Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A different sort of place, a different sort of bike commuter...

We spent last week in sunny SoCal in that happiest of places-- Disneyland.

We stayed in a hotel a few blocks from the park gates and had a rental car. I had the need to visit the local grocery store a couple of times and so go to see how the locals did things.

I was heartened to see plenty of adults riding on bikes. At least I figured it was "plenty" considering that I was in Southern California and all roads seem to be what we would consider "highways". I did note some interesting differences between the riders there and what I'm used to seeing around here in the Stumptown area.

Not a fixie to be seen (Not entirely true--I did see ONE as we were leaving Disneyland one afternoon) and every bike I saw was on the department-store variety. All the riders were in jeans and long-sleeved shirts and none appeared to be riding for "fun".

This reminded me of an article in Bicycling magazine a few years ago. I think it was titled "Hidden Riders" or something similar and was about folks (mostly immigrants) in L.A. who rode their bikes -- depended heavily on their bikes, in fact -- strictly as transportation. The notion of a bicycle over US$500 was the wildest of fictions.

Anyway, I don't really have a point to this. It was just interesting to see so many bikes being used as transportation instead of status symbols, toys, or hipster fixations. (Pun intended.)

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