Having lived in Sydney for thirteen years, I’ve come to realise that in outlook and in language, I have become mostly Australian. Hot Christmases (or rainy ones) are the norm, “going to the snow” May to August is a commonly repeated phrase as is “going to the beach” October to March, no bathtubs in inner-city apartments (to save on water), instead of “can’t” it’s “caahn’t”, and a more relaxed outlook. But I draw the line at saying to “nut out” (to understand a subject over time) or stating that “I’m across it.” (I’m working on/understanding it.).” I like Vegemite but it’s too salty to start my day. I’ve also become accustomed to the reports of shark sightings and the occasional shark attack. Having grown up in the land-locked state of Minnesota, I would never have envisaged comparing myself to a shark, except for now. “Why?” You must be asking. I test rode the Focus 1.0 Belt bicycle from Omafiets Dutch Bicycles earlier this Spring and I felt like a shark.
To me, shark-like qualities include being silent, fast and deadly. With the belt drive, the ride was so quiet. When shifting gears, all I heard was “click.” The seat stem on the Focus Belt was a little higher than the Focus Planet 3.0+ and my own Gazelle CityZen. Consequently, I realised that I had additional leverage to accelerate. I was faster than usual. And deadly?
I heard my name being called one afternoon while I was ascending the gradual rise that is Wentworth Avenue. I looked over and N was shouting and waving at me from her car. Her son attended the same school as my daughter. She shouted, “I can’t believe how fast you are!” I couldn’t quite believe it either. “Deadly” is being able to climb even faster. The position of an urban bike’s seat to handlebar, makes the rider lean over a bit more which provides a bit more leverage and hence, speed. That combined with full leg extension made me “deadlier” than usual. I have become more comfortable dismounting from the seat to a stand when coming to a full stop. I realise this is a more advanced technique similar to stopping on a road bike while wearing clip-in shoes and lycra, of course.
The downside to this leaning-forward it that it makes my skirt creep up further on my legs. The flashing capability as a result of skirt creep increases. But again, you have two choices here. To care or not to care. Refer to “How to Ride a Bicycle while Wearing a Skirt.”
The Planet 3.0 has ergonomic grips, lights and mudguards standard while the Belt does not. It’s an interesting difference. I think it would be better to have this standard on the Belt. Nevertheless, an awesome bicycle. Go check it out at Omafiets Dutch Bicycles in Redfern!
Today’s ensemble: Zara jacket, J.Crew Origami dress, Cartier Santos, Traditional Indian earrings, Easy Spirit t-strap heels (ancient), Po Campo bag, Yakkay helmet, Witchery sunglasses, Focus Planet 1.o Belt bicycle.