I’ve Just Realised Why People Stare…

The funny thing about riding my Frankenbike bakfiets, Mary Shelley is the reactions it gets.

Slack-jawed amazement from drivers, intense excitement from shall children (who shout things like, “What a totally amazing bike!”. No, really.), and incredulous hilarity from teenagers – but ONLY when they’re with enough friends to see that they’ve such a cool reaction to the weirdo who’s not driving a car. That sort of thing.

Funny thing is, I’ve never understood why. But my friend Seth was up to stay for a few days over the weekend, and we had to run an errand that involved the cargo bike. He shot some footage…

Apparently MY view of the reactions this bike causes only just scratches the surface – riding with me, Seth could see the full glory of the wake of amazement it generates. He was able to see that drivers were actually steering clear of the Frankenbike (obviously intimidated by the waves of pure masculinity it generates), and that attractive women were visibly swooning (for similar reasons, no doubt).

Or at least that’s what I like to think.

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Posted in Bike Culture
5 comments on “I’ve Just Realised Why People Stare…
  1. Anthony Cartmell says:

    Children’s reactions to unusual bicycles are always interesting: young children instinctively think a bicycle is cool and Good, and even teenagers are impressed when they don’t mind showing it.

    I think this is because a bicycle is human-scale in size, weight and speed: unlike a car with is heavier, faster and bigger than anything we meet in the natural world. Cars really only have appeal as status symbols, and children don’t really grasp that idea.

    If a child likes it, it’s probably a Good Thing.

  2. […] street’ store in months. You don’t know why people are looking at your bike. (Thanks to Karl Mckracken for that one) You don’t know the difference between a Porsche and a VW. You go out for the evening wearing […]

  3. I’ve had exactly the same experiences with my Bakfiets. The further we got from Amsterdam the more people looked at it, and we still have children shouting ‘cool’ when we ride past.

    The Xtracycle is a bit more unnerving because people keep looking at an area just behind your backside.

    I think Anthony has hit the nail on the head that “Cars really only have appeal as status symbols, and children don’t really grasp that idea.”

    Children are too smart to be taken in by that.

  4. Kevin Love says:

    Frankenbike? Looks like a perfectly normal cargo bike to me. The only thing that seemed a bit strange was the rider’s white socks showing almost up to the knees. Perhaps because the chaincase is missing.

    Aside from the missing chaincase, everything looks perfectly normal.

  5. KarlOnSea says:

    Kevin – I may be British, but I do draw the line at wearing socks with sandals! That’s my Ziggy Stardust snow-white tan you’re admiring.

    It’s a Frankenbike because it’s made out of the body parts of other bikes that were robbed from graveyards.

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