Yes folks, I got a bike!
Getting on it wasn't quite like "riding a bike" after 17 or so years of not even touching one (last time I rode bikes was at 13, so do the math) but I got better the second or third time I took it for a ride and now I feel like I'm flying.
That is except for when I'm going uphill.
So, what helped me choose my bike? These two people and their sites:
I went through the whole bikepretty.com blog archives while doing my research. Twice. If the title didn't give it away, this is a blog about riding bikes and looking pretty, written by Melissa in San Francisco. Other than amazing bike eye candy (drooling over this one) Melissa also features tips on riding while wearing a skirt (here, here and here) and where to find pretty bike helmets (here, here and here).
This is where I realised there are more choices out there. Girlier choices. No ugly mountain bike for me. It also helped me set my priorities straight. I decided that I needed a step-through bike with an uprightriding position and some gears. In plain talk, that means a bike that features a curved bar, making it easier to hop on while wearing a skirt, doesn't require you to hunch forward while riding it, and helps you go uphill without feeling like you are going to die. Yes, sweating less, looking good and being able to wear skirts were my main concerns. Got a problem with that?
Of course, I then had to find out who sells such bikes in Greece. Most bike shops I already knew were either selling ugly mountain bikes for boys or fixies for hipster dudes. Google helped with this one. I searched for something like "retro bikes greece" and first organic result that came up was thecitybikeshop.com (that's good SEO you guys, learn it).
On first look I saw they import italian brand bikes, like Alpina and Anita, and their prices seemed like real value-for-money. Next thing I know, I was visiting their brick-and-mortar shop, talking to the very friendly, helpful and SEO-savvy owner, Vangelis.
So, let me introduce you to my Alpina Rondinella in army green, featuring 26' wheels and 6 gears. It belongs in the Alpina Retro range, but I also loved some of the Alpina Vintage ones and the more fancy (read expensive) Anita bikes.
The only thing I'm afraid now, is that bikes are gonna turn out like shoes. Never enough.
Jeans, WRANGLER. T-shirt, MANGO. Bag, STRADIVARIOUS. Scarf, ZARA. Sneakers, REEBOK. Bike, ALPINA.