Thursday, June 17, 2010

Immediate Bike Immersion

For the first time since I've been staying in Vienna, there was a bicycle all my own waiting for me when I arrived. Here is Jacqueline again, courtesy of my friend Wolfgang - famous here not only for his fantastic vintage collection, but also for his bicycle touring and bicycle moving endeavors.

Since our last time together, Jacqueline has been given a leather saddle and is now more beautiful and comfortable than ever. The saddle is a sprung Brooks that appears to be a vintage version of the B66 (the model number is faded and I cannot tell exactly).

It felt so, so wonderful to be greeted by Jackie's "familiar face" and to cycle around the city on my very first day back instead of using public transport and moping. With the memory of my own bikes back home still fresh, I can say this Steyr Waffenrad is a distinctly different ride from my vintage Raleigh Tourist. Riding the Austrian bike feels as if I am sailing on a ship. Not quite sure what this means exactly, but that is what the sensation makes me think of. It is not better or worse than my bicycle at home, just different. Amazing that even among similar bikes, there are such differences in ride quality.

Still trying to adjust to the transition from Bostonian to Viennese cycling, I nearly missed this girl in front of me with a spectacular crocheted dressguard on her bike.

Here is the best close-up I could get. I love these vintage crocheted dressguards, and in Vienna you can actually see them occasionally "in the wild".

Wolfgang also has some nice ones on one of his collector bikes, but that bicycle is too old and valuable to cycle round the city. Crocheted dressguards are a passion that I try to suppress due to how difficult to find they are, but I am always looking. The only place I know of where you can get new ones nowadays is Simeli in the Netherlands, and I hope to review one of those soon. A couple of people have also emailed me about some handmade projects, but I have not had any follow-ups (let me know if you've seen or heard anything on that front).

Being in Vienna again, I have weeks of stressful workdays ahead of me - but having Jacqueline by my side will be a great help. I will see my friend Anna from Cycling is Good for You soon with her gorgeous Retrovelo Paula. And I may try to ride a vintage Austrian track bike, though I am still unsure whether I am brave enough to attempt it! Stay tuned.

21 comments:

  1. I was going to ask you if Jacqueline would make another appearance. Good to know that she's a recurring character!

    Enjoy!


    Corey K

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  2. Velo-DROME! Velo-DROME!

    Good to hear Jacqueline has welcomed you back. Enjoy Vienna cycling!

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  3. Thanks Corey : )

    Margo - The Velodrome is closed for the summer (it's an indoor track), so it would be along an unpopulated river path instead. Oh the mingling of fear and desire!

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  4. Yay Jacqueline! Yay Velouria!

    The last photo looks like something I'd hope to see upon waking up in a nice B&B in Europe.

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  5. Justine - I can't resist the filigree ironwork either! My ideal dressguard pattern would resemble it actually.

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  6. Crocheted dressguards are a hit. I like them too. Don't be shy with the track bike, they are fun! (ok, I'm not an expert either, and they do feel weird initially)

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  7. Anna - what scares me is the necessity to use a foot retention system; I tried to practice cycling with toe-clips in the US, but it was not a success. So I'm worried that I will panic when I need to put my foot down and fall over!

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  8. I do some crochet, and have been playing around with working out a pattern for crochet skirt guards. If you happen to get some some good pictures of some while you are there, I would love to see them! It might help inspire progress on the project. :)

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  9. Crocheted skirt guards!? I so need to make one. Enjoy Vienna.

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  10. That brooks saddle appears to be a B66 champion. It was the precursor to the brooks flyer, the only difference being chromed springs and double rails.

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  11. Check this out skirt guard DIY! It should prove to be inspiring :)

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  12. Amy - I have a dressguards flickr group with pictures of some if you browse through it, but I think it is very difficult to get the pattern just from close-ups. Let me know how the project goes!

    If you follow Riding Pretty's link, and then the link under the picture she features, you can get the pattern for a nice red one with white flowers. But for me, it is a little too densely made and I am looking for something more lace-like.

    Ryan - That sounds about right. The nose on it is very long (longer than the Flyer), but that may be just how the older version was.

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  13. Velouria: You bring me back a nice dress guard, and my spirit will guide you when you get on a track bike. ;-)

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  14. Thanks Justine, now I will have an image of you floating above me in your Mercier, whispering "use the force... use the force!..."

    Do you like the netted dressguards on my Pashley? I have a second (new) pair back home in Boston. They are black though, so not sure they would look too good on your orange mixte unless you spraypainted them.

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  15. Hi, I'm relatively new to your site and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy it. Especially your Vienna posts, I've been devouring them in the archives and look forward to more to come! I spent 2 years living in Salzburg and have visited Vienna a few times, and it makes me happy to see the images and read about it. I was just there this spring for a weekend to run the Vienna half marathon and I fall in love with the city every time I visit it again. I've yet to enjoy cycling though it though, which sounds wonderful!

    Thanks for such a lovely site! S.

    www.academichic.com

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  16. Hey, thanks for stopping by! I visit your site and enjoy your travel posts as well : ) Funny to see that you were in Romania a little while ago; I will be there soon for a conference. Happy travels!

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  17. Romania is one of my favorite places I've ever traveled to. Jealous! Fun fact: I was thrown from a horse in the Transylvanian countryside!

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  18. I am surprised that so many people here have been to Romania; it's not exactly a typical destination. Interesting!

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  19. love it, great insight of other bikes as always
    nice photo on the banner, looking good girlfriend <3
    xxo from SF | meli et frenchie <3

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  20. My mother in law will make you a custom set of crocheted skirt guards. She is doing a set for my wife's Soma Buena Vista Mixte right now.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/aj_the_first/4594276305/

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  21. Hi there!
    I stumbled upon a crocheted skirt guard on etsy.com and I remembered you said you couldn't easily find one. (I guess your blog has made quite an impression on me :P)

    So, there you go!
    (link here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/53642227/crochet-bicycle-skirt-guard?ref=sr_gallery_3&%3Bga_search_query=bicycle&%3Bga_search_type=&%3Bga_page=&%3Border=&%3Bincludes%5B0%5D=tags&%3Bincludes%5B1%5D=title)

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