Saturday, October 11, 2008

All I wanna do is...

underbridge_img_0854
Probably more than 75% of my Amsterdam photos have bikes in them.

I've visited the Netherlands twice now and both times I've come home wanting to get myself a bike. They have their serious cyclists, sure (you can spot them by the lycra and because they're the only people who wear helmets) but the majority of the population just ride bikes to get around. They wear their normal daytime clothing and lightly scuffed shoes. I'm pretty sure they don't feel the need to shower and change when they get to work. I think that's the sort of riding for me. Yes I absolutely would wear a helmet - it's the law here and I don't have a problem with it anyway.

And this time I really think I might do it. Any advice where I should start with the bike search? I want something comfortable and cruisy, I don't care to go fast. More for leisurely weekend and fair weather transport than sport or exercise.

6 comments:

Michelle said...

You know I'm going to tell you to get an Electra Townie, right? I'd recommend an Electra Cruiser as well, but the Townie has more gears (mine has 21).

Beth Bynnag said...

Right on, Olivia. (Or should I say ride on? I'd be happy to help you check out any bikes you think you might buy, especially if you're thinking second-hand. Technically, I am a qualified bike mechanic, although bit out of practice. Aside from the exercise thing, it's just a lot of fun! Good luck!

kms said...

if i lived in amsterdam i would ride too its so lovely and flat. i did use to ride around the Can when i was at uni but i knew someone who made bikes back then, doubt hes still around!...good luck with it!

Donna Lee said...

Go for it! I plan to ride my bike around for short errands until I build up the strength/stamina for longer rides. I don't know about riding to the train, the sweaty before work thing turns me off. Pk rides and then washes up at work. It is so much fun to ride, even when you're out of shape. It makes me feel like a kid.

Alwen said...

That was one of the things I loved about the Netherlands, the sensible ladies in brown skirts riding amongst the families all riding together, the men in their suits riding . . .

It's mostly flat enough where I live to ride, but so little of the road was planned for bikes. I'm scared of the double-bottom gravel trucks killing me and not even noticing!

With a Q said...

I ride a Giant CRX3. They make a womens specific model in CRX2 and 4, but given I am not petite, the gut at "On ya bike" in Fyshwick said there was not great benefit in a ladies frame for me. He was right. I ride 14km to work (and have a shower of course)

It's important to set yourself a budget, and factor in that you will need to spend some extra. Helmet, of course. Then there are the options - panniers, mirrors, cleats or shoe clips, pump, repair kit, water bottles - it can all add up very quickly.

Don't rush it either. Get dressed ready to ride and go out "test driving." Try all the gears, brakes, get the shop to let you try different seats (they make girlie seats that are great!) and discuss options for handlebars.

Don't let them sell you something just because it is on special. I would take Beth Bynnag - she knows her cranks from her cleats!