Yep, she's French! To be exact, she's a vintage 21-inch Peugeot mixte 10-speed featuring Carbolite 103 tubing, Weinnmann 730 brakes, Shimano shifters and Deraileurs with an alloy crank and 27 inch alloy wheels with horizontal dropouts. I honestly don't know what much of that means, but I know it all boils down to TIGHT!
As I do more research, which perhaps I probably should've done before dropping $185* on this bébé, I'm finding out that the cycling community has largely lost faith in mixte-style bikes. For those of you who haven't been Googling bike terms since Saturday, "mixte," which means "unisex" en francais, refers to a type of frame that was popular in the 1970s and 1980s. It was marketed as a hybrid between the male bike, which features a horizontal top bar, and a female bike, which has a sloping top bar. The mixte, on the other hand, features a double dropped top bar. From what I understand, this adds a bit of weight compared to the standard women's bike, but I'll take it if it means I can still ride
Super uncomfortable thoughts aside, however, suffice it to say, I'm pretty excited about this purchase. But you know what I'm even more excited about? I'm excited about taking this bike with me and moving to Amsterdam where motorists not only are expected to share the road with motorless rides, but they actually respect two-wheelers. What? Oh drat! I'm not able to work (legally) in the European Union, which means until I marry one of these guys,** I'll have to learn to deal with goddamn DC drivers, whom I now collectively detest more than ever before. In fact, I think I will officially hate myself whenever I take the Zipcar back out again.
The problem is that DC drivers don't seem to understand basic drivers ed do's, so allow me to refresh the minds of everyone who drives. You know those mirrors provided to you on your vehicle? The ones on the sides of the car? F*CKING USE THEM. (Pardon my...French! LOL!) Also, not that you should need a reminder about this, but you have a blind spot! CHECK THAT SH*T BEFORE PULLING OUT OF YOUR PARKING SPACE. Oh, and speaking of parking spaces -- USE THEM! I mean, I'm sure it's really convenient for you to double park in one of only about three bike lanes this sick bitch of a city has been so kind to bestow on those of us who don't drive, but GET THE F*CK OUT OF THEM. If that means you have to circle around the block 11 times looking for a proper spot, THEN JUST LIVE WITH THOSE SELF-IMPOSED CONSEQUENCES AND DO IT. Seriously. You do know that when you take up the bike lane (and I'm also referring to you too, DC cops!), you're pushing me and other cyclists OUT INTO TRAFFIC. Not cool, Five-O, not f*cking cool.
Wow! Look at all those complaints, and to think I've only ridden my bike, whose name is Baguette ('cause she's tasty -- and a lil' crusty -- like French bread), a few times since I got her on Saturday. I'm back in rare form, e-friends, and more awesome (and fit) than ever. I can't wait for tomorrow's commute...
*Purchased through Bulldog Bike Restoration. (By the way, if you spot a bike you want on their Web site, I suggest you haul yourself over there ASAP, as they sell out fast. In fact, the only reason I have lil' Baguette at all is because the owner agreed to sell me his future inventory early after seeing the très mal look on my visage.)
**Super fun photos brought to you by a "Dam" awesome (LOL!) street style blog all about Amsterdam -- Dam Style.