The liberation of city bikes


I’m a Convert. Pure and simple.

Let me explain.

I’m quite a busy sort of person. I love being involved. Helping. Organising. Running around the place. When I ride, it is often a mission. Training (full on). Travelling (in a rush). Racing (self explanatory). I’ve forgotten what I did yesterday, because today’s commitments are pressing. Time it seems, is in short supply.

Historically, my bikes reflect this. Mountain bikes (for beating terrain into submission). Single speeds (for beating me into submission). Racing bikes (attempting to beat others into submission). I will readily admit that all too often my bikes are deployed like weapons, leaving all sorts of carnage in their wake.

But then there was proper carnage of the body smashing type and for a period I was forced onto a city bike only. No haring around at speed. No clattering over broken terrain. No dashing to meetings. Every cloud has a silver lining.

There is only one word to describe this Giant – both in dimensions and by manufacture – Dutch style city bike; liberation. The 3 hub gears remove competitive tendencies. The sit-up-and-beg style forces me to slow down and look up. It’s rack calls for loads, lashed by bungees and protected by plastic bags. Snobbery goes out of the window. I lock it up and rest easy (an invisibility cloak makes its form blend into the background and cease to be of interest to ne’er do wells). But best of all, it feels natural. I’m not a cyclist when I ride this. I’m a person. Getting around a city. Effortlessly. On a bike.

With thanks to Craig Standage for giving me a bike in my hour of need. Top image: Dusk and the city bike.

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