Browsing Tag

Bicycle

The Uncommon Life

Meet Gaby!

December 14, 2011

Hello there! My name is Gaby and I am the newest addition to the Uncommon Goods team. You are going to see a lot of me as I will be writing on this blog pretty often. Here are some other things you should know about me.

I have my own lifestyle blog, Paperplanes & Maryjanes where I talk about food, clothes and décor. I have also recently opened Paperplanes & Maryjanes Handmade where I currently sell a collection of knit and crochet bows.

I recently moved back to Brooklyn from San Francisco where I was living for 6 months. I competed in a Facebook contest and won the opportunity to work as a blogger for Levi’s as The Levi’s Girl!

One of my most beloved possessions is a 65 Schwinn cruiser named Ursula. I am most likely to be found riding around the park blasting Mama Cass from my iPhone in my front basket and singing along.

I eat an embarrassing amount of tacos and Tootsie Rolls- but never at the same time.

When not on my bike, I sing along to songs on my ukulele which I taught myself how to play this summer. (I also just chopped off all my hair and miss it dearly.)

The Uncommon Life

Anyone up for a game of bike polo?

July 12, 2010

bike polo

Definitely not for the faint of heart, bike polo is an up-and-coming urban sport that requires some serious grit and skills. Check out the full story about this uncommon sport by the Wall Street Journal.

bike polo

Hey! We know that guy! That’s UncommonGoods CEO Dave Bolotsky and his family taking in a game of bike polo at the Lower East Side court, known as The Pit.

Design

The Historical Conquests of the Bicycle

May 21, 2010

I’d like to start off this post with one of my favorite quotes about the bicycle from a Baltimore minister in 1896:

“[It is] a diabolical device of the demon of darkness … imbued with a wild and satanic nature.”

Whoa! Talk about a rough start. But that is the how the bike began. With criticism like this, it’s amazing that the bike even survived to modern times.

The bicycle has been rolling along now for nearly 200 years. It has undergone multiple transformations, endured harsh criticism and even changed the face of fashion. This seemingly simple machine inspired automobiles, plane designs and modern roads. It helped the campaign for women’s rights, expanded people’s worlds, and, today, it is enjoyed across the world over as a way to exercise, commute or just enjoy a nice day.

And now, ladies and gentlemen, in honor of Bike to Work Day, I present to you: the history of the bicycle!

Rolling through history

Imagine a bike made entirely out of wood: no means of steering, no brakes, no pedals and an animal head in front. That’s what the first versions of the bike looked like. Mede de Sivrac invented a two-wheeled device in 1790 that was basically a rocking horse with wheels. Although the origins of the bike are disputed, historians consider this invention an inspiration to the modern bicycle.

bike

In 1817, Karl von Drais replaced the head with steering bars and a less bulky design. Although primitive, the steering capabilities sent this version into further development. This slight alteration earned von Drais the title “Father of the Bicycle”, even though the invention was impractical for long-distance travel. Not to mention, it scared the locals. According to Riding High: The Story of the Bicycle by Arthur Palmer, adults and town leaders thought von Drais’ contraption was dangerous and threatened to expel him from the streets if he didn’t give up his crazy ideas.

Bike

Von Drais’ bike mainly was used for downhill riding and involved a lot of awkward pushing and coasting. Kirkpatrick Macmillan, a blacksmith from Scotland, didn’t find this propulsion method practical. In 1838, he added pedals to the frame, which allowed riders to propel themselves without touching the ground. This version was the first practical bicycle.

Continue Reading…

Gift Guides

Tour de Style

May 19, 2010

In honor of bike week, we rounded up some of our favorite gifts for cycling enthusiasts. Happy biking!

Bike Gifts

Starting at the top, from left to right: If Mode bike, $2200; recycled bike chain frame, $32; bear and cow seat covers, $20; map of the world water bottle, $18; recycled bike tube Night Out card case, $15; recycled bike chain bottle opener, $9 ; bicycle tie, $35 ; recycled bike gear clock, $76 ; recycled bike tire belt, $30 ; NYC skyline leg bands for biking, $22; walk and ride organic cotton babysuits, $25; recycled bike chain bowl, $63.50; recycled bike tube Queen Anne wallet, $58 ; Strida bike, $800; recycled bike chain lizard keyring, $18.

The Uncommon Life

Happy Bike Week!

May 18, 2010

Bike Week

So this is a little belated…but Happy Bike Week everyone!

For those of you who don’t know, May is national bike month and May 17-21 is Bike-to-Work
Week with Friday, May 21 being the big hurrah – Bike-to-Work Day!

Stay tuned this week for more posts about cycling…until now here are some resources and fun stuff about cycling:

Check out the League of American Bicyclists they have a lot of great news articles and blog posts, as well a tool to help you find bike resources (clubs, leagues, shops, etc.) in your area.

Ride the City is another super useful site that helps you find the best urban biking route, ranging from direct, safe and safer. Available for New York, Chicago, DC Metro, Austin, Louisville, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Toronto.

And now for some fun stuff…

Matt, Al and Meredith battle it on The Today Show in this year’s commuter challenge: bike vs. subway vs. car.

And of course, how to make a smoothie using a human-powered bike blender!

Do you bike to work? Are you going to try biking to work this week? Let us know! And if you have any other cool cycling websites or tips to share, please do so in the comments section. Happy Biking!

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