The Faraday Porteur. It is as if God Himself is helping me pedal.
July 7, 2014
Dude’s gotta dream…
New, new things and advertising go hand in hand. Often lovingly. Look at Apple. Yet great things are not always created by marketers. The creators do not have the resources to advertise. Nor do they have product to keep up with potential demand. Mostly they have only the desire to make something special. I’m sure they dream about commercial success but first things first.
Well, I have such a thing in my possession. It’s fancifully called the Faraday Porteur. In short, it is the prettiest electric assist bicycle you will ever see. With lovingly tooled steel frame, bamboo fenders(!) and a classic Brooks saddle the Porteur is a true bicycle, in look, feel and temperament. But she is belt driven (no greasy chain) and stops via disc brakes. Most impressively, it has an electric assist mechanism that has been marvelously realized. I cannot speak to the technology involved but when climbing the steep hills out of Sausalito to the Golden Gate Bridge, I flick a switch and it as if God himself is helping me pedal. Flick it again and I feel His invisible hand pushing me forward.
You say electric bikes are cool but hardly remarkable. I say you need to see this one. Everyone that does is blown away. I pull up to a coffee shop in Mill Valley and within moments a small crowd gathers around me. And given where we live this is a crowd accustomed to seeing great things, especially when it comes to technology and craftsmanship. Yet there they were. Agog.
They ask questions: Where is the battery? Is that a rubber chain? When I point out the discreet motor and how easy it is to engage, pure joy. Not unlike when people first experienced the iPad. People are attracted to it. The familiar design of a classic bicycle made new via technology. it’s like Bike 2.0. I recall how those around me –it really- were compelled to just touch it. One fellow, a nearby storeowner, was so enamored I let him ride it up a side street. I wanted him to feel what I felt. I wanted to share the experience.
The Faraday bike is the brainchild of bike maven and engineer, Adam Vollmer. I don’t know him from the proverbial Adam but last year I came across the above video and then found his website: http://www.faradaybikes.com/. Long story short, I put down a couple hundred bucks on a hunch that his machine would make me smile, if not change my life.
It already has.