Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Search, The Naysayers, The List


Here's what you might not know: Bicycling makes you happy. Sure you may have raced a bike, or used a bike to climb a mountain...but if it didn't make you happier, you've never really ridden one. I'm ready to ride a bike again - it's either that, or I give up on NYC.

Ironies of irony - I live in what is arguably the cultural, financial and cosmopolitan capital of the USA, a city of over 8 million people from all over the world. There are no bike shops in all of New York City that carry dutch bikes. OK, yes there are dealers that have some Batavus - but it's a limited selection and they talk about them as if it's an annoyance to carry them. Here's what I've heard so far:

"they're so heavy, we don't have any out"
"well, they're in the basement, they're just too heavy"
"we have the NuVinci, but we took out the hub and traded it for a nexus because it was too heavy"
"you don't want one of those, you won't be able to carry it up the stairs"

And then there's the Biria - a couple of shops in town have this one. The price has ranged from $400 to $699. I took a look at one and I wasn't impressed, although almost every day I think 'why don't I just go get that one, at least I would have a bike...'. A mechanic in one shop said that they sold one and the guy who bought it has to bring it in every two weeks because something breaks. Doesn't sound very sturdy, right?

Oh, and the shop Ernest Sewn has one Jorg and Olif in the window - I stopped there today to ask about it, but the sales guy was so busy flirting with someone that I couldn't get his attention. Besides, they didn't really seem to be selling it, just using it as a window decoration.

So, if you live in North America - where can you get a Dutch style bike? Here are the places I've found so far - please, if you have a heart, add any you know to the comments. I need all the help I can get with this search. It's an exciting road into an unknown forest, and at least I'm not drunk....yet.



Dutch Bike Dealers

EASTERN North America

Massachusetts, USA
A.N.T (Alternative Needs Transportation): Bespoke bikes (http://www.antbikemike.com)

Ontario, CANADA
Curbside Cycle: Batavus, Pashley, Biomega (http://www.curbside.on.ca) - Free shipping on all orders over $100


WESTERN North America

British Columbia, CANADA
Rain City Bikes: Azor, Bakfietsen (http://www.raincitybikes.com)
Jorg & Olif: Azor bikes (http://www.jorgandolif.com)

Oregon, USA
Clever Cycles: Azor, Batavus, Bakfietsen (http://clevercycles.com)

Washington, USA
*Dutch Bike Co. Seattle: Azor, Velorbis, Retrovelo, Bakfietsen (http://www.dutchbikeseattle.com) - Ships anywhere

(* The guys at the Dutch Bike Co. in Seattle are great - so far they've been the most helpful, most responsive. They're at the top of my list when I order my bike.)


MAIL ORDER or SPECIAL ORDER

Fourth Floor Distribution: Find other Canadian dealers of 'dutch' style bikes here. (http://www.onthefourth.com)
Kronan: Begins selling online in North America May 2008 (http://www.kronan.com)
Dutch Bicycle Company: Grand 1888, Velorbis, Bakfietsen, Sögreni (http://www.dutchbikes.us)
Batavus Dealers: Many bike shops can special order from a very limited selection of Batavus bikes - they will charge you for the shipping.
Biria: Many bike shops can special order 'dutch' style bikes by the German company Biria.

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