Dutch Bike lust
I’ll take one of each, please.
We have no Dutch bike shops in Alabama, and I am not sure we even have anywhere that sells Dutch bikes here. So I was really excited to get to see and ride these wonders on two wheels. I was not disappointed…at all. Despite the rainy, cold day I had a wonderful time.
First stop was Copenhagen Cyclery where we met up with Braxton and Ashley (also from Al), who were in town simply to test ride a Velorbis. Phil at Copenhagen was friendly and knowledgeable. We all took turns test riding the Scrap Deluxe and it was so comfortable and surprisingly fast and nimble. I will be honest…I was never sure that a Dutch bike was my style, as I like speed and agility. I was proven wrong on this bike. The balloon tires were cushy but fast and wow was it pretty! While not riding or admiring, I was listening to Phil rave about Chicago and the great people and neighborhoods. I picked up a great handmade wool cycling cap, Dottie got a seat rain cover and we all fell in love with the bikes. They did not have a Leikier in stock, but I am intrigued by the design and concept. After spending about 2 hours in the shop, we moved along to our next Dutch bike stop…
Dutch Bike Chicago. As soon as we walked in the greeted Dottie with a “Hey there, what will you be test riding today?” It was awesome. We pretty much rode every bike in the shop. My personal favorite was the Workcycles FR8. Rode smoothly, quickly (do you sense a theme with me?) and could carry anything. They had one with 3 kids seats on it! It was hard to leave this one behind. I also test rode a Bakfiet, Gazelle Toer Populair, and a Gazelle Chamonix Pure.
The Chamonix Pure was really interesting, as it is a more “modern”, light and quick take on the Dutch bike. Aluminum, with adjustable handlebars that can go from low, mustache like state to a more upright classic Dutch bike placement. It was a pleasant ride, a bit bumpier than the others, but much quicker. I think that if I were to try to “go Dutch” in Birmingham, this may be the choice for me.
For a more thorough review of the Gazelles, check out Dottie’s write up on Let’s Go Ride a Bike.
I had a great time and everyone was kind and willing to answer questions, raise the seats and let me take them all out for a test ride. Braxton ended up ordering himself a Scrap Deluxe and I have been dreaming about that bike and the FR8 since I returned home. I was taken with how utilitarian yet beautiful they all were. Here you see pretty bikes…that don’t carry much. To see bikes used as child carriers, grocery getters, beer holders and the like was refreshing.
Who knows; maybe a Dutch bike is in my future.
Thanks to everyone at Dutch Bike Chicago and Phil at Copenhagen Cyclery. You guys made my trip enjoyable and memorable. If you are in the area (hell, even if you aren’t) go by and check out these shops and bikes. You won’t regret it and will come back looking at bikes in a whole new light.