are more appealing, here are some shots of my bike a year later - it's still very much a work in progress for me. I am still open to suggestions and if you want to send me stickers I would be happy to add them to my canvas.