Dreaming of Shinola Bikes

I recently picked up cycling in Tokyo, and I have to say that this is one of the best cities to bike!  Drivers and pedestrians are very attentive to cyclers – usually giving us a pretty wide berth on the road or moving to the side when they hear the ring of your bell.  Theft is pretty rare and why you see some very high-end bikes comfortably parked on the side of the road.  I was flabbergasted when my Japanese exchange student roommate wanted to bike the streets of LA without a helmet, but I can now understand!  You rarely see a helmet in Tokyo on everyday commuters.

I rescued my used, repossessed bike from a Minato-ku city auction for $80 including all of my tags and registration.  It’s a handy, comfortable bike, but far from the stylish likes of Shinola!  I’m going goo goo ga ga over these chic handcrafted bikes with vintage details from Detroit.  I imagine myself magically transforming into a glamorous city biker with 6-inch heels, cruising the city with ease, never having to check Google Maps for directions.

.. And in my dream, when I travel too far, this vintage truck will pick me up.

(Do you hear me, hubby?)

11 thoughts on “Dreaming of Shinola Bikes

  1. Bikes on pavements – grrrrrrrr!! I do a lot of exorcist style head spinning as many cyclists have no concern for pedestrians. Perhaps I should start riding a bike myself!

    • Hahaha Unfortunately I might be guilty of that too! I didn’t do it purposely, but I was a bit wobbly getting used to biking again, and I think I scared a few people along the way! Now that I’m used to it, I’m very considerate, but there are definitely speed racers out there who are less so!

  2. They are gorgeous bicycles in beautiful colours. I bet they`re expensive though. I like the idea of cycling around cities too but unfortunately helmets are usually necessary so I don`t look so quaint (nor is my bike very quaint). A necessary evil though to spare us from the evil of certain drivers!! : ) It makes sense for cyclists to get so much respect in Japan I guess, even in the hectic cities, as Japan is such a big cycling country isn`t it? People look so chilled out on their bikes even in rush hour traffic. I don`t know how they do it.

    • I agree! I don’t know how bikers look so chic even after such a long ride! Some of my friends bike over an hour to work, and they always arrive so calm and collected even in this heat.

      I asked my husband why so many cyclists in Tokyo don’t wear a helmet, and he said that it’s probably purely from a style point of view. It’s just ‘not cool.’ As long as I bike along the pedestrians, I’m not as nervous. I’m definitely thinking about getting a helmet though – there are some nice ones out there now.

  3. Biking over an hour to work!! Wow. I`ve heard of helmets that look like horse riding hats. But I think I`d pass on those. Don`t want people thinking I`m confused : P I suppose as uncool as they are you can still get other ones that are good looking enough and not too obvious as helmets.

    • I was surprised to hear that too! I have one client that’s about an hour away by bike. Maybe I should try it too. It would be great exercise though! Maybe that’s how Japanese people stay so healthy and thin and live so long! Hahaha You’re right about the helmets that look like riding hats. That would be quite funny in the city! hahaha

  4. I LOVE these bikes and I have no reason why I love them so much lol. I did however saw these on sale at Gilt. They had a nice price for them but I wouldn’t have a place to put it so why buy it :). They’re still stunning

    • Me too! I have no idea why I’m in love with them so much. Maybe they’ve got a really spectacular marketing team :) Were they discounted a lot on Gilt? If they were, maybe I can talk the hubby into a birthday/Christmas/anniversary present!

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