Distracted by Bikes

Something I never thought would happen…has happened. I have bikes on the brain, and want to go out riding. You should know that my dad has bike commuted since I was a kid (I remember watching for his bike light out the window when I was 6), and my brother is really into alternative transport and bike building/repair. I, meanwhile, learned to ride when I was 8 or so, had an ok mountain bike out in Oregon, but never rode with much pleasure or regularity.

Ben loves to bike, but has ridden a totally inadequate bike from high school for years (more than 10 years), and we finally decided to get him a new bike, and to look for something for me as well. I had seen the Electra Amsterdam in Blueprint and shown it to Tom, who gave it a seal of approval, to my utter shock. (I expected him to say it was a marketing ploy, designed to suck money away from unsuspecting rubes who….well, it’s usually something along those lines; you should hear him on beginners who ride racing bikes!)

Behold, the object of my lust:
Note the chain guard, wheel cover, lovely blue shade… It is styled after the bikes used for commuting in the Netherlands, and sports a 3-speed internal gear thingy. (Very technical, right?) I also like Electra’s “flat foot” design approach–the pedals are pushed forward a bit, so when you are stopped you can put your feet on the ground.

But when we went to the bike shop they didn’t have Amsterdams, only the cruiser styles, which aren’t what I want. And they started telling me about some other options, and asking if I really wanted a 3-speed or if I’d want to be able to go up bigger hills eventually. I don’t know! Here is the 24-speed they recommended, the Suede DX w by Giant:
Hmm. More retro-styling than the other Giants I tried, and it has a cute seat, but it doesn’t conjure up images of me biking along looking extremely adorable and European, does it? Reminds me more of a little kid’s bmx bike or something. (…I don’t even know what that means.)

4 thoughts on “Distracted by Bikes”

  1. When I told Alex about your Dutch bike obsession, she suggested you look at the Jorg and Olif on the Napa Style website.

  2. Unless you plan to cook the bike, I don’t want to read about it here. I have a responsibility to my readers, you see, and when I linked to your blog I represented it as “Kate’s Food Blog.”

    Imagine their disappointment!

  3. Chris, I am SO sorry! Really, I weep for you.

    Mom, Dad sent me to that site, too. Amazing stuff, but a bit out of range for now!

  4. A piece of advice…don’t waste your money on the Electra. An authentic Dutch bike is worth the extra duckets. They cost a lot because they are designed to last for generations. The Dutch Bicycle Company in Florida is another option vs. Jort & Olif. Personally, I commute in the city on a 1947 Swiss Army bike as it was half the price as a new Omafiets (granny bike). Old Raleighs and Schwinns are great too. Get out there and ride!

    Oh, and to bridge the food connection…a bakfiets is useful for carrying garden supplies or groceries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *