Stylocycle’s Blog

Loving the new Batavus
February 8, 2010, 8:10 pm
Filed under: commute by bike

It’s not so much that it’s a Batavus per se that makes me so happy. There are lots of sturdy, European-made bikes that would do as fine a job. For example, I think the Abici bikes are fantastic, and I’d love to have my own Pashley for fair-weather riding, but I’m thrilled that the Batavus Fryslan has proven to be such a great bike for Dear Spouse. Its price point was a little lower than some of the other bikes that Curbside carries, and because that dropped it below the provincial tax threshold the price difference translated into a final cost of about $500 less than some of the comparable models.
For his part, Dear Spouse has been a very easy convert. He loves the upright riding position, the effortlessness of the ride itself, the swiftness of the bike, and the fact that it’s really true that he can bike in his good clothes and not arrive at his destination in a sweat.
I love the fact that we can now cycle in time with each other. My bike ends up having a very similar wheel-base to his and my effort is about equal to his (unless I have my dynamo on at night) so we are often able to ride nearly side-by-side as we go.
He’s already found that lots of folks around town comment on his bike too, and the local hipster barrista with a Bianchi fixie pronounced the Batavus a very spiffy ride after taking it for a spin around the uptown core.
Dear Spouse is a big ol’ graphic novel fan so he’s named his shiny, black city bike the “Batavus-mobile”. Heh.

Meanwhile, when I’m not doing work-work I’ve been reading 3 books about cycling alongside each other. I’ll have comments to post soon, and I’ll be wondering what others think. I’ll say already that much as I like David Byrne’s premise about travelling with a bike being so much nicer than travelling any other way, I’m finding his Bicycle Diaries to be too much about his untrained sociological views. He’s not off the plot, but his fixation on the sociological questions can distract from the travel-by-bike premise and lead him into territory that he’s poorly equipped to analyse except in the most ‘armchair’ mode, and that’s too bad because it really does give the book a sedentary feel.

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