My Gazelle Tour “Populair” absolutely rocks.
I got an 8-speed Dutch bike recently to replace my single-speed version. And man, I love it. I loved the single-speed version, too, but any kind of hill was a pain. With a great basic design and a few small improvements, my new model is a beast.
About Dutch Bikes
Dutch bikes are made to go places and do stuff. So you “dress for the destination”, instead of dressing in special clothes just for the ride. You use it for transportation with a modicum of activity, rather than sweat-inducing exercise. In short, it’s made for “pedaling”, rather than “cycling”.
For more on that subject, see my previous article: Upright, Slow Speed, Zero-Sweat Cycling. That article explains why I was so enamored with my single-speed Dutch bike. In this one I talk (and brag a bit) about my fancy new 8-speed version.
Note: This article contains Amazon affiliate links.
Why They’re Important
Before we talk about my bike, though, let’s talk about why you want one.
To put it simply, great things happen when you start using a bike as a utility (or commuting) vehicle:
- For society, it means one less car on the road, so there is less traffic and less noise.
- For the environment, it means less air (and noise) pollution, and fewer “greenhouse gas” emissions, so maybe our grandchildren will have a planet they can live on.
- For your health, you get the kind of light activity that helps you maintain your weight. You also get more oxygen in your lungs and more sunshine in your life.
Sure, you can get those benefits with a lightweight (and expensive) exercise bike. But that activity becomes one more thing you have to make time for.
Using a utility bike for errands or commuting, on the other hand, is just something you do. You have to allow yourself a little more time to do them, of course, but you are getting something important done, and enjoying the other benefits in addition, so it’s worth the small amount of extra time.
I almost said that its worth the “extra effort” , as well. But even a heavy bike is easy to pedal…