During last year’s visit to Copenhagen, I got a taste for city cycling. The bike lanes there are filled with sophisticated Danes, happily riding to and fro in regular street clothes on simple, comfy, utilitarian bikes. We rented bikes to join in ourselves, and the experience was transforming. Why do so many Americans ride complicated, uncomfortable bikes, and insist on wearing spandex just for the ride to work? 150,000 Copenhagenners do it every day, and 149,999 could jump off for an impromptu photo shoot.
With this in mind, I decided that I would get my own urban bike for tooling around town, getting groceries, going to bars, etc. My criteria were, and are, in order of priority:
- It must be capable.
- It must be comfortable
- It must be stylish.
- It must be enjoyable.
- It must have carrying capapcity.
- I must be able to hop on it and ride away with no special preparation.
- It must be simple to use and maintain.
Thus, I went on a mission to find or build a bike to fulfill those criteria. I test rode a lot of bikes, and I have to say, the Electra Townie came really close.