We said "unkle" months ago, but Mikael Colville-Andersen, better known as "Zakkaliciousness," continues to stir the pot of Anti-American sentiment over at Copenhagen Cycle Chic. His particular rant, which continues to skip unattended on the turntable, is that we Americans are just too precious and sensitive about bikes and bike gear; we're dillettantes, "commuters," "racers," "hobbyists."
Simply put, we lack the cool self-confidence to ride our bikes in normal clothes. Also, we are too pretentious for chain-guards.
By way of example, Z weaves a merry little prose narrative.
When she bought her bike at her local bike shop she didn't have a "fitting" at the "full service workshop and showroom". She probably walked into the shop and said, "I need a bike". The chap working there probably shrugged, glanced her up and down and said, "you'll be needing a 52cm".
"I like the black one, over there..."
"That's a 52cm"
"Great. How much?"
And off she went with her new bike. He didn't offer her any fancy, expensive "bike gear" or "accessories" and he didn't try to dazzle and confuse her with inaccessible, nerdy technerd babble in order to make more money. He doesn't even have "cycle clothes" in his shop. He assumes she has clothes in her closet at home. A wooly hat for winter. A summer dress for... well... summer. She needed a bike. He owned a bike shop. It was over in 20 minutes. Although he probably adjusted her seat for her.
The bike she chose was a black one. Probably a good, reliable Danish brand like Kildemoes or Taarnby. It certainly wasn't a "TerraTurbo Urban Warrior X9000". It was just a bike. What it is called isn't important to her. Just the fact that it works.
We were admiring how awesome it is that Denmark has such an embedded cycling culture, not to mention the fact that it tolerates strange men running around snapping photographs of unaware women on bikes, and posting them on the Internet. And so rarely without the distraction of a head or face!
But then we happened to notice an advertisement on Copenhagen Cycle Chic, for Velorbis bikes, apparently a major underwriter of the site.
"When design matters." Presumably that's never, to a Danish cyclist. Right?