open topic, for anything cycling related.
As we rapidly approach another Tour de France Iâ€™m preparing myself for three weeks of late nights, the dulcet tones of Phil Liggett and a probable Contador win.
On top of that Iâ€™m in it for the history, the teams and the jerseys. I canâ€™t get enough of the King of the Mountainâ€™s polka-dotted honour. Iâ€™d like to think that that would be my specialty, doing it for the team, leading the eventual victor to the top of Col du Tourmalet, but alas, I found my calling elsewhere. Plus Iâ€™m not much into lycra.
I donâ€™t know if I could be bothered with it all - the early starts and the pressure to get from point A to point B, only to turn around and come back home. I donâ€™t want to do the bike shoe duck walk at a cafe and I definitely donâ€™t want to lug my clothes into work and shower when I get there. I truly admire the dedication of cyclists and I know hundreds of them do this very thing every single day for a variety of different reasons. I just have no interest in all that.
The Sartorialist Scott Schuman, the famous American street photographer, has a section in his blog devoted to bikes and people riding them. Admittedly, and a little annoyingly, they are always beautiful people in beautiful locales, but my point is this, theyâ€™re always dressed and it always looks effortless and easy. Thatâ€™s what I want from my city commute. I want to turn up to a meeting, quickly and quietly lock up my bike and sit down to a coffee. I want to turn up to work unflustered, not sweaty and bothered. I donâ€™t want to spoil anything with pragmatic needs like tucking my trouser hem into my socks.
I love bikes, all bikes, because they are the perfect blend of form and function. So why canâ€™t that extend to the way you ride to work? And I donâ€™t mean this hipster fashion for fixed gear bikes and skinny jeans. I love like the way these bikes look, the way it has spurned a sub culture and style, but I have no time for them and their impracticality. If I see one more set of skinny handlebars, no wider than the two hands it takes to steer the damn thing, a stickâ€™s going in the spokes. Riding them is not a relaxing, enjoyable experience as you wobble to the traffic lights, trying to maintain both speed and balance. Did I mention they donâ€™t have brakes? It looks great, but itâ€™s not for me.
Iâ€™m after a grown-up bike, strong and sturdy, but not too heavy. Australia doesnâ€™t have the charm or the lay of the land of a city like Amsterdam, weâ€™re a sprawl, so it needs lightness and it needs to bridge the form and function gap perfectly. Iâ€™m not trying to win races here! Iâ€™ll need to be able to bring some things with me, so thatâ€™s a consideration too and I donâ€™t much fancy compulsory helmets either. We do like rules in this country donâ€™t we?
Just an easy trip into town, a gear or two if necessary and a nod to sportiness, but Iâ€™m not after a racer. I would like to be able to wear a jacket and leave my trousers as they are. Kind of an Aston Martin DB5 on two wheels.
Paul Smith is a massive fan of cycling and I like to imagine him on his way to work, on a stripy bike with leather grips and a Brooks saddle. Simple, utilitarian and beautiful.
Just the way I like it.
This would be where an electric-assist bicycle would be appropriate. Of course, scouting out a route that doesn't have any major hill-climbs would also be great. And of course, in Australia's summer, EVERYONE gets sweaty no matter what they try.
WA had their own 'cycle chic' event earlier today. Details at Cycle Instead In Spring:
Glamour Push is a special promotion that encourages women in WA to take part in the annual Cycle Instead Bike to Work Challenge - a fun and free workplace friendly event.
You can do it and still look chic and glamorous! In Perth, a trip of between 5 and 12 kilometres is a pleasant 20 - 45 minutes ride. That's 4 minutes per kilometre ridden at a very leisurely pace (15-20km/h).
Nasty nasty .... Can we please keep this thread positive ... Shouldn't be too hard should it?
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