I’ve Gone Dutch

Social media can be a total waste of time. It can also be a great connector. The #bikenyc community is a great example of making connections in real life via the virtual world. Those who know me, know I only joined twitter a few years ago when I wanted to connect to other advocates in NYC regarding better conditions for people on bicycles. It’s been great- I can count dozens of people who have become real life friends thanks to #bikenyc & just being involved in advocacy. And they’re not just in NYC- they’re around the world.

I was on ‘the twitters’ as some of us call it, participating in a fun weekly chat called #bikeschool when someone posted a question asking what kind of bike do you ride and what do you like about it.

I responded that I currently had a beat up well loved and used Trek Allant (that’s done me well the last 4 1/2 years) and while I liked it a lot- it wasn’t my ‘dream’ bike. I wanted a good old upright Dutch bike. Within minutes, one of my #bikenyc friends Jonathan Rabinowitz (@jrab) replied

 Well, now really… Jonathan was being so generous and who was I to refuse? We made arrangements for me to come and pick up the Oma the next day.

Jonathan breathes life into the Oma

Jonathan breathes life into the Oma

After Jonathan pumped air into the tires, adjusted the seat & checked to see if the lights were working (front OK, but back lights need to be rewired)- we did a quick little photo shoot since Jonathan knew how excited I was to be able to have a Netherlands issued Batavus in my care for the next two weeks.

A little blurry, but I love this photo

A little blurry, but I love this photo

Circling Around, Getting Used to the Oma

Circling Around, Getting Used to the Oma

Hell Yea, Life is Good

Hell Yea, Life is Good (thanks Jonathan for being such a quick study with my camera!)

After circling around & playing with the Oma, it was time to set off & head home. Knowing that I was used to having gears & hand brakes (miss Oma has coaster brakes & no gears), Jonathan gave me the easiest route back home- pedaling about 32 blocks south through the streets of Washington Heights until I got to the West Side Greenway. Along the way, I even ran into some “old” new friends.

Tall Bike

Tall Bike heading uphill

Jonathan Representing the Ultimate in Cool

Jonathan Representing the Ultimate in Cool

I’m not usually up in Washington Heights on my bike. As I tried to locate the bicycle/ped ramp to West Side Greenway I just followed my instincts & followed the bikes in front of me.

When in doubt, follow the bike

When in doubt, follow the bike

Once I got to the WSG, the rest of the ride was filled with more people on bikes and pretty uneventful. As it should be- if we want to see bicycles as transportation truly become normal, “pretty and uneventful” is what we need to build for. While the West Side Greenway is beautiful, it would have been nice to have a more direct safe on street route (aka: protected infrastructure) from Washington Heights to the Upper West Side.

People Picnicing

People Picnicking

Going Home

Going Home or Just Out for A Ride

Joining the family

Joining the family

One of my favorite moments was the one below.

A playful gesture between friends

A playful gesture between friends

Due to the fact that my ride home was so uneventful (save for the multitude of  beautiful people on bikes)- I decided the Oma  & I needed some more documenting. I suck at ‘panda shots’, so I took a few shadow shots instead.

Dutch Shadow

Dutch Shadow

First impressions of the Oma? I like her a lot. Though I’m used to hand brakes and having several gears to shift in and out of- having neither really wasn’t an issue. I adapted fairly quickly. The best thing about the Oma? Being able to ride in an upright and relaxed manner. I have two weeks to decide whether or not I want to give her a permanent home. I have feeling she’s going to stay. In the meantime- it’s nice to brag that I now have 6002 bikes at my disposal. The old Trek, the Oma and all those wonderful blue Citibikes.

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About bikepeacenyc

Just another NYer who is happier when on a bike. Gezellig fietsen. Advocate for Liveable Complete Streets.
This entry was posted in advocacy, bikenyc, dutch bicycles, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to I’ve Gone Dutch

  1. “…now have 6002 bikes at my disposal. The old Trek, the Oma and all those wonderful blue Citibikes.” Astute!

  2. TinLizzie72 says:

    Washington Heights, my old ‘hood! Who knew an Oma was lurking around there?! I’m excited to hear how your two week visit goes. I’ve always loved the look of those, but not sure I’d actually want to ride one. (and I agree about Citibikes! Excited that NYC now has that. Just trying to figure out when to sneak up for a weekend….)

  3. Jonathan says:

    That’s awesome you saw the tall bike guys for the second time in a week. One of them delivers pizza and we see him taking the elevator up from Bway to St Nick at the 191st IRT quite often.

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