In the mid-noughties I spent a year living and working in a german town just north of Nuremberg. Even for Germany it’s quite a special place from the point of view of cycling and at that time had a modal share of 33%, meaning a third of all journeys in the town were being made by bike. One of the first things to strike me, other than the bikes when I strayed onto the cycle path, was the sight of men riding bikes with baskets. Years of social conditioning caused my cultural compass to spin everytime I saw a basket not paired with the fairer sex. What was it all about?
A few years ago you’d rarely see another soul along the A40 cycle path, and having a good light to see by was just a case of buying the brightest one you could afford. On dark country roads this even seemed an advantage in that it made approaching drivers think twice about exactly what it was coming towards them.
Now though, it’s just a pain in the retina for fellow bicycle users – as cycling becomes more popular, so being blinded by the latest photon light bomb coming towards you becomes more common.
They’ve been around for a few years but until recently have been a fairly niche product prone to failure. The target market is mountain bike racers who want the saddle down and out of the way for the rough stuff, then up at the optimum height for pedalling on the flat. Adjustable seatposts enable the saddle height to be changed ‘on the fly’ without stopping.
And here’s part two…