This week we received a large shipment from Basil, a bicycle bag and basket maker in the Netherlands. It took us a long time to get, and to our knowledge we are now the only source of much of the collection in North America. We’ve barely gotten it tagged and onto the floor, but the reception has been great. We have already heard it pronounced “the first worthy upgrade to a bungeed milk crate,” and overheard an urgent cell phone call about “really cute bags, but at, like, this bicycle store!” Here is bicycle luggage that doesn’t look like sporting goods, but just like nice luggage, nice hand and shoulder bags, nice briefcases, nice baskets in mesh or wicker, including dog baskets. Come check it out.
A lot of people remark that our Dutch city bikes seem big. And heavy. And while a test ride quickly shows that said qualities contribute to a “Cadillac ride”, that’s not their main rationale. No, the bigness and heaviness find useful meaning in the physical clearances and structural integrity necessary to haul stuff comfortably, sometimes heavy and bulky stuff. The bikes are platforms for racks, bags, baskets, and child carriers. Ever try to put big panniers on your typical light, compact bike only to find that it hits your heels or the handling goes south? What about a kid seat and panniers? Your bike is too small and weak. What about a front basket? No, you won’t be putting one of these on even a top end touring bike or domesticated MTB, but it’s no problem for Oma:
This gets near the heart of what we’re about: biking can be more than weekend sport or recreation, and more than weekday personal mobility (commuting). It can be about everyday transport of passengers and things. The Basil collection helps fill in this big picture, beautifully, proclaiming that utility bicycling isn’t just for eccentric or tightwad recycling enthusiasts and professional messengers (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Without this transport part provided for as a practical, attractive choice, cars remain an apparent necessity even to many city households, and bicycles a discretionary expense. We’re here to help flip this idea around. Yes, of course it’s the Next Big Thing.
A couple posts back we talked about ways to get bakfietsen down to the San Francisco bay area more economically. Well, we updated that post a few days ago with details of our plan, so have a look if this might be you. We’re collecting orders for what we hope can be a pre-holiday delivery run.