A.N.T. Part 1

ANT Bike PlateOver a year ago I schlepped into NYC for Bespoke: The Handbuilt Bicycle at the Museum of Arts & Design. The exhibit featured bikes from six independent builders. My favorite was the basket bike by Mike Flanigan. His basket bike, inspired by postal delivery bicycles, is an aesthetically looking utilitarian workhorse.

I was so enamored by the exhibit I took Burgoyne in early August. Later that month, after some sleuthing, I reached out to Mike to inquire about having a bike built. Our email exchange led to a trip to his shop.

Mike could not have been kinder the morning I drove to Boston to order my bike. He gave me a tour of his shop and took some notes about the type and color of bike I was interested in. He also signed my copy of the exhibit guide/book. One memorable moment- the basket bike he displayed at the Museum of Arts & Design (which I couldn’t TOUCH or PHOTOGRAPH) was in his shop office leaning against a wall!

Last weekend I finally picked-up my basket bike. The quality of Mike’s work is amazing; the uniqueness of his finished art is unequaled. Mike is passionate about what he does (gross understatement) and is an advocate for the transformational powers of cycling in our society/community without being negative or preachy. His bikes are imbued with a practical beauty and a specialness that is difficult to manufacture. I believe Mike captures the ephemeral in his welds.

And t(his) bike, while deserving of being on display at a museum, will soon be transporting groceries, hobby supplies, and beach gear.

Related

(1) A.N.T. Bicycles
(2) Weekend 137.1
(3) Weekend 138.0
(4) A.N.T. Bike Slideshow (Flickr)

Tribute & Inspiration

(1) Yet another tribute to Makoto Shinkai
(2) PLAYMOBIL Mail Carriers

Orange, black and blue
(3) Bike Color Palette

The navy in the color palette is from the pannier which was hand-built/stitched by craftsman and designer Watanabe Shoichi and his assistant Tomoko of Co.Ltd guu-watanabe.

There is a lesson about finding contentment and purpose in Watanabe’s story.

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