Thursday, October 07, 2010

Nothin' but a Hound, dawg

I’ve been bike shopping online for the past few days. Correction: I’ve been bike ogling online for the past few days, because that’s the closest thing to shopping I can afford right now.

Since a trip to New Zealand two years ago, I’ve been trying to figure how avoid being stuck without a bike on nonbiking vacations with my family, or short work-related trips. Everybody wins when I get to ride because, after a few days without pedaling, I get a tad difficult to live with. But hauling a big-ass bike crate isn’t always practical—especially when riding days will be rare, or cargo space is limited in a rental car.

Friends have encouraged me to preserve my dignity and manhood by getting a real bike with S&S couplers; something like a Surly Travelers Check. Folders, they say, are just too nerdy, and don’t handle as well as full-size bikes. I would agree, if not for the wonderful attraction of something that folds into a really small package.

I love the idea of a bike that will fit into a car trunk with a couple of suitcases, or be carried through a hotel lobby without attracting unwanted attention from The Man.

And therein lies my attraction to the Smooth Hound from Dahon. It's portable as hell, yet it actually has a frame that looks like a real bike, instead of just a single tube leading to the headset. It has a mustache bar and a Brooks saddle. In other words, it’s a geek bike with some style.

It’s no replacement for a full-on road or mountain bike, but when faced with the option of an evening of hotel-room cable TV, or a two-hour cruise through a strange city, I’d prefer to try being a bike geek with a little style.

3 comments:

Debbie said...

I'm not as partial to really small packages.

Matthew Woody said...

Xanax would pack in an even smaller bag and would probably make you much more tolerable to the rest of your family than a bicycle does. You seem to have a thing for Vicodin, so Xanax would seem a natural fit.

stephengrant774 said...

Thats quite nice. Faced that same dilemma of stuck in hotel no bike a few times, and bikes a great way to see the city. So, stuck in NY when the ash cloud was there, I rented a bike. Terrified, returned it an hour later.... Think I'd fare better if you drove on the correct side of the roads.
steve, glasgow