Sunday, May 4, 2008

Bicycle Love From Afar

It is true: I have a soft spot in my heart for bikes, bicyclers, and even more so, stylishly-garbed bicyclers of the European (and I'm guessing Asian, as well) countries. As a young twentysomething on her first backpacking trip in Europe (again, remember that cliches can be wonderful), I remember being completely floored by the ladies of Amsterdam, who, in European garb, including five-inch stilettos, rode around the cobblestone streets on their bicycles, lovely, floating creatures, somehow maneuvering around the certain mess I would create, had I been in their shoes (literally).

I, of course, do not possess that much coordination. And (come on!) a southern California upbringing, i.e., cars, cars, and more cars, does not lend itself to cultivating an appreciation for bikes, at least not where I grew up. I was mesmerized! To sum it up, it was a new aesthetic image for me, one that remains emblazoned in the landscape of my memory.

Fast forward, if you will, about 8 years: Living in Portland/Beaverton only compounds this fascination of bicycling. If you don't already know, Portland is huge on bikes. The resident male here is equally obsessed. (I also bought him a new commuter bike--cleverly labeled the "9.2.5"--for Christmas.) Meanwhile, I remain, and perhaps will always be, physically bike-averse. I fall. I stumble. It isn't pretty. I'm sure broken bones and crying will follow. (My friend, the amazing Steph, who started a biking non-profit, even offered to teach me and bundle me in pillows so as to cushion my fall. I am hopeless, however.)

OK, back to why I'm writing this rambling post: I came across the Sartorialist's bicycle posts a while back and fell in love. Look how darling and inspiring:

The first picture is of an American (yay!) in Brooklyn. Of course, I need to move to Brooklyn. Really.

Check out her European counterpart and those cobblestone streets. Very cute floral mini, flats. All darling. And CUTE bike.

Another chic girl in NYC, but in winter garb. Cute. Bikes with baskets are especially lovely. A more coordinated me would carry flowers and vegetables from the farmers market in that basket. Too bad a more coordinated me does not exist in real life.

This is my favorite picture. I took a few of these types of pictures when I was last in Lucca, about 5 years ago. There were many bikes in Lucca, too.

The picture below, I believe, speaks for itself. Fabulous.

Source: All pictures courtesy of the Sartorialist

This may be too ambitious a task for me today, as I am also re-arranging furniture, cleaning out my closet, writing a few other things, but I may just post a few pictures of our Portland biking counterparts. Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

Always look forward to read your blog. You need to be a writer.

Anonymous said...

Agree with the writer comment if you arent already one.

Vanessa said...


SOTTO said...

Such kind words! Thank you for actually reading my rambling thoughts!