An Amusement & Diversion for The Genteel Cyclist. Daily.

Monday, March 3, 2008

We give up already!

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?

9 comments:

Bike Jax said...

Ohhh... Snap! Thanks.

bother yam said...

Thing is, Pinchie, that you couldn't (until very recently) get a bike you could ride around safely and carry stuff on here in the states. The bicycle cognoscienti just about wet themselves at the Handmade bike show this year because bike makers are making bikes with racks and/or baskets, bells, lights and chainguards. You know, working bikes.

Perhaps, just perhaps, the black, icy heart of the UCI design standards for bikes will be ignored a bit and the riding public won't have to buy a mountain bike with a bunch of stuff added on to it, or won't have to commute on a friggin' racing bike any longer. We in the US can't get over the fact that a bike that a step-through isn't necessarily a "girl's bike," but a handy way to mount a laden bike because we've never used bikes like the rest of the world does. I'd like to think that the times, they are a-changin'.

Not to the guy wasn't a dick though. 'Murikans, though slow, do get it and when we do, look the hell out world, here we come...

Pinchie said...

Great point Yammy.

i posted over at Dirt Rag regarding an interesting tangent: Why do Americans seem to prefer two-wheeled utility bikes like Xtracycle and Big Dummy, rather than the humongous cargo bikes like the Christiana trike?

My theory is that Americans actually like a certain amount of ride performance (as opposed to carry performance -- the two aren't necessarily mutually exclusive, of course.)

It is truly heartening to see the number of "commuter" bikes that are now coming stock with fenders and racks and even -- yowza! -- lights.

I've been singing the praises of the Bianchi Bergamo for years now.

Matt said...

Whilst busy wetting myself at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show I did visit Clever Cycles and tried out both a load-carrying upright and one of the Bakfiets. The upright had a beefy front rack that mounted to the downtube, not the fork, so it didn't affect steering. They loaded me up with a bag of chains on the front rack and two panniers full of chains on the rear and off I rode. It rode just fine, with an 8-speed Nexus hub and roller brakes, and I briefly thought about bringing one home ("Look honey! A 50 pound black bike that only cost me $1700!") but decided to wait until the kitchen makeover has finished running over its budget. There is a regal, indeed statuesque, bearing to the rider of these things that's hard to describe. And the Bakfiets, loaded with my riding buddy in the front box, was a total hoot! ("Look, honey! Only three grand! But I can bring loads of manure home from the garden center!") Some of the snarkiness about how we just don't ride in regular clothes doesn't recognize that our climate is both hotter and colder than Copenhagen's or Amsterdam's or even Portland's. While at the NAHBS, Portland held an organized "Worst Day of the Year Ride" with a couple of thousand cyclists. Their Worst Day of The Year was 50 and sunny. Wussies.

dr2chase said...

People prefer the xtracycle because it's loads cheaper (bike you've already got, plus around $500) than (as Matt noted) the much more expensive alternatives.

All the people I know who are going for the Big Dummy, are xtracycle owners who want to be able to carry Even More Stuff. A Big Dummy is not so cheap.

I think, also, that an longtail is a good fit for someone who is accustomed to commuting in a car -- goes plenty fast unloaded, but if you find yourelf doing a bunch of ad hoc errands on your commute home, it copes with that too.

aprilstarchild said...

To Matt:

The Worst Day of the Year Ride is held on the day that, statistically, is the most likely to have shitty weather. Weather being what it is, however, there's often good weather for that ride!

For the record, here in Portland, in January or February the average high is in the high forties (F), the low is is in the high thirties, and it's often raining or drizzling.

knackered said...

The bigger Christiania-style cargo bikes are much harder to carry up stairs, pilot in heavy traffic, run red lights with, and park in places where there is little infrastructure for commuting cyclists. Plus, we here live mostly too far from our places of employment to ride such a bike. Thanks to urban and suburban sprawl in cities that skipped a few hundred or thousand years of building, most of us think commute around 5-10 miles for work, each way. Try riding a trike for 10 miles without sweating!

But you see them...in urban centers where business will use them. I'd love one for commuting my daughter to daycare, but I won't be riding the 15 miles I'll put in the rest of the day on one, but I'll gladly slowly spin the fendered fixed gear in the clothes I teach in.

opop said...

情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 言情小說, 愛情小說, 色情A片, 情色論壇, 色情影片, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊美女, 視訊交友, ut聊天室, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, a片下載, av片, A漫, av dvd, av成人網, 聊天室, 成人論壇, 本土自拍, 自拍, A片, 愛情公寓, 情色, 舊情人, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 情色交友, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊, 情色電影, aio交友愛情館, 色情a片, 一夜情, 辣妹視訊, 視訊聊天室, 免費視訊聊天, 免費視訊, 視訊, 視訊美女, 美女視訊, 視訊交友, 視訊聊天, 免費視訊聊天室, 情人視訊網, 影音視訊聊天室, 視訊交友90739, 成人影片, 成人交友,

免費A片, 本土自拍, AV女優, 美女視訊, 情色交友, 免費AV, 色情網站, 辣妹視訊, 美女交友, 色情影片, 成人影片, 成人網站, A片,H漫, 18成人, 成人圖片, 成人漫畫, 情色網, 日本A片, 免費A片下載, 性愛, 成人交友, 嘟嘟成人網, 成人電影, 成人, 成人貼圖, 成人小說, 成人文章, 成人圖片區, 免費成人影片, 成人遊戲, 微風成人, 愛情公寓, 情色, 情色貼圖, 情色文學, 做愛, 色情聊天室, 色情小說, 一葉情貼圖片區, 情色小說, 色情, 寄情築園小遊戲, 色情遊戲, 情色視訊,

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,酒店,