Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Returning to Portland Rules! Day #2 at Clevercyles

Planner Guy and I arrived at Clevercycles on the hunt for Dutch bikes. At last, we would experience what, until that point, we had only read about. Walking in the door, we immediately came face to fender with the esteemed cycles. The Batavus! Indeed, it was a sight to behold. Elegant, old school styling like something out of an old movie.

The shop also carried an array of baskets, panniers, and saddlebags. I fell in love with a red and white floral patterned saddlebag, but having just purchased a helmet I decided to delay gratification. Just knowing something so lovely exists was enough for the moment.
Clevercycles also sells plenty of cycle chic urban wear, especially designed for the fashion conscious cyclist, male and female. While I don't know if Bob would wear the knee length pants, I would definitely appreciate the dresses with built in shorts.

Roaming into the rear of the store, we found the rental area and were soon equipped with two Old Dutch Bikes. At 5' 1" tall, I was a little leery of the frame size but the helpful proprietor adjusted the seat and reacquainted us with coaster brakes. Armed with maps and bike baskets soon we were off.

I had not expected to be sitting up so much more straight on the Batavus than I did not the Expedition but I definitely was. Unexpected was the position of my elbows - neatly tucked into my waist, which meant I had to relearn turning to some degree. We kept to the quieter roads for the first half hour as I gained confidence on the Dutch Bike. Bob seemed to take to it quite well. If I ever invest in a Batavus I will definitely need the smallest version possible. Pushing off after a stop sign was much more of a challenge on a taller bike, adjusted seat or not. Nonetheless, I had come to Portland, among other things, to experience the Dutch bike so a challenge to my short stature was not about to hold be back. Soon we were off.