August 25th, 2011
On Monday my doc’s assistant gave me a call asking if I could come in. My last batch of blood-work was a little irregular. Two liver enzymes were high. And a cancer marker was elevated. A cancer marker that was never even elevated when I HAD cancer. We’re not sure what to make of it. We’ve re-done the blood work, and now it’s more of that particularly sickening brand of hurry-up-and-wait that we never quite get used to. It could be that it was a bad test.. or some other sort of anomaly, but I’m having to mentally prepare for the possibility that there’s going to be a fair amount of poking and prodding for the next little while to try and get to the bottom of it. Naturally it’s hard not to let your mind jump ahead. I’m tired. Not sure I’ve got the energy for this.
SO! yesterday I went out to the shop and made the final push on a new prototype I’ve been working on. I would like to present NOSE BIKE mk1!!!
Ever since I started making frames, it was my idea that I’d most like to build cargo bikes. Things kept getting in the way, though. Orders for single speed townies and rando bikes mostly! NYC presents an interesting challenge when it comes to cargo bikes. Theft is bad enough that most people aren’t willing to leave their bikes outside.. And most people don’t have garages! let alone their very own front door. I liked the idea of making something with decent cargo capacity that still rode well, and was small/light enough to be able to carry up to your fifth floor walk up! About a week ago I decided to assert myself a little and get this idea out of my head and on to the road. It’s not a new idea. Small front wheel. Frame mounted rack. Carrying cargo in the front allows you to keep the wheelbase pretty short since you’re not having to avoid your heels as they pedal. The frame mounted rack all but completely gets rid of the handling problems usually associated with front loads. The small front wheel gets that weight nice and low so that the bike isn’t top heavy and doesn’t want to fall over sideways quite so badly!
I rode it down to the bike shop last night, and the boys threw a bunch of bike locks on the front. We calculated that it was between 65 and 75 lbs worth. The bike got a little noodle-y with that much mass, but really rode just fine. 65 lbs is a LOT of groceries.
It handles much more intuitively than I could have hoped for. It takes about 1 trip around the block to feel comfortable on it.. Though riding with no hands is a little tricky.
This one is just a prototype. I think it will go through some subtle changes. Going to build a few more this coming week. (place your orders at your earliest convenience.. everyone is going to need a nose bike!)
Today I’m exhausted. It’s been a busy bunch of days in a row in the shop, and a fair bit of anxiety to keep down. It’s rainy in NYC today, and I keep finding myself back in bed.