8 September 2008
Back Rack Culture
We've posted about how the bike basket is an integral part of our bike culture and now the time has come for a tribute to the oft-overlooked back rack. Pannier bags are a rare sight in Copenhagen. Grocery-wise, you see far more people dangling two or three shopping bags from the handlebars is easier and quicker.
But the back rack is important as well. It was one of the first things to get dumped when the sports industry in America started branding cycling as a sport, along with kickstands, chain guards and even fenders.
Some people have a little wire basket on the back rack but most just stick their bags under the springloaded thingy.
The back rack has created an arm movement that is second-nature. You'll see it at least once almost every day. Either while riding or at a red light the cyclist's hand will sweep back and check if the bag is still in place. Nobody ever looks, you just know if the bag has slid to the left or right.
Whatever you need to transport, the back rack is there for you. Shopping, your bag, umbrella, groceries, you name it.
For decades the back rack featured a little hook on which you could hang a briefcase, like this gentleman. They are returning now and I use mine when carrying a laptop somewhere.
My daughter turned one last Saturday and I transported one of her presents home on my back rack, with the help of strap and some string.