David Rees doesn’t just sharpen pencils. He knows how to ride a bicycle, too. We caught him popping into Beacon Natural Market for an energy bar. He was about to go for a spin, something he likes to do to get his head in a good space before sitting down to write.
Years in Beacon: Moved up from Brooklyn in the fall of 2005.
Why do you ride? Growing up in North Carolina my parents always commuted by bike. When I lived in Boston I got around by bike. I lived in Brooklyn for seven years and I kept saying I needed to get one, but I never did. I finally got one last summer. It just feels crazy to get in my car to drive to the post office.
Advice for new riders: Stop at stop signs. Signal. Wear a helmet.
David scored an early 70s Raleigh Professional frame in Mink Blue from Peoples Bicycle. Note the blue tires, completing the bike’s “colorway.”
The Raleigh Pros were built in the independently-run Carlton workshop, a high end frame building company Raleigh purchased in 1960 to help it break into the racing market.
It does not appear to have any of the original components. It’s been outfitted as a single speed with a flip-flop hub and bull-horn bars, giving it a messenger-style vibe.
The blue with the silver barber pole striping is classic. Fenders are practical additions. Keeping with the spare working-bike look, a messenger bag would be a good way to make this setup useful for errands in town.
We cut off David’s feet (sorry) but you can still see the right side roll-up technique, to keep the pant leg out of the drive chain of the bicycle. The overall look here might be called “gentleman hipster.” (See second photo above for David’s choice in footwear.)
Pencil-sharpening notoriety has its downside—despite being garbed in a loose-fitting sweatshirt and a helmet, David is often recognized on the streets of Beacon.