Friday, January 25, 2013

Return Of The U.S. Postal Service Team

Our intrepid staff here at The Cycle just got back from a brief vacation to the dangling appendage of the lower 48 also known as Florida. Not a lot of blogworthy stuff to report (though the bar qualifying material as "blogworthy" around here is low enough that even I can bunnyhop it), but I did have one epic cargo bike sighting in St. Petersburg:

That, dear reader, is not the twee NAHBS booth candy porteur of an artisanal Portland builder. We're talking heavy iron from the good folks at Worksman Cycles in Noo Yawk. As far as I could tell, it's one of their "Low Gravity" models, named not for their resistance to that basic law of physics (because, c'mon, these babies are all about succumbing to -- nay, reveling in -- gravity) but rather for a small front wheel that keeps the (absolutely massive) front load lower to the ground. One speed, coaster brake, and parts designed to withstand a nuclear blast. When the zombie apocalypse happens, I'll take a Worksman, thanks. I may have to work a little harder to outrun the undead, but at least I know my bike won't fail me in the brain-munch bunch sprint.

The historical precedent/direct ancestor of the Low-Gravity is the Schwinn Cycle Truck, which also featured a classic "camel-back" frame, a big ol' frame-mounted front load, a small front wheel that steers independent of the cargo, and a massive triangular kickstand on the front wheel to keep things upright while at rest. If you couldn't cart it around in one of these Chicago-made monsters, it didn't need to be carted. (If you can't cart it around in the modern Worksman equivalent, however, they're happy to oblige you with an Industrial Trike.)

As you can tell by the special-edition "yellow jersey" frame color and red, white and blue accessories, this particular example is piloted by a member of the U.S. Postal Service team. Dig the add-on USPS canvas bags mounted on the back of the box, facing the rider for quick access to the mail, not to mention the spare rubber band storage on the left ape-hanger. I also liked the heavy-duty hydration system: one more USPS canvas bag strapped to the side, carrying a big red and white cooler. Neither rain nor snow nor sleet nor a shortage of beverages will stop this guy from his appointed rounds. Allez, Mr. Postman. And chapeau.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

At my former employer in the aerospace business, the Worksman trikes were a common sight. Those beasties took a lot of abuse and never complained. I suppose the solid rubber tires were a factor, but still...
They definitely make the stout creations of the Schwinn empire look positively noodley by comparison! The folks at Worksman have my respect. They identified a market niche to fulfill, and have been the masters of that niche ever since!

Steve in Peoria, where we build some pretty beefy machines too..