Cool Wheels

When did bikes become cool again?

I thought it tonight when some young men, with a couple of token young women, pedalled smoothly and sociably by the river, negotiating pedestrians and other obstacles with practised ease.

I thought it the other day when I took photos of these bikes, available for hire near Trafalgar Square,

Then these advertising a restaurant nearby.

This one just yards away.

And opposite it, this one.

Is it retro chic? Is it ironic? A hankering after simpler times?

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18 thoughts on “Cool Wheels

      • Hahaha…after I had learned with my ex running behind me in the local football club carpark (empty) I went on my own (how daring of me) to visit a friend. There was a small path beside their neighbours house which I had to cycle along and of course I ended up in the hedge…yes I did. They weren’t home but when I next saw them they asked: ‘did you come to visit?’ The neighbour had told them about the rather odd person who rode into their hedge and they knew exactly who she was talking about. Where in Holland will you be cycling?

  1. Are they Boris bikes up top?
    Or have I imagined such a notion?
    Around here the idea of hiring bikes seems a bit peculiar.
    FM

  2. Bikes are an honest to goodness way to go ‘green’. More people should use them to help save the planet, not to mention, them selves, considering the benefit obtained in riding them. I think the solid colored bike (including the tires) are a little tacky, though. I think I’d mark ‘my’ bike some other way.

  3. Greetings Isobel! What lovely pics and a great blog. Away at the moment but have a little WiFi and a short time to play with so just wanted to say “YES! Bikes are cool!” They are especially cool in Tokyo where you can cycle anywhere, road, cycle lane, pavements without anyone complaining or looking grouchy.

    The bikes are mostly ordinary shopper bikes with baskets front and back, mudguards and chainguards but they are ridden by people of all ages and left unlocked. There will be a blog when I’m back definitely! πŸ™‚

  4. Love the retro look of the bikes. They’ve finally become wise in the nation’s capital and have a lot of bikes available for tourists who’d rather pedal than walk around the city. Going green at long last. Your photos are great.

    Pam (and Sam)

  5. I love this series of photos!
    BCN is also on the move: lots of people do cycle and very many have joined the possibility of being users of the BICING (a town wide system of shared bikes stations which has become increasingly popular)

  6. Thanks, everyone. I like the bikes, but the last two are rather self-consciously appealing to our sense of a simpler existence. I agree with Orples about the ones advertising the restaurant. The ones for hire are a private company, not Boris bikes, and just up from St Martin-in-the-Fields. BICING must be the Barcelona equivalent of the Boris Bikes. So many cities have this system now. Why not Manchester?
    I don’t do snazzy biking outfits, Pix, Lycra isn’t something I willingly embrace. πŸ™‚
    When I was in Munich a couple of years ago, I was amazed that the bikes were not padlocked.
    Have a great time in Japan, Jan. I’ll look forward to your post. In the meantime, I have another bicycle picture I shall post.

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