James

The best thing about cycling is the people you meet. I took these shots of James and his awesome Free Spirit bicycle a few weeks ago. I promised him that I would post them immediately. Well, life got in the way. That’s why I haven’t really been posting so much. Sorry, dude. But more about this bike:

I have always been a fan of the Schwinn/Free Spirit/AMF/Huffy lightweight steel road bikes of this period. They all shared a similar design: a simple USA bottom bracket and one-piece crank (though I have been known to upgrade a few to piece versions), swept-back handlebars and sometimes fenders. The best thing about these bikes is that there are companies out there like Linus, Civia and Public that are remaking these classic designs and passing them off as the new retro trend. I really don’t mind. Schwinn and Free Spirit co-opted these designs from European models back in the 40s and 50s and did a pretty good job of introducing them to the American cyclist. The new retro cyclist seems to be overtaking the beach cruising college girl and I think it is awesome. Better-looking and more maneuverable bikes on the road.

James found this bike at Play It Again Sports here in Santa Barbara and bought it for a song. He found the bags on Etsy and made the cargo box himself. I think he did a fantastic job.

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