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Raymond Bykes: 1911

Raymond Bykes: 1911

Raymond Bykes, Western Union No. 23, Norfolk Va. Said he was fourteen. Works until after one a.m. every night. He is precocious and not a little "tough." Has been here at this office for only three months, but he already knows the Red Light District thoroughly and goes there constantly. He told me he often sleeps down at the Bay Line boat docks all night. Several times I saw his mother hanging around the office, but she seemed more concerned about getting his pay envelope than anything else. Photo by Lewis Wickes Hine, 1911. View full size


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Deux Fixies

I think both the bikes are fixed gears. Note the lack of rim brakes or a reaction arm for a coaster brake. Fixies are much easier to prop against a curb using the pedal because the wheel and pedal are locked together. When one turns, the other does, too. No coasting!

People generally just lean the bike against a wall or lay it on the ground these days.

Short inseam, big bike

Check his inseam vs the distance from the pedals to the top tube.

re: pedal as kick stand

In my country, locks are necessary. Things have changed for the better.


Why do I get the impression that "Bykes" is not the kid's real name?

pedal/kick stand

We do the same thing now with the pedals on the curb. For utilitarian bikes kickstands are also back in favor.

pedal as kick stand

Note how the bike in the middle is being held upright by leaning on a pedal -- I remember practicing for hours, trying to position the pedal just right so the bike would do that. Where I lived in the 1950's, it wasn't cool to use a kick stand. What to people use now?

The Bicycle

Bicycle design and geometry hasn't changed much in a 100 years.

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