The ultimate cycle chic: test-riding a Velorbis bicycleHome » Blog » Su Yin Khoo » The ultimate cycle chic: test-riding a Velorbis bicycle
Riding like a royal—and enjoying it
I have been admiring those beautiful Danish bicycles from afar ever since I got serious about bike commuting.
My beater bike gets the job done, but not without some modifications. I had to throw in some mudguards, a bike rack, some lights and a bell. However, you can't change ugly. Beater bike comes in an unimaginative silver and blue plastered with faux racing decals that don't actually make the bike go any faster.
You can guess what my answer was when Annabel asked if I would like to test-ride a Velorbis Dannebrog bicycle for a few days.
Suddenly I had a shiny, big red bicycle to ride back home on. I felt like a kid who just took off her training wheels for the first time. A little wobbly and unsure at first, the journey quickly became fun once I got used to riding upright at a cruisy pace.
And boy did the Dannebrog turn heads! Motorists can't help but admire the sexy beast when I pedal past—probably wishing they weren't stuck in traffic being subjected to cheesy music on the radio.
Everyone I talked to approved of the bicycle. "Oh, what a stunner!" they admired, stroking it as you would a prized thoroughbred. I was quite enjoying the attention.
And then I hit my first hill.
After a year of bike commuting, the Auckland hills don't bother me too much but the 5-speed Dannebrog just couldn't quite make it up to the top of Queen Street.
I didn't mind pushing it uphill for that leg of the journey, but it's not ideal if you have to do it everyday. Ideally, you'll never want to dismount until you reach your destination.
Although it's crafted from lightweight steel, the Dannebrog still weighs a hefty 17kg. This is normal for utility bikes, but it also means that you can't really take off quickly—and so avoid the wrath of impatient motorists—nor maintain speeds above 10kph unless going downhill.
Alas, the Dannebrog is not for my daily work commute—unless I move somewhere flat like Christchurch—but this temptress almost convinced me that I could get around easily in Auckland on five gears.
I can see myself rocking up to the corner dairy on a Velorbis though. Oh yeah ... that bread and milk deserves to be carted home looking tres chic.