nihola panda

I finally took a Nihola trike for a test ride and thought I would share my impressions.

Nihola is a cargo bike company based in Denmark. Nihola trikes, like Christiania trikes, are popular among parents there, as well as businesspeople who want to haul stuff, advertise stuff, or otherwise use a bike commercially.

Like the Christiania, Nihola trikes have a well-designed rain canopy, and have design amenities specifically aimed at carrying one or two kids in the cargo box: the rain canopy, a sturdy bench, seatbelts, and a carriage design that maximizes head and legroom.

Unlike most cargo trikes, the Nihola uses a steering linkage system. Most cargo trikes steer by using the box as the steering mechanism: the front wheels are on the box, and you steer by rotating the box on a pivot — the headset — which is positioned underneath the box, near the center. This sounds crude but can be quite sophisticated and well-engineered (as in the Christiania, with its inverse-angled floating headset, and hydraulic steering damper).


Another fabulous winter showing by all you frosty-nosed people on bikes (and some Californians, too!).

What Storm?
Photo by Flickr user ‘Xander @416cyclestyle in Toronto


In 2006 I made up the word “Vélocouture” as a title for the Flickr group I started. It was one of those things that took a couple minutes to think up, although obviously it was informed by much that had come before it. In the years since, the word hasn’t become a household word, exactly, although I suppose that depends on your household. It has begun to pop up here and there, though, and I was excited to hear about a fashion show in Berlin that held a Symposium Vélocouture as part of its events.

It appears there are some upcoming bike-related events as part of this program, as well, so take note if you are in the area.

See the whole story here.

Interview mix

I’ve always liked wearing hats, from my teenage interest in fedoras, to my current standard of a wool trilby in winter, and a raffia trilby or floppy sun hat in summer.

Recently, hats have made a big comeback in the fashion world. There seems to be a “hats are back” article in the New York Times every few months or so, and yesterday’s article on how the big fashion designers are embracing hats in their new collections seemed to seal the deal, at least in Guy Trebay’s mind. (As is often the case, the big designers are now acknowledging a trend that’s been happening in the street/ad hoc fashion scene for years.)

As a result of this growing popularity, a lot of people are wearing hats who’ve never thought about proper hat etiquette. It’s been a few generations since hats were in wide use, so the tradition of how, when, and where to wear a hat on one’s head has been lost to the sands of time.

I sought out some references for proper hat etiquette, but what I found was either a very traditional explanation or a somewhat insubstantial take on how it could work today. Along the way I realized that I have developed a pretty solid sense of modern hat etiquette. So I spooled it out a bit and this is what I came up with.

As you have probably noticed, the photos here are not always seasonal. For my monthly “favorites”, I pull from what’s been submitted to the Vélocouture group pool that month, but you can add a photo anytime you want, so sometimes we get some lovely summer photos in the dead of winter.

This time around, though, I noticed we have some nice wintry images to enjoy. In case you were wondering whether you can go by bike, in style, even in the cold and snow of winter, the contributors to Vélocouture would answer in the affirmative.

Todd at St Johns bridge
Photo by Flickr user Urban Weeds: Street Style from Portland in Portland, Oregon


Boxcycles, the US importer/distributor of Christiania trikes, is starting the new year off with a new Twitter feed and a contest to win one of their amazing cargo trikes. Follow them on twitter at @boxcycles and check out the contest information on their site to play along.

I seem to be on a bimonthly schedule with these “best of” posts. I’ll forego the usual excuses about how crazy work/life has been and just accept how nice it is that choosing from two months of photos gives me more chance to make interesting edits. Yeah! That’s it.

Here are my favorite contributions to the Vélocouture group in October and November 2010.

Photo by Flickr user Cycle Chic Malmö/Lund in Malmö, Sweden