Thursday, April 27, 2006

Friday, April 28th, 2006:
Bike-watching in Helsingborg


What I think:

It's pretty cool the way that many people commute around this fine city purely by the magic of pedal-power; it's healthy, it's efficient, it's good for the environment, it's relatively safe (there are fewer maniacal drivers here than in larger cities), but it's not for me. I walk almost everywhere; otherwise, it's a cab.

But I admire those who can be bothered to get their bikes out (sometimes carrying them down a flight or two of stairs), cycle to their destinations, and find suitable places to lock them up, fairly confident that parts won't get stolen (this is not London). Good for them, I say.

Then I started looking at the bikes many people ride. They look plain, boring, old-fashioned - ugly. OK, many people do have nice cool modern ones, but a lot of people (yes, even young people) ride bikes that look like they were designed by ABBA's great-great-grandparents.

I've been told that the "classic" look of these bikes is considered a chic and trendy thing; that owning one of these is a status symbol, of sorts. Have a look at this fine example of Swedish cycling trendiness:
Doesn't this just fill you with envy?
Mama, I want one.
I want the tight Lycra shorts that go with it as well, pretty please.

Ooh, actually, can I have one of these instead?

Perhaps the singer from Roxette will let me sit in the basket while she joyrides around having "the look".

I'm told that they're comfortable, durable, and dependable. I guess that they're considered the cyclists' Volvos. But this "look" is dreadfully outdated, and these monstrosities do not belong in this millennium. It's definitely time that the Swedish government did something about it. In fact, I think it was time they did something about it around 1920. That's what I think.

11 Comments:

Blogger Tug said...

I LOVE bikes...and would love to go back to that time while listening to ABBA & Roxette on my boombox. Just seems like it was simpler then. Probably not, but it's my story. Just puleeeeze don't bring back the biker shorts. ewwww.

4:50 am  
Anonymous Cav said...

I actually love the trendy bikes. But I'm more practical than stylish and drive a Volvo. Love your blog.

5:30 am  
Blogger angelfire said...

Hold on tight, you know they're a little bit dangerous....

8:29 am  
Blogger Maritza said...

You want the shiny shorts to go with the bike? Oh my dear friend, go check out the photo on my blog and let me know if you REALLY want to wear shiny bike shorts.

3:16 pm  
Blogger thordora said...

You need one of those baskets with the fake flowers to complete "The Look"

4:51 pm  
Blogger Cooth said...

I LOVE these bikes. I have issues with gears and gadgets....Simple is as simple does....or something like that.

10:53 pm  
Blogger Isolde & Dirk said...

It's unbelievable how old fashioned bikes are in Sweden. You don't even want to sit on them, I prefer walking when seeing such bikes, and I hate walking... I really wonder why Swedes do not fancy biking... a few exceptions not counted. Especially at the coast it's so nice to explore Sweden on a bike, so many bike-tracks even away from the busy car-roads, really great!

4:26 pm  
Blogger David Kim said...

Hey nice site. I'll have to study your blog again if I ever go to Sweden.

I love biking. Don't they have mountain bikes over there?

Stay warm in Sweden.

11:30 pm  
Blogger Tracie B. said...

what ever happened to the good ol' comfy banana seat? i love the banana seat. if i could have a bike with a banana seat and high, wide handle bars, i just might start to use it...

10:15 am  
Blogger Sara said...

Ahh good old Scandinavia - lived out in Copenhagen for a few years and that well and truly got me hooked on 'all things bike'. Get over to Copenhagen and look at them Christiania bikes - they really rock! - Yeah!!

8:41 pm  
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3:46 pm  

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