Objects of Desire: Cool bike accessories

By Columbus Alive
From the April 4, 2012 edition

If you’re in the market for cool bike accessories this spring, shopping locally is a no-brainer. Columbus is loaded with stores that offer all the biking bells and whistles a casual biker or serious spinster could desire.

And, of course, Seagull Bags’ custom courier packs are sturdy and cycler-kind. Keep an eye on their stuff this spring. According to the brand’s blog, they’ll be releasing two new lightweight and waterproof backpack styles.

My best online bike accessory find was a Berkeley-based company called MonkeyLectric. The company’s founder, Dan Goldwater, built his first art bike while working at MIT’s Media Lab. His company’s initial invention was MonkeyLectric’s claim to fame, a Monkey Light.

Monkey Lights kind of look like little double-sided flashlights, and they hook to the spokes of bikes’ tires. Once a wheel starts spinning at about 10 miles per hour, the light forms different patterns (see picture). MonkeyLectric also offers video screens for the wheels that will produce images — one option is Rosie the Riveter’s face — that take up the entire circumference of the tire.

Shoppers can find unique options on Etsy, too.

There are sleek handmade leather bike bags that attach to bikes’ crossbars ($60 by San Filippo Leather); girly, big crocheted bows that hang just below the back of the seat ($16 by Mischief Managed Knits); laced leather “can cages” that securely hold pop cans, or as the photo displays, PBR tall boys, in front of the handlebars ($64 by Walnut Studio); and, my favorite, removable one-inch-deep nylon herb planters that loop around a bike’s bars ($45 by Wearable Planter).

If being too hipster on my single-speed is wrong, I don’t want to be right.

∙ Objects of Desire is a biweekly column that explores items Columbus shoppers crave. Follow Jackie Mantey on Twitter at @Jackie_Mantey.