What happens when you put two bike blogging friends together in the same city? Lots of bikey goodness. We visited Dutch Bike Chicago and tried out a couple of really cool bikes, the Retrovelo Paula and the Workcycles Bakfiets. The snow was falling pretty hard with already a few inches of accumulation, but that did not stop us. [I was excited to have a chance to ride in real snow. Walking in it was not as much fun! –T]
Everything about the shop is so classy and being surrounded by all of those gorgeous bikes was a treat.
We were impressed by the Retrovelo – it was a lot of fun to ride. The Fat Frank tires make it really cushy, but sporty. (Full review of the Retrovelo forthcoming). The Paula could maybe be a good second bike for me, although it might be too close to the Oma. [I’m hoping my Batavus will feel something like the Retrovelo — so, so easy to ride and efficient to pedal. And beautiful! –T]
The Bakfiets is a feat of engineering. This is the SUV of bikes. Despite the size, it’s light and easy to ride and felt totally sturdy. I did reverse fishtail a bit before getting a hang of the steering. I thought that drivers would leave more room while passing a bakfiets, but Stephan, the owner, who uses the bakfiets as his daily ride, said that it makes no difference. As Trisha noted, I’m still searching for the elusive bike that makes drivers courteous.
The bakfiets could be a great substitution for a car, but I can’t think of loads that I would need to transport that couldn’t fit on an Oma [Not even the cats? –T]. I probably couldn’t make a case for needing a bakfiets.
[I have to admit I was not actually able to ride the bakfiets — even with the seat all the way down, it felt too big and I couldn’t get enough leverage on the pedals to launch. Or maybe my feet were just frozen! Dot and Greg had fun on it, though –T]
I imagine a lot of pedestrians see this window and can’t stop themselves from checking it out. Hopefully more and more Chicagoans will be seduced by these gorgeous bicycles to make some lifestyle changes!
In the meantime, there’s always public transportation. Better than driving, worse than cycling.