Thursday, September 22, 2011

Introducing the Duchess

As I mentioned in my last post I sold my Jamis to fund the purchase of a commuter bike. As my health slowly started to improve I really wanted to ride places rather than being trapped in my car, but I wanted something comfy, something I felt relaxed on, something I could take shopping or cruising in the park and something I could wear a dress and heels while riding. And after much searching I found my dream commuter. The 3 speed Linus Dutchie. A HUGE thanks to the wonderful Dave at Velo Ideale (here in Christchurch). Go see him if you want a lovely utility bike!

She's soooo pretty.

She’s a beautiful creature with sleek, flowing lines, leather grips and a 3 speed internal geared hub. When I ride her I feel like a princess! Since I got her I’ve treated her to a few important upgrades. I was lucky enough to win a blogging competition with actual prize money so I was able to get myself a gorgeous Brooks saddle and a detachable wicker basket. I love both greatly. The saddle is so beautiful and so comfortable (despite the dire warnings I received about butt destroying doom) and the basket compliments the bike perfectly. I’ve been taking great pleasure in biking to Mediterranean Foods and picking up yummy treats and a bottle of wine and popping them all in my basket. Then a brief cycle through the disaster zone that is the ever-shrinking central city (well, not through so much as along the edge of) and I’m home with a smile on my face.

Panniers are classy on the outside.....

Biking to work is a joy every day. Although when you’re sitting upright on a bike any head wind is a slight challenge. There has only been one thing I’ve longed for. I’ve got some lovely touring panniers that I use for doing the grocery shopping, but they are big and bulky and I don’t like leaving things in them when I’m in a cafĂ© or wandering the shops (the few we have left). So I’ve made myself a set of classy shoulder bag style panniers. They fit my laptop and double as a great handbag, unlike my basket which isn’t really ideal as a handbag. on the inside. Also with handy pockets.

Not bad as a bag.
Making these babies has been a mission and I would never ever recommend that anyone attempt to sew anything more complicated than a table cloth out of oil-skin fabric. Nightmare. Broken needles, bent pins and hours of frustration. The panniers look great, but I’m still not convinced that the effort was worth it. Well, I’ll see when I head to work.

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