Or gains a sponsor, depending on your point of view. Yes, dear readers, for the next few months, a new section of this site (the globlog) will be bought to you by Globe Bikes, a brand of city bikes from a design team at the Big S.
These bikes sport internal gear hubs, color-matched fenders, integrated racks, double-kickstands, upright riding positions, conspicuous lack of tacky graphics, and colors from the original Volkswagon color codes. Bike candy.
They're like bikes you'll find at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show, Oregon Manifest, ANT bikes, Kogswell, Handsome Cycles, Violet Crown, Retrovelo, and other previously hard-to-find-and-afford rarified places. But aluminum, minus all the lugs. And soon, available at your local bike shop. Specialized isn't the only big bike concern getting in on the city/utility/fixie bike trends. Quality Bicycle Products' Civia bikes, Fisher's Simple City and Trek's upcoming Belleville are other fine-looking examples.
So what's the deal with me and them? At the last minute, I somewhat sheepishly submitted an entry to their "Globe Experience Project", wherein they give Globe Bikes to 10 bloggers in exchange for 2 posts/week x 3 months on the topic of their biking experiences. Blog payola. And guess what - I'm in! Thank you Jess and Amber and Robin et al ...
Now, I get as weary of blog product placement and new media marketing as the next guy. But I also have lust in my heart for pretty city bikes. And empty pockets. And a bike blog. In these tough economic times, I've got to support my bicycle polyamorous lifestyle somehow.
I did fret over the decision to apply. I don't have many delusions about the need for editorial independence on my little niche blog, but I do have some. What I decided was that I could live with myself, as long as I was upfront about the deal, "contained" the sponsored content in some way, and included appropriate (and now, legally required) disclaimers.
Besides ... editorial judgement? I'm the guy that liked le Veltop, and I paid cash money for that bike tent! People write for money and services all the time, and aren't always transparent about it. And some of my favorite blogs get frequent "bikes for review", or are written by store owners with a financial interest in the bikes they espouse.
As for the inevitable claims that "Big Bike" is swiping the fashion but not the function of more "indie" city/utility bikes, I'm happy to give them a chance, and besides, haven't we been hoping bikes like these would someday take the place of the hybrids and craptacular MTBs currently littering your local bike shop?
And if you still need an independent editorial voice, there's always my toddler Drew. She speaks truth to power. Especially when she's been swilling juice from that days-old sippy-cup in my bike bag. It's her version of Pruno, the prison wine.
So, yes folks, Totcycle is FOR SALE! I mean, why stop at a Globe Bike?
Hey Rivendell - If Alan at Ecovelo ever lets go of that orange Sam Hillborne, send it my way! Will work for lugs. It may not get the bike wax and sun-dappled SoCal bike porn treatment up here in rainy Seattle, though. He pampers his bikes, we Pampers on our bikes. Want to know if waxed cotton contains a blowout? Does twill hide spitup as well as I think it will? Talk to us, Grant. Hell, I'll even tape and shellac my toddler.
Sweetpea Bicycles - I hear your wait time for a custom bike is only 3 years. You clearly need our help. I mean, Sascha's wait is like twice that. Send my wife a SweetPea Mixte like JJ's, and you'll see a lot more Kimmi up here on this site. We do have a bit of cycling asymmetry in our relationship. But all she needs is "the bike that will love you back" ...
Xtracycle - How is it possible that a family bike blog doesn't have an xtracycle longtail yet? I mean, I'm blogging about you for free and I don't even have an "S.U.B."! How about a Quid Pro Bro Deal? Call me.
Workcycles - Dear Sirs. Please send an orange FR8 with massive front rack, front kids saddle, and two rear seats for extensive US testing posthaste. I know you've tried them on the streets of Amsterdam, where 40% of trips are made by bike. That's super. Here in Seattle, 40% of trips are made by homicidal intexticated drivers who try to run us off the road because apparently cyclists don't always stop at stop signs, don't pay any taxes ever, or even have licenses to ride our bikes. So we deserve it? Let's see how these carheads do against some big Dutch steel, Henry.
Metrofiets - Holy freaking beer keg bakfiets! As my toddler will loudly tell the general public, "Daddy like beer! That beer so yummy for you, daddy? Look, beer, daddy!" We'd make a dynamic beer bike spokes-duo. We may not make craft beers, but we brew a hair-raising Pruno. SippyKeg, anyone?
I'm sure I'll think of more sponsorship opportunities. Consider me your family biking spokesperson. The bad puns are free.
So: let me have it in the comments, or help me pick a Globe Bike. I tried for a Live Mixte in a higher-end build with Alfine, disc brakes, and a belt drive. But that bike doesn't exist on their site, and if I try to "order off-menu", chances are I'll end up with the Carmel, their legacy comfort bike. And I'm not going out like that.
Update: It's the Live 2 Mixte, and it's being built up now! They weren't able to upgrade the spec, but I hope our blog will convince the higher-ups at Big S that mixte's deserve some high-end love.
Because 25 posts about life with one bike would be a little monogamous for the main rss feed, I'm posting them in their own sponsored section of our site, but will highlight posts with universal appeal on the main blog, thus plagiarizing myself. Bicycle polyamory, Big S sugar-mamas, and journalistic self-love ... totcycle's getting frisky.