I ride a Dutch bike, oma-style. (This is not the first bike I bought, as she was tragically stolen yesterday, but that’s for another entry.) This bad-ass girl weighs a lot; she’s a brick house, if you will. Guaranteed to mess up a car’s paint job when it hits me more than any other bike. And look good doing it. Handmade in Holland, she’s black steel, with a skirt guard, chain case, internal gears and brakes, dynamo powered lights (they get energy from my pedaling), heavy duty fenders and mudflaps, thick tires, cute bell, crazy kickstand, back rack that holds 75 lbs and front rack that holds 50 lbs. (I have not yet come across a reason to load my racks with 125 lbs, but I merely need to be more creative.) If only she were bright pink, she would be perfect.
That’s What Oma Talkin’ About
The oma-style Dutch (or Danish or German or whatever) bike is also known for allowing the rider to wear regular, even elegant, clothes and high-heels. I am not often elegant, nor do I much like high-heels, but I do appreciate my clothes staying clean and grease-free and not being eaten by my chain. I’ll work on the elegant part one day.
This bike is not for everyone, due to the weight (all muscle and big bones), relative slowness (relative to walking, it’s really fast!), and price tag (a few months’ car payment – solution: sell your car!) but it works beautifully for me in Chicago, where there are no hills and everything is a few miles away. Any bike would do to get from place to place, but I could not resist this particular bike for my daily use. When I first started looking for one, there were no dealers in Chicago. I emailed a Seattle shop about shipping one and they mentioned that they would soon open a store in Chicago. And they have and I was their first customer.