Thursday, May 28, 2009

Viennese Cyclists

I have finally gotten up the nerve to go beyond photographing parked bicycles, and to capture cyclists in actions. Here they are, on the streets of Vienna.

These photos were taken over the course of several days, along my normal walking routes.

Looking at these now, I am struck by how distinctly un-picturesque the surroundings are -- something that is actually quite difficult to achieve when photographing Vienna! But the cyclists sure look nice.

I did not have a chance to be selective and pretty much photographed whomever my camera was quick enough to capture. So this is a good sampling of what commuters here look like.

As you can see, the bicycles are mostly hybrids and comfort bikes, fitted with fenders, racks, baskets, etc. Lights are mandatory, so all bicycles here have them.

It is pretty common to see elderly persons cycling, often faster and more skillfully than younger ones.

Bicycles are allowed into most parks and courtyards including inside the Museum Quartier (a maze of court yards where many of Vienna's museums are located, as well as outdoor cafes and small gardens).

So there it is; my first bout of cyclist stealth photography. Granted, cycling culture in Vienna is not as dramatically stylish as in Amsterdam or Copenhagen, but overall still pretty cool -- at least compared to the US, where hunched over lycra-clad cyclists remain the norm.

9 comments:

  1. Great pics. I think some people are quite stylish, but others lack it completely. I always find it funny to see completely dressed up women but wearing old sneakers. I don't understand that at all. For me it would just be the opposite -- while it's easy for me to cycle in high heels, I have a hard time walking in them ;-).

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  2. I can cycle in high heels, but not in flip-flops or slippers -- my feet feel like they will slide out at any moment and it seems extremely unsafe. But I constantly see women not just cycling, but pedaling standing up -- in flip flops!... How they do it is beyond me, but I applaud them!

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  3. Confused... are you visiting or living in Vienna now? (If so, lucky you!)

    I've been cycling through Vienna too - it's fantastic! So easy and safe. Loved cycling down the Danube River. I saw lots of public art while just "sitting" on the bike.

    See some photos here: http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=32419617%40N04&q=vienna&m=text.

    This one is my favorite - a bike path/track with trees on BOTH sides: http://www.flickr.com/photos/carfreeworldview/3039107890/.

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  4. I know, I am sometimes confused too! I live both in Boston and in Vienna right now -- I go back and forth. My permanent home is in the US though.

    Thank you for the beautiful photos -- Those places are very close to where I live! Vienna has many bicycle paths in the city center and along the rivers, but the locals complain about how bike-unfriendly the city is. I tell them that they should visit the US!

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  5. Just found your blog through "let's go ride a bike". I'm in ( right outside) boston too. Nice to see you and I wonder if that pic of the Pashley on the sidebar is in Harris Cyclery? Just curious...

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  6. MamaVee -- Yes, that's at Harris Cyclery. My husband and I both ended up buying our bicycles there. See these:

    Pashleys at Harris Cycery!

    Testing the Pashley Roadster Sovereign

    Sweet Envy: Husband's Pashley Arrives!

    Harris Cyclery is a wonderful shop with wonderful people. Highly recommended.

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  7. I knew it. Harris is my local bike shop. They did my Xtracycle and I go there for all my needs! One of the guys who works there I found out went to college with me. My gym is right next door so I often go and chat with him after a workout too. I spend a lot of time in Harris. and each time I do I drool over the pashley's.

    Sunds like you made a choice. Have you seen the ANT bike? Custom made but no skirt guard and no full chain guard. But otherwise really nice. I'm on the fence about an ANT or a pashley or a gazelle from Dutch bicycle Co as I also love them too...

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  8. > MamaVee said...
    >
    > Have you seen the ANT bike?
    > Custom made but no skirt guard and no
    > full chain guard. But otherwise really nice.

    Yes, the ladies Boston Roadster is divine! The skirt guard is easy to come by for standard size wheels; in fact I will be bringing some of these with me from Europe:
    http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2009/05/netted-dressguards.html

    I spoke to Mike Flanigan about the partial chain enclosure, and he explained that it is an intentional design choice -- not everyone likes full enclosure, and there are reasons for and against it. But he is now working on a new style of enclosure that is larger than the current one, inspired by 1940s French bicycles!

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  9. Oh- hubba hubba on the 1940's styled bike by ANT. I am not due to buy my own lovely bicycle for about 3 years so hopefully that will be all done by then. That is cool to know about getting skirt guards. I'll have to look into how to get some. I hope to go to Copenhagen next summer so maybe then.

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