Monday, October 12, 2009

Important Dutch Bike Moment, Not Caught on Film

In hindsight, maybe I could have found someone to take a picture, but time was tight. The moment had to be seized.

Yesterday, I was having a chai at my favorite cafe, planning to meet someone for dinner at six. When my friend Emily dropped in. We got to talking about her new job and other stuff. Then I remembered that we had talked about her taking my bike for a ride, sometime. Since Frankie was waiting out front, this was her chance. She's a tall lady, which is what you need to be to ride this Dutch. She loved it. So smooth and stable. The upright position was new to her.

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Emily was on the bike for less than 10 seconds before this couple stopped her, because they were curious about what kind of bike it was. First ride and already peppered with questions. Get used to it! I was thinking of making a handout, explaining the bike and it's accessories. But figured it's funner to do the spiel myself.
I noticed that was going to be running late, so we said our good bye's. She mentioned that she'd be walking over to the Wedge Coop, about 10 blocks away. I offered to give her a on ride on the back of Frankie, and to my surprise, she agreed. Nobody's ever said yes before. I had read that it doesn't taking long for rider and drivers to get used to it. So, I knew it could be done. She hopped on, side saddle and I pushed off. It was definintely a different ride. We wobbled for a bit and I had to really grip the handle bars, to keep it from swinging too far one way. After a few blocks, I started to get the hang of it. Frankie, really handled it well. I got the sense that with practice, it would become much easier, as long as the passenger knew what they were doing, too. If she had started shifting around a lot, it could have got tricky.

I was really fun. People watched as we passed. We were taking side streets and I noticed the cars behind us didn't mind that we were taking the lane. They just sat back. When we got to the Wedge, we cruised past the windows by the check out. Then I doubled back again, just to show off! Since I was already running late for dinner, I didn't take the time to arrange a picture. You'll just have to believe me.


Andy in Germany said...

"I noticed the cars behind us didn't mind that we were taking the lane. They just sat back."

I've experienced a similar increase in car driver's patience and politeness with the Bakfiets. Perhaps it's just that it is unusual, or maybe because they feel bad honking at people who are so obviously happy...

Dottie said...

Awesome story! I'm impressed by both of you. I've not seriously attempted this trick yet. Gotta get over my fear of tipping over.

spiderleggreen said...

andy~ yes, it might be just my imagination, but I think I get more respect from motorists on this bike.

dot~ you're missing all the fun!

Filigree said...

My husband keeps trying to get me to ride on the rear rack of his Pashley. I gave it a try, but it feels way too frightening. Maybe some day I'll get up the nerve, but not just now. Besides, I have my own bicycle(s)!

As for the cars' behaviour - I think the weirder of a contraption your bicycle appears to be and the more stuff (or people) you have on it, the more it looks like just another slow vehicle to drivers. And they all know what to do with a slow vehicle: wait, then pass it when safe.

spiderleggreen said...

I suppose that could lead to the question:
Why do men want women to ride on back of their bikes, so badly?

I have some ideas, but will leave it to you all to provide the answers.

The Bronze Bombshell said...

Ahhh! You're so sweet. I don't think it's every guy who wants to carry a lady on the back of his bike, just the gentleman.