Though we’d altered Oma, she still wasn’t a perfect fit for long rides with lots of stops and starts–so for the cocktail ride, the nice folks at Copenhagen Cyclery in Wicker Park agreed to give me a loaner. The shop’s manager, Phil, and owner, Brent (who was on the Cocktail Ride with us looking quite dapper) set me up with the elegant red Abici Granturismo Donna.
This sexy red single-speed with a rear coaster brake and a front handbrake was easily the most attention-getting bike I’d ever ridden, so it was lucky I had a few of Copenhagen Cyclery’s cards to give out to curious passers-by.
This bike was an effortless, fun ride. The single-speed was set up just right for Chicago. The biggest “hill” I took it on was on Damen street, on the bridge crossing the Chicago River, and I had no trouble keeping up with Dottie and Oma. At first I avoided using the coaster brakes in favor of the hand brake, but as I grew more accustomed to the setup, I came to really like it. I got better at using just the coasters and still having the pedals in the correct position for starting up again, but most of the time I would use the coasters to slow my speed and the hand brake for the final stop.
The Abici comes with a Brooks saddle, fully enclosed chain case and comfortable grips in a vintage-chic style marbled plastic. Copenhagen had it in two colors — this eye-catching red and a sleek, flat black — but Abici’s site lists several others, and Copenhagen can order any of them.
It was not without a pang that I gave up this beautiful bike. Luckily for my wallet, there’s no multiple-speed version, which means the Abici would be decidedly impractical for my hometown. But Chicagoans looking for a well-designed bike with a high-style factor should give the Abici Granturismo a try. Just make sure you’re ready to buy, because you won’t want to take your feet off the pedals.
More pics from the interior of Copenhagen Cyclery: