Fantasy Footbike: the Raleigh Sports

Raleigh Sports footbike imagined by Peter Hummers

Raleigh Sports footbike imagined by Peter Hummers

This Fantasy Footbike is based on one of my favorite bicycles – the Nottingham Raleigh Sports, popularly known as the Raleigh 3-speed, a true dyed-in-the-wool classic, perhaps one of the greatest bicycles ever made, if measured in world miles ridden – not to mention sturdiness. This illustration was made from this photo (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0), taken by Len Gilbert. Click on the pic for a larger version.


Fantasy Footbikes: The Olympic dream

What can I add, except vielen danke to Joachim Sternal for his gracious permission to use his photo, the original of which is on this page from the Footbike Eurocup Gütersloh/Steinhagen 10.-12.6.2011. To protect Joachim’s original from further molestation I’m putting this under a CC-BY-ND 3.0 license.

Fantasy Footbikes: The Rivendell ‘Mahatma Kane Jeeves’

MKJ footbike

Rivendell‘s Grant Petersen has been known to kick a footbike.

Seems he busted a thumb on his “A. Homer Hilson” bicycle (an example of the goofy archaic names they’re giving models over at Rivendell) and climbed aboard the scooter for the nonce.

So I’ve imagined a ‘Rivendell’ footbike fit for a retro-grouch like Grant: steel frame, canvas and leather bags over a Pletscher front rack, and the model’s peculiar particular name on the downtube: “Mahatma Kane Jeeves.” [^]

Fantasy Footbikes: Schubert on a scooter

Schubert on scooter

Who’s to say that Franz Schubert, who was 19 years old when Karl Christian Ludwig Drais von Sauerbrohn invented his draisine, never tried one? Well, I’ve given him one for his 215th birthday. Happy birthday, Franz, and thanks for all the tunes.

PS: It’s said that Baron Karl von Drais was inspired by the idea of skating without ice! Reminds me of someone…

It’s official: I’ve too much time on my hands

ASCII-art footbike

I’ve long been a fan of ASCII-art – old-time computer art made with characters from the basic ASCII letterset that all computers share. I used to include little ASCII-art drawings in my email sigs, but nowadays you never know who still reads their email in a fixed-width font (which ASCII-art requires). Even tiny one-line ASCII drawings, which don’t require the vertical alignment of fixed-width type, can look crappy with the wrong font. And more than a very basic footbike, like O\_o, which most people wouldn’t recognize, is impossible, although in HTML (which goes beyond ASCII) it’s barely possible: Õ\_ø. (But HTML in email is bad.)

But a big drawing (lettering? a form of calligraphy?) is pretty easy, although to share it a graphic screen-dump is the safest way. Here’s the full version of the above image.

Fantasy Footbikes: Wolfenbüttel Wonder

A celebration of one of that city‘s favorite industries, its basket allows transport of a day’s worth of your favorite 70-proof digestif, not to mention some books from one of Wolfenbüttel’s other local treasures.

Fantasy Footbike: a historic hack

Hacked Hobbyhorse

When Abraham Shteppe took a long look at his wife Vivian’s new Denis Johnson Hobbyhorse, the tinkerer in him came to the fore. It could not be that comfortable, he thought, and set about to do something about it, coming up with the device shown here, a marvel of comfort and simplicity, and not incidentally giving a new meaning to the word hack. (Illustration by Peter Hummers; original Hobby Horse image from Ian.wilkes)