Belgian Working Cyclists

Grumpy ones at that.

Cops and post cyclists:

Post Bike and Copcycles

I was in Ghent a couple weeks back and happened upon some excellent working cyclists.

This postcyclist graciously let me take her picture, but refused to even crack the hint of a smile. Check out those paniers.

Grumpy post cyclist

These two cops barely nodded in assent when I asked to take their photo, then they refused to actually look at me. This quashed my plan to see if I could trade them something for their awesome jackets. Cop on the left was busy lighting a cigarette, cop on the right was avoiding me.


If you like huge photo dumps (well labeled though), click over to my belgium flickr set. Lots of bikes on the street, cobbled climbs, bicycle bars and cyclocross to be found.

Not really a working cyclist, but I enjoyed watching the variety of child carrying bakfiets in use. The only thing that keeps you from getting run over by street cars is your own self preservation.

bakfiets and trolley


Ocean Air Rambler Kickstarter

Rob Perks and his shop, Ocean Air Cycles, is making a pretty sweet low trail sport touring bike called the Ocean Air Rambler. How sweet is it? I am not sure yet, based on specs alone it is awesome, but I did order one in May and should get it pretty soonish. His first run only had a half dozen or so bikes in it. He is gearing up for a bigger batch now with a kickstarter

Here is why I like it:

It fits 42mm tires and fenders in all sizes. It has 650B in the small sizes, 700c in the bigger sizes. I got a 59 which is a 700c bike. I like 700c for on and off road. I have a million cross tires in this size and bigger tires for my 29er and smaller for my road. It makes sense for me. I think if you are shorter the 650b might make sense. But for me 700c works fine. I would not have minded 650b, but I like 700c fine and I think it is the geometry that is much more important that tire size.

Geometry: Low trail sport touring bike. You can load up your basket/front rack and forward weight the bike and not effect the handling adversely. I am hoping for a nice mix of uber-commuter/all-day bike/ campeur/porteur out of it. I will swap all the parts off the complete failure Kogswell 700c P/R over including probably the specialized live rack initially and start playing with it from there.

Tubes: Not super light, but in the sweet spot for my weight and power and loading habits (I think). Go to the website and read a bit more. Tubes are 8-5-8 in the 650b sizes 9-6-9 in the bigger sizes. 28.6 tt and dt. I think this should be pretty much perfect for me. The 59 pleases me in its dimensions and angles, should not fit me small, should be just right...

Fork: Sweet crowned fork with cast in low profile rack bosses. Threadless fork. I will go on record again as saying speccing a threaded fork on a new bike is just silly, especially on a tig welded bike, especially on a front loader. Threadless is better in every way.

Brakes: Comes set up for and WITH brazed on pivot paul racer centerpull. I have wanted to try these for a while, but never had the right bike for it. This is that right bike. Should be sweet. I will report back.

Made in the USA. I think this is important for a number of reasons, but the most important is I am pretty confident that the design-manufacure loop between Rob and the Fabricator is small and easy and the bike will come out as planned.

This all said, there are other options out there, just before I ordered my Rambler, I actually came about a hairsbreadth away from buying a Box DOg Pelican in 650B with similar specs, but the threaded fork bummed me out. However, more choices are always better. I already voted with my wallet in May on supporting Rob and Ocean Air, but even if you don't order a bike, think about supporting his kickstarter to get a nice production run of sweet made in the USA low trail paul racered bikes.