Saturday, August 1, 2009
myhyggelig is a place I come to
for recording my thoughts and interests
I always try to stay positive at myhyggelig.
I am going to preface this post by saying that one could see this post as spewing negativity, but I see it more as honesty.
We all have to work through things in our life and face our own challenges.
I've been mulling over how to go about this post for quite awhile, so here goes...
It's hard to put this all into words. But I felt I should share with anyone considering the option of a Dutch-style bicycle on limited funds. I think it is important to really consider what you will use it for and to be honest with yourself above all about your expectations and reality.
I have been thinking about the Pash quite a bit this summer.
I've always known she was an extravagance, and I think I feel a little guilt because of that. I've always had a little nagging concern in my quest for the ever beautiful 'Dutch-style' bicycle, a concern that the extravagance was not practical. And it's not, at least not in my current reality.
In my quest to obtain the beautiful, I knew, and admitted right up until buying the Pash that there were some things I was compromising - mainly weight and a bike to really get me around town efficiently.
After taking the Pash further afield this summer, I do not really like her for long rides. Maybe it's the lycra lovin' gal in me, the years spent with sportier bicycles, or the American in me who has the need to get places quickly, but for rides further than 4-5 miles the Pash just is not my bicycle of choice. I knew I would feel this way when I got her, but I had hoped I wouldn't.
I love taking her on crafty expeditions (2 miles rt), or to the co-op on occasion (3 miles rt), or perhaps my local superstore when necessary (2 miles rt), but that's about all that is within Pash distance from where I live. I'm not fortunate to live in Stockholm where riding the Kronan seemed like it would get me most places I wanted to go. Here in Minneapolis I feel like I live just about a mile too far out to get to some places I might want to go. Downtown is certainly doable, but I feel like these bicycles work best when your trips are 3 miles or less (each way). Easy, peasy, hop on, hop off, no sweat, no muss. For going to the movies, the bars, the restaurants (all out of a 3 mile radius from my home), I want to look elegant on my Pash, but inside I wish I was riding something more like this...
When I've taken the Pash on my longer treks I feel anything but glamorous when I get to my destination. This summer I've been so sweaty on occasions when I got home I had to immediately take a shower and change clothes - not great if I was actually arriving at an elegant restaurant in a cute dress and shoes (darn humidity!). I wear helmets when I ride with cars, and my hair looks a frightful mess when I take the darn thing off (it's a love hate relationship with the helmet issue too). Sometimes my bad back gets ornery and sore. These things make me sad and frustrated. I don't feel like those girls in those pictures... I admit, sometimes I do, and I LOVE that about the Pash. But, on longer trips, not so much...
I still love the Pash, but I just had to get this out.
Sometimes I feel I treat her more as a work of art that I admire (she still sleeps in front of the fireplace), than as a bicycle I can kick around town in. I'm not sure what is a bigger obstacle, the Pash, or the way I sometimes think about her. I admire the quality and all of the fine accessories on the Pash, that's why I got her. But for a small gal like me taking her further a field does not seem like the romantic picture I had in my head.
My last frustration is that we can't quite get the gearing lined up. It took me forever to get the seat right, and I'm still not 100% sure I've got it. And now the gears keep getting mucked up. On top of that sometimes the skirt guard and/or the fenders are rubbing against the tires. H does not enjoy working on the Pash - she's just too frustrating for him, so I have to sweet talk him into some shop time. We tackled these two issues (gearing and rubbing) a couple of weeks ago, things seemed good, but now again they are off. I wonder sometimes if this bicycle is as quality as I had hoped it would be. I've ridden the Trek over 700 miles this summer, the Pash probably under 100, and I don't have anywhere near the issues on the Trek. This frustrates me.
I love all of my bicycle children, but sometimes I do not love them all equally and at the same time. I do play favorites.
Sometimes I feel like I need three bicycles, which given my current state of employment is silliness!
1. Fast lovin' lycra bicycle for long, long rides (this by far is the best bicycle investment I have ever made. this bicycle has saved my life this summer. saved it, 100%.)
2. Pash for close-by neighborhood rides
3. Urban hip for mid-length city rides, such as going out for a beer downtown.
That said. I still love these Dutch-style bicycles. In fact, on my fast lovin' lycra ride today my heart skipped a beat when I had my first Batavus siting in Minneapolis. Two beautiful people, looking elegant on their beautiful bicycles as they passed underneath me on the path below mine. My instant thought? I want a bicycle like that! Oh wait...I have one. :) So, I'm keeping her, I will always have her, and we love our little trips together. She tests me, she puts me at ease, and most of the time she makes me smile.
Dutch-style bicycle Friends - what are your thoughts? Do you have moments like these? How far do you ride your steady steads? How do you feel about your purchases after having them for awhile? Do you feel you need three bicycles like me?