Monday, June 21, 2010

Much Madness is divinest Sense- To a discerning Eye

These things are bound to happen.  You go from ignorance and a lack of comprehension to gathering knowledge and developing a sense of perception and discrimination.  You start to see things that would have escaped your notice in the past.  Sometimes these things bring you joy... and sometimes they bring you pain. 

I've never been much of a fan of "beach cruiser" style bikes.  Still, coming home the other day, I was drawn over to this display in front of a local bike shop that I never visit (not a Frida kind of place):
So beachy, so cruisery; but colorful and clearly eye-catching, and I can see how people would be attracted to them.  Before I started really looking at bicycles, I would have simply chalked them up as not my style and moved on.  But now-- and especially after reading certain blogs-- all I can see is this:
what the holy hell is going on here??!!!!

I hope none of the employees was watching me while I was photographing, because I know I was grimacing heavily and making audible gagging sounds the entire time (with a rising pitch of hysteria as I saw more of the... details).  I know these things won't bother a lot of people, who might just see the flowers and the plaid and think "cute bike!"; and like I said, I probably wouldn't have paid attention earlier---- okay, except for the bizarre and horrible termination of the top tube on the blue bike (Seriously, what the eff is that?  That entire area is just a cluster fuck).  They're still bicycles, they'll still make someone happy, and there are many far worse things existing in this world.  Right?  And it's nice that a "hard core" bike shop is making an effort to carry styles for a different kind of rider.

I just need to remind myself of all of the beautiful and interesting bicycles I'm seeing for the first time.  And breathe.


Velouria said...

"I was grimacing heavily and making audible gagging sounds the entire time (with a rising pitch of hysteria as I saw more of the... details)"

fantastic : )
my heart swells with pride!

somervillain said...

the thing is, those garish welds are not unique to cheap beach cruisers-- even some mid-range road bikes have welds like that. sadly, the majority of the bike-riding public aren't offended by the lack of refined details on these kinds of bikes. but yeah, that top tube takes the cake for poor, superficial design.

margonaute said...

somervillain: Sadly, even the otherwise very cool Batavus BUB has some equally prominent and horrendous welds-- couldn't quite believe it when I saw one in person.

Velouria: It was kind of unsightly!

Anonymous said...

I've grimaced at many similar bikes. It kind of looks like it's being held together with that spray-foam insulation stuff :)

I'll take steel and lugs, thank you very much. Or at least something that looks like the maker cared *at all* about the aesthetic of the bike.

(together with Velouria)
*whisper* one of us... one of us... */whisper* :)

Corey K said...


and so it begins. Muwahahahahaha.

A neighbor recently gave us a 1940s Monark step-through middleweight bike (tank and fenders are missing, alas).
It has butted tubing, like a Schwinn, and the welds are flawless. It can be just isn't, all too often. Kudos to those who manage it.

Herzog said...

*shudder* That's really depressing. Really depressing.

Ridonkulus said...

i never noticed the fluted lugs on my bike (i checked after reading this). always thought it was a plain jane, but it's pretty darn cute.

Anonymous said...

Here's a great example I saw today:

cycler said...

The thing that makes me mad about that kind of BSO (Bike Shaped object)
is that a "hardcore" bike store will say, Oh, we need to carry something for people who don't want to race (and/or girls), let's bring in these pieces of shit that we can sell for a good markup.

Unfortunately a lot of these bikes are either "maintenance free"
or are so uncomfortable/ illsuited to the rider, that they hardly get ridden. If they're really lucky, they'll introduce someone to the joys of biking, and be discarded for a "real" bike.

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