hey. sweet bike

photography & words // raychel severance

Fooled you! Maybe you thought this was another magazine feature on folks with pimped out fixies and bikes that cost more than the  camera used to photograph them. But what about the rest of us? We can’t all afford aero spokes, Campagnolo wheel sets, or sometimes even a decent derailleur that’s not on the verge of breaking into a billion pieces every time we ride to the corner store for a pouch of  rolling tobacco. What about those of us whose bikes aren’t beautiful because of cosmetics, but character? Some of the bikes I see around town are so rich with personality that it doesn’t matter that this tall bike has welds that’ve been haphazardly fixed three times or that cruiser has a seat that looks like it was eaten by a rabid dog when it fell over one night. No, your bike won’t sell for $1000 on Craigslist, and is kind of a piece of shit, but it’s beautiful because you made it that way. We recognize our bikes as an extension of ourselves; our connection to a lifestyle we live, and we wear it on our sleeves and in our spokes. This, folks, is a tribute and an homage to those bikes and their riders who don’t apologize for the bumps and bruises their rides have acquired along the way, reminding us that what really makes a good bike is one that is simply ridden.


Breed of bike: A two-wheeler Bike Recycle bike.

Bike’s name: Nameless, like Clint Eastwood.

If you read your bike a bedtime story, what would you read it?: The Goose That Laid the Golden Egg. Or Goldilocks.


Breed of bike: 1930s Elgin Pope.

Bike’s name: Buster.

If your bike was a blues musician, what would its name be?: Sweet Crank Johnson.


Breed of bike: A Kludge McBike.

Bike’s name: The Protest Warrior

One word: Why?: Because I love seeing the look on tractor trailer drivers’ faces.


Breed of bike: 1970s Raleigh Capri.

Bike’s name: The Black Rider.

If your bike could speak, what would it tell you?: “Ching Ching!”


Breed of bike: 1970s Viscount frame with Shimino parts.

Bike’s name: Stripes 2.0.

What’s the most awesome thing about your bike?: Coaster brake and suicide brake.


Breed of bike: Alpha.

Bike’s name: Light Infantry.

Tell us something about your bike: *spits on my recorder.* Free on gas.


Breed of bike: Fuji Feather.

Bike’s name: Nameless, but I always refer to her as a female.

If your bike was an action hero, which one would it be?: Spiderman; gets me up and around and from here to there real quick.


Breed of bike: Peugeot Marseille converted fixie.

Bike’s name: Doesn’t have one.

When your bike goes to the bar, what does it order?: A shot of Maker’s and a PBR.


Breed of bike: Robin Hood Cruiser.

Bike’s name: Dilly.

If your bike was reincarnated as an animal, what would it be?: A sea otter.


Breed of bike: Dumpstered Raleigh.

Bike’s name: Matilda.

If you could add anything to your bike, what would you add?: A flame thrower.


Breed of bike: Penny Farthing high wheel made by the wheel man in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Bike’s name: The Ordinary or Junkman’s Brother!

Who rode your bike in its previous life?: Henry David Thoreau.


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