The Cygnet, an Antique Design Revisited

22 06 2010

Last weekend was the annual Bikeology festival, and this year it included another component, Park(ed), that closed down 4 blocks of downtown streets. As cool as that sounded, I was more excited about seeing some of the work of local master frame builder Arvon Stacey after super-mechanic Keith tempted me with this picture of a Cygnet (complete with skirt guard!) and a promise that there would be one at the festival.

The Cygnet, this one purple, sans skirt guard.

Here’s the skinny:

A little background on the back of the single sweep frame.

When Keith told me I could take it for a spin, I was so ecstatic! I’d never ridden any bike quite like this before.

What a sweet ride!

The Cygnet lived up to it’s promise of an elegant, cushy ride, and the only hiccup I had involved getting used to it’s slightly longer turning radius and coaster brake. With such an ingenious design that simply & stylishly integrates fender, chain guard, skirt guard and suspension, it’ll be no surprise if more bike makers revive this style of bike in the future. I’m trying not to covet this bike, as it is out of my price range by an order of magnitude, but I can’t help but imagine taking her on a ride on an autumn day, in a frock with balloon sleeves, long split skirt and big hat to an idyllic rural picnic straight out of an impressionist painting.

After the test ride, I realized that that test riding a different bike was also one of the tasks in the Let’s Go Ride A Bike Summer Games. Double sweetness!

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