|Bobbin Bicycles, the Birdie.|
For the cycle chic crowd, Interbike is our version of New York Fashion Week. And, oh, the fashions! I'd be hard pressed to say that the fashion forward pedaling on the stage and down the bike ramp (only the loveliest of bicycles, of course) at the Momentum Magazine's City Style Fashion Show wouldn't make almost anyone day-dream just a little about a commuter cyclist transformation. Say what you will about the fashion industry, the City Style show featured models of every skin color and body shape in great clothes, much of which could be worn by anyone with some daring and they all made bicycling look cool, fun and functional. Pretty big pulls in my book.
|A Gazelle, I believe.|
|Guys like to look good, too. On a Linus w/ a Linus pannier.|
|More Birdies by Bobbin Bicycles.|
|The Linus logo is a great example of "less is more".|
And then there were the Linus bikes, which I've heard great things about. I was a little disappointed that the saddles on most of the models did not live up to the elegance of the bicycle frames and accessories but the Linus rep explained to me that the bike shops prefer to up-sell higher end saddles to their customers rather than having them pre-equipped.
|The Breezer Uptown Infinity LS.|
|The Nuvinci Variable Twist Grip Shifter on the Breezer Infinity.|
|Breezer Downtown 8|
|New from Dahon; note the new hinge!|
|A Brompton w/ "M" style handlebar.|
|Brompton. It's all in the fold.|
|Anthony at Prodeco will convince you that electric motors will turn non-cyclists into cyclists.|
|The battery for this e-folder prototype is under the bike rack and panniers.|
|Bianchi love. Will I ever be worthy?|
No lightning bolts or glittery graphics on the Italian bikes, be they racing bikes or commuter. Sleek, classic, minimalist markings decorated the Italian bicycles; clearly meant for riders who begin each day with only a strong espresso in a white demi-tass. Feeling unworthy, I could only hope to ever achieve that level of style and grace. . . perhaps when I am 80?
Now you might wonder at my show of humility when confronted by Italian bicycles, but had you seen me back by suddenly large ass into a group of Montante commuter bikes and single handedly knock them all over you would understand. Luckily, it the show was closing for the day and nobody was nearby to observer by clumbsy, unworthiness, which was probably all due to the fact that I was overcome by their angelic beauty.
|Umbrella holder or wine carrier?|
But really, who but an Italian bike maker would have understood how essential is a white, leather umbrella carrier to a properly turned out city cyclist? I went back to see the Montante bikes a second time and when I was inspecting the umbrella carrier more closely (as I originally thought it was a wine holder) a group of gentlemen asked me if I thought anyone would actually use such a feature. After some split second consideration I said that while I probably wouldn't in Flagstaff, where we don't get a lot of rain, that if I was a bike commuter in Seattle, Portland or Louisville where it rains quite a bit that I would probably quickly learn to use use an umbrella while I pedaled and definitely value it.
I've still more to report on Interbike, including more beautiful bicycles, cute helmets, and every manner of bike bag and pannier. I'm also going to do at least one post, alluded to in an earlier paragraph, about the bike/fashion debate. I almost hesitate in even discussing it because issue seems tired and done into the ground. As I noted in my last Interbike post, the question kept popping up about who speaks for women cyclists, and I'd like to add my two cents to the discussion. This writer can only speak for herself and perhaps the handfull of women who identify with her. But that's a later post that is still turning over in my head. I'll look forward to your thoughts as well.