Its 1902 and were Dutch. Were riding our only form of transportation a bicycle after a 10-hour workday on the farm. Traveling along the Holland countryside, nobody marvels that were pedaling a fixed-gear machine that sports badass grip tape.
Now, its 2009 and were in downtown Phoenix. We just locked up our alternative-transport device a bicycle at the local coffee shop. People give us the evil eye because the bike is (gasp!) a 10-speed that doesnt include a Food Not Bombs decal plastered on the frame.
How did this happen? Why cant bicycles just be the point-A-to-point-B vehicles that they were created to be? Oh, yeah, because, as a fellow cycling pal recently told us, Everything is a fashion statement. Sigh.
But whether you ride because you have to or want to pimp your ride to look more hip and indie, the Tempe Bike-a-Palooza/Coalition of Arizona Bicyclists Swap Meet events are both worth checking out. Pick up some spare bicycle parts during the Swap Meet, then go on a 12-miler during the Palooza.