I’m digging it!

OK, lets assume the guy saw me when I wasn't wrinkled and my tie was down. You had to be there...

One of the primary reasons why I ride in vintage suits and such is because I believe the image of someone riding a bike in nice clothes will do more to encourage others to ride than all the “green, healthy, sustainable, etc.” arguments combined.  I’m no super model by a long shot, but I work what I have.

Nice theory, but show me the converted pal, right?  Well today, on my way to lunch downtown I pedalled past a middle aged business-dressed, black man who hollered “I’m digging it!” to me as I rode past him on Oma in my vintage sharkskin suit, skinny tie and Kenneth Cole wingtip boots … Justified! If I can get that guy to think riding a Dutch girl’s bike is cool, we win.

As a result I stretched my smile muscles on the way to meet Eric, his wife Elsie and his sister Elizabeth at the Westown Farmers Market, a Wednesday ritual for me.  Elsie and Eric both rode their SWEET Dutch bikes.  I had my Lumix Lx-3 with a charged battery, so this time I got decent photos. Check it:

The Gang of Four: me, Elsie, Eric and Elizabeth.

The '59 Caddy of chaincases on Eric's Batavus.

Elsie has quite bad knees and so rides a bike with a motor assist. I tried it and it was wicked fun to ride. She confessed to me in typical Dutch fasion, "In the Netherlands, you would only see women over 70 riding these bikes." I say you go girl. Two wheels are always better than four. But "Saxonette?" What if I'm a Celt? Game on?

Because her bike has a tiny gasoline engine, it is required to be licensed in Holland. Elsie left the plate on when she brought the bike over ... so would I. And check out those cool rims, eat your heart out you vintage motomag freaks.

About Dave Schlabowske, Deputy Director

Dave was the first full-time staff member hired to open the Bike Fed's Milwaukee office 15 years ago. A former professional photographer and life-long Milwaukee resident, Dave likes wool, long rides, sour beer, and a good polar vortex once in a while.

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