Safe in the knowledge that we all like to see our friends buying nice things (you get to play, he gets to pay), I will tell you how I came to part with over 2K on a whim this Sunday just past. I had business in Sydney on Monday, and was being put up in a nice hotel Sunday night. I had Primrose with me, and arranged to meet "James", who imports Velorbis bikes and who has a showroom near Newtown (I only know Sydney's main suburbs).
I phoned on arrival and James came to open the roller door of the showroom, and my god, each model was displayed like Van Gogh's Starry Night in the MoMa. Brooks leather shining. Cream tires gleaming. Display lights further reflected from metal headlights and handlebars. Seldom, in fact never, does a bike look better in the shop than on the company's website.
James virtually pushed us both out the door with a bike for a test ride. Seeing the tail light automatically shining as Primrose rolled down the footpath beneath trees and drizzle, "Velorbis" written on the rack below her girly derrier, her back looking so straight in that upright position, I should have known I was gone. I had already been for my own ride, and had been pleased by how silent the bike stayed as I flopped down a gutter, and had found the riding position to be not at all awkward, not like that laid-way-way back Gazelle I rode there a few weeks back.
After satisfying myself I had scored a great deal, by beating James down to within an inch of the first price he had quoted me anyway, I paid a deposit, knowing full well I had ignored my own advice about never talking turkey on a shop owner's turf. (But in fairness, I should say, this guy is selling these for less in Australia than they retail for in the US. That's what first piqued my interest: learning etherial bikes were going for a down-to-earth price).
Upshot of all of this is, a Velorbis Churchill Classic is on a ship to Australia from Denmark, ETA about 6 weeks from now.If ya real nice, I might give you a ride.
btw: mine will have the SRAM 7-speed grip shift, a big arse front cargo rack, and a big f... off stand. What's pictured is the 20 inch model I have on order... looks kinda cooler to my eye than the one made for beanpoles. And man, this is as good as commuter bikes get! Hub brakes, gears and gen light. A rear wheel lock. No stickers, no plastic, anywhere, honestly! All stainless fasteners. The list goes on. One of the joys of cycling, is our capacity as ordinary wage earners to own uncompromising machinery.
I'm a big believer in love, when it comes to push-bikes and women. As marriages require effort to keep them moving, bikes require effort to keep them moving as well. And as one would not put effort into a relationship with an unlovable partner, I would not waste my effort pedaling an unlovable bike. Today a close friend called and asked how much he, as someone who was not so "in to" bikes as I am, would need to spend on a bike "just to keep fit".
"At least two thousand dollars," I told him.