It’s interesting that while humanity rushes forward with great bounds in technology, we also seem to be seeking more atavistic approaches to our lifestyles. There was a time when we obtained food from our natural habitats and now, it seems, foraged food is again on the menu.
Darron Sven Coppin and Andrew ‘Mog’ Mogford form Sven Cycles, a workshop in the county of Dorset, on the South West coast. Sven Cycles just completed one of their most ambitious projects: a Foraging Bike for a local Dorset chef.
Sven Cycles specialise in bikes inspired by the golden age of British cycling, such as their Roadsters, and even won the 2014 Bespoked award for Best Touring Bicycle, but they’re not adverse to building very fast, modern bikes either.
The Foraging Bike is the culmination of numerous partnerships, and was initially inspired by the Series 1 Land Rover. The association is easy to see: from the Ascot Bronze Green paint to the waxed cotton frame bags, custom made by Restrap in West Yorkshire.
Essentially, the Foraging Bike is designed for traversing forest and fields, and collecting and cooking a variety of wild food. Part utility vehicle, part mobile kitchen, it’s natural environment is the natural environment.
For such a versatile vehicle, it can still fit through a standard doorway, and is still only the same length as a conventional bike. It’s just as useful as a traditional Land Rover, too: A dynamo front hub powers the lights and a USB charger — The Plug — on the stem cap.
The front wheel is not your usual spoked arrangement; the UK-made Loopwheel has a small amount of integrated suspension, thanks to the three compliant elliptical struts. It’s enough to keep a full load tracking confidently along rocky paths.
The only thing missing is the kitchen sink, but the locally-made wicker basket contains all the necessary equipment for a five-star picnic: a fire pit BBQ, up-cycled cooking pots and pans and 100% recyclable plates and utensils made from pine tree fibres.
The water bottles and Thermos are stainless steel, and the chopping board is made from recycled boat decking. There’s an assortment of Opinel knives, a mushroom knife and sharpening stone, flint and a foraging hook. Oh, and also a folding shepherd’s crook.
Sven Cycles constructed the frame, based on a classic 1930s cross-frame design, from Reynolds 653 with raw stainless 921 lateral down tubes. Ted James made the head tube, and the forks are oversized Reynolds 853 blades.
With production of Land Rover’s Defender ending this month, Landie fans need not despair: the Foraging Bike is the next best thing. Perhaps they should get in touch with Darron and Mog for a two-wheeled adventure mobile.