Monday, 1 March 2010

Une bicyclette, s'il vous plait

Much like open-toed shoes, cotton dresses and fruit salads, cycling regularly seems like a distant memory. We still take the bikes out on Sunday afternoons, but it's just been too damn cold, dark, and miserable to commute on them on a daily basis. There are only so many layers you can put on before you're physically incapable of moving your limbs and/or neck around, both of which, I hear, are quite necessary when winding your way through Edinburgh traffic. Whine whine moan complain complain.

But! This week end I am in Brussels. The weather has not been particularly clement - there was a terrifying moment yesterday when I thought I would get flung over the side of a railing by the frightful wind. This has not helped to paint a picture of a bicycling-friendly town. Cyclists here have to put up with steep hills, mad drivers, murderous trams, and extremely discreet (read: invisible) bicycle lanes.

Belgium does, however, excel at weirdness. This is the land of the giant blue brain, the plasticarium, and the habit of saying "please" (s'il vous plait) instead of "thank you". Hidden behind piles of single shoes, viscose rejects and broken record players at the Place du Jeu de Balle fleamarket, we spotted this fantastic plastic retro orange indoor exercize bike I just had to photograph.

Why does it have a chainguard?

The vendor tried to tantalize us with the promise of a good price, but it was just too bulky to take home. The Ryanair tyrants would never have allowed it. I hope it ends up at the Plasticarium.


  1. You excel at finding relevant topics for your very specific blog and your writing is limpid. Je kiffe. This exercise bike is just too cute for words. It would have matched Easy Jet's colour scheme exquisitely, non ? But nothing can match Ryanair's bad vibes. Greedy cold-hearted bastards they are.
    For reasons still not entirely clear to myself, I purchased an exercise bike about a year ago, used it once, then decided it was more suited to being stuck in a corner of the room and being adorned with a variety of bags, clothes, etc. But this sweet orange thing, it would have pride of place, even if it ended up unused.

  2. It's lovely, isn't it? In a crappy old bright plastic sort of way.

    To be honest it's not very easy to keep this very specific blog up, especially in the winter when there isn't much cycling to be done. *NEWSFLASH!* I have cleaned my chain. Yawwwwn.

    I might open it up to my other obsessions, wool and cake. Maybe.

  3. Do! I like the sound of your other obsessions. Wider scope, more inspiration, more posts, happy me. Merci d'avance... I do like your writing style.

  4. It is frickin freezing still isn't it! I am assuming the Burgh's weather is much like Dundee's.

    I really like that exercise bike, If I had the one, it might encourage me to do more exercise than walking alot and swimming!

  5. Just found your blog!

    Weather here is horrible. Don't need a bike, need a small paddle-steamer....

    I feel hugely guilty Not been on my bike for a year *blushes* I promise to get it out and about this week.

    Love that orange exercise bike - got guard to stop your floor length 70s velvet maxi getting caught up in the chain ;-)

    Ali x

  6. Hey I just discovered your blog too. It's lovely.

    I also funnily enough have an exercise bike just like this one sitting in my room that I acquired from an old flat mate, who found it some where in rural Scotland. It's lovely. ALthough it makes a slightly odd noise!

    Thanks for sharing.


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