temve: (Batty)
[personal profile] temve posting in [community profile] bicycles
So, um, you've seen me in comments... I suppose an introductory post is in order, right?

Actually, one look at my bike should give you a pretty good impression: just like me, she's German, heavy, practical, streetwise, low-maintenance unless you demand sporty things of her, and, well... a girl :)

Yes, she's filthy - that would be a function of my just-shy-of-four-mile commute to work, which is mostly along assorted agricultural byways and footpaths, some of which are paved and some of which are not. There's a reason she's called Puddlejumper, and it not just because she's a Pegasus! (Disclaimer: I'm not a Stargate Atlantis fan but I'm told puddlejumpers are valued short-distance transports there too, which works just fine)

Other than that, this is the perfect example of urban European bike culture, where bikes are still mostly considered means of transport rather than exercise equipment; actually, in my city you can't do a 360 anywhere without seeing at least one bike, either parked or in use, and more often than not, it's being ridden rather uprightly by someone purely intent on getting from Point A to Point B in relative comfort without having to bother with bus timetables.

Puddlejumper is a mid-price city bike designed for casual use (i.e. in street clothes - though this is her second chain-guard because I broke the first one parking her between something solid and someone rude), but definitely well-made and sturdy enough to be a full-time car replacement. The frame's aluminium, but the fact that she's a step-through makes her inherently heavier. On the other hand, the seven-speed hub gearing makes minor hills and stop-start city traffic quite navigable.

Oh, and to add to the so-not-sporty appeal, she's fully equipped to be safe on German public roads at any time of day, i.e. pedal-powered headlights and rear lights (the dynamo's in the front hub these days, and the lights turn themselves on automatically when it gets dark - ah, modern technology!), bell, and a ton of reflectors. Add to that the fact that I wear a helmet because duh, traffic (also, Natasha Richardson), and you've got a pretty good idea of me-on-the-bike.*

This is the commute-to-work configuration with just one pannier that holds my backpack, lock, and emergency tools when I ride, and my helmet when I'm parked. For shopping purposes, I add the second one, and load 'er up. And when I go out for a fun ride, such as downtown to the cinema (about 7 miles) or down the river to the next city (about 22), I skip the panniers and pretend I'm on a non-granny bike. I might even be convinced to wear spandex bike shorts... under a bright green linen skirt ;)

*although [personal profile] ell, I'm told, is entertaining fantasies of making me wear spandex and get on something really fast one of these days... considering how she turned me from a not-biking person into a regular bike user, I'm unable to rule that out entirely any more :P

Date: 2010-05-04 05:13 pm (UTC)
vlion: cut of the flammarion woodcut, colored (Default)
From: [personal profile] vlion
Oh hai!
Out of curiosity, how thick are the tires?

Date: 2010-05-06 02:09 pm (UTC)
wychwood: Lt Welsh and RayK crashed out on a sofa (due South - RayK and Welsh crashed out)
From: [personal profile] wychwood
Out of interest, how much did she cost? Nice-looking bike, though; practical and sturdy. I liked the pictures someone posted of the Dutch Workcycle, but it looked way too heavy for me - this is lighter without being flimsy, by the look of it!

Do you like the dynamo lights? And do they ever run down while you're waiting at traffic lights and so on?


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