Ride Me is dedicated to the lifestyle and culture of living Car Free in Portland, Or. Traveling only by bike and public transit is a great way to get around the Rose City.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Omafiets, not just for Granny anymore.

I think the term Omafiets, Dutch for “Granny bike”, tends to make most men cringe a bit. The thought of riding a woman’s bike, let alone an upright bike, seems to be far from the mindset of most men pedaling around PDX, or the US in general.
But why?
Are we really so insecure in our manhood that a woman’s bike somehow challenges our masculine cycling ego?
Is it simply the “Granny” designation? Perhaps it’s the mental image of an old, wrinkly Granny riding along at a slower than usual pace seems less than hard-core.

Let’s look at the facts:
Step through frame =Easier to mount and dismount; casually stylish as well. Also, you don’t need special clothes or shoes. Just step on and ride away.
Upright riding position = Better view of your surroundings and more visible to auto traffic.
Easier pace than a Roadie = Take some time to enjoy where you are and where your going. It’s not a race. What’s the hurry anyway?
Nerd Factor = Isn’t it hip to be Nerdy these days? Most of the hipster crowd (myself included) seems to gravitate toward the ‘faux nerd’ look anyway. This bike fits perfectly.

I love pedaling my Omafiets around town. I ride it almost exclusively.
As more of these bikes hit the street, I am surprised that more men aren't riding them. The Electra Amsterdam on sale everywhere, and the Azor at Clevercycles are two great examples of the Omafiets. The Dutch, current purveyors of this style of bike, see most all teen boys and young men choosing the Omafiets for their preferred city ride. Mainly for the reasons listed above. Some even ride a pretty mean wheelie on them.

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