A few weeks back I put the call out for a little help on the bike purchasing front… What was the best bicycle for a city gal wanting to get around on two wheels?
Turns out I had quite a lot of choice, and so I slowly narrowed it down to two, with 5062 hours of research and the help of you- my awesome readers. Every piece of advice was duly noted and I can confidently say, without everyone’s advice there is no way I would have found the bike that I did.
The cool looking retro bikes were trying to entice me but it’s a trusty 21 speed hybrid Malvern Star that finely came through with a skidding halt to my back door step. Despite being daunted by all the seemingly excessive gears, after two rides, (yes, two) I got them. I understood the gears and can confidently say….I love them! Gears are amazing and make bike riding a joy… who knew?
This little bike has everything I wanted- stand, mud guards, step through, basket, rack, upright position, 21 speeds and a comfy seat, (without a crazy price tag.)
The first few rides were a little daunting, the footpath getting a good workout along with the breaks. Every car going by seemed to be a potential to, well… die! However I’ve decided that if I’m going to ride in Sydney I just have to get more confident. It’s a busy city, with not a lot of apparent love towards bike riders, (and just quietly, more than it’s fair share of hills.) But it’s my city and there is nothing to say, I can’t make that all work for me.
Early morning rides to city farmers markets? No problem, with my basket on the front and my bell finger at the ready, ting ting…out of my way drunken Friday night partiers, city hippy farm girl coming though on her bike…ting ting.
Taking the bike away with us last weekend, I got a different view of what it’s like to ride around another city. Newcastle this time, which is incredibly flat and bike friendly. Peddling furiously to make it to the beach in time to watch the sun sneak over the water I had a moment.
I got it, I really did.
With the wind on my face, the light slowly touching the scattered clouds, my breath catching a little as I peddled faster and faster. I had time, I knew I could get there before the sun snuck over the horizon. I kept going faster though, not because I had to, but because I could… and that’s a pretty wonderful feeling to have.
Research…and research your butt off. Ask oodles of questions, try the bikes out and take your time making a decision. You want to use it, not for it to be an expensive ornament. The low gear retro bikes look amazing, but if you don’t live in a flat cobblestone city, maybe think again. If you are going to be riding up any sort incline, gears are your friend. A superb wonderful friend, that you will love getting to know.
For an interesting comparison on riding in a different city, have a read of Richard Tulloch’s cycling in Amsterdam…44,000 bike spaces to park in!