I had a bike, a very nice bike, one the salesman 4 years ago said would be just perfect for my needs. Falls from a bike were not part of my life experience prior to that time. Knee surgery changed my range of motion, however, which precipitated the purchase of my four year old bike. The former salesman assured me the cross bar was low enough to get over with my limited range of motion.
After the surgery and former bike acquisition, falling became a scary part of my biking experience. Prior biking experience had been fun, but falling created a torturous apprehension. I LIKE to bike so didn't like this new fear. The increase in gas, St. Paul's bike friendliness, and my desire to bike into my old years precipitated a trip to a different bike shop to buy an "old lady" bike, the bike of my childhood years!
Bobby and Cubs, salesmen at Now Bikes and Fitness, 75 North Snelling, had my solution. They allayed my embarrassment saying these bikes have become very popular (Is that because baby boomers are getting older?). The goal is "to get you moving" according to Bobby.
That flashy green thing in the picture is my new new bike (a Townie 21). Same price tag as the former new bike, but what a difference. Here's what I learned about this bike vs. my hardly used old one:
- The seat is behind the pedals instead of over them.
This allows upright posture and the weight to be on the seat providing better
balance. (Not to mention being easier on the hips because I don't have to fold in half to ride!)
- The pedals are "flat foot" which means they don't have those funny pokey things that keep catching on tennis shoes so old ladies can't keep their feet on the pedals.
- The handle bars are not "racing" style, but higher. The rider's center of gravity is over the seat providing more control over steering for those who don't steer with their bodies! This design also makes signaling turns and shifting easier as hands are not supporting any of the rider's weight.
- The cross bar is very low and a person with limited range of motion can get their foot over it without a struggle. Starting is seldom an issue to someone "stuck" on their bike. Emergency stops or stops on a grade can be a problem when one can't dismount because the cross bar is too high.
- Should the seat be mentioned? Wider, cushier, and better support for that upright posture?
- The color is so bright, lights may be unnecessary.
Now with the addition of a sidecar, showing houses should be more economical!