Bike Rack Fashion: Part One

Though I prefer bikes with lugs, leather saddles and canvas luggage I’m starting to appreciate those ones reflecting elements of contemporary campus bike rack style (what I identify today as a tendency towards slap-dash utility, care worn parts, historical paint schemes and accidental or eccentric ornamentation). Here, I’m sidestepping away from an homage to the emerging herd of ostenisbly stylish bikes (my friends’ bikes–well cared for Japanese and French made ten speeds converted into sporty commuters–often pared down to fixed gears or single speeds). Current campus bike rack style emerges when bikes are locked up and left alone over winter, over the course of an academic term or four year career (or twenty year employment stint). Campus bikes need to be functional, invisible, theft resistant and garbed in some way against wet Oregon weather. Over time, the combination of natural forces and bike rack mayhem (scratching, dinging, jockeying, tipping, falling) work on the surface of the campus bike burnishing its total look and bringing out a quality of (what the folks at Rivendell refer to as) “beausage” or beautiful usage.

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