Monday, July 5, 2010

Bikes Outside: There Is A Rose In Spanish Hartford

This Independence Day edition Bikes Outside brings us to the Firebox Restaurant at Billings Forge in NoFroHo. Huffy is an unmistakably American brand, though I'm not sure how late they actually built bikes in the USA. Seeing as our nation has trended away from nuance and detail with regards to just about everything, I say that if its a Huffy, it's American!!!

This Huffy is in decent shape for its 30-something age and has a whopping big dose of utility in the form of a giant front basket. I had a Wald basket like this on my Skykomish in Portland and it was extremely useful. I got so accustomed to using it that the front end of the bike felt disconcertingly light, downright twitchy, the one time I rode without a load. The D-R's owner seems to have run into the same snag I encountered with my big basket: it makes bike locking that much more awkward. That means this Huffy's radical angle of repose is a forced function of utility rather than a hipster high-lock. High-locking does increase visibility as well, and my impromptu photo shoot was noticed by one of the Firebox's employees, who seemed very amused that I was so interested in the old bike, which he said belonged to one of the waitresses.

The Desert Rose exists in a stylistic limbo, having cast off the swoopy lines of muscle bike era frames for a more angular BMX (albeit step-through) form, while hanging on to the banana seat and ape hangers that ruled the youth bike market in the age of Aquarius. It has the requisite color scheme that ranges from pink to pink to mauve, with a bold departure in the form of a splash of maroon for good measure. I think girls' bikes were sort of an afterthought, although "Desert Rose" does sound a bit more rugged than the pretty princess treacle that endures to this day. There's something kind of tough and resourceful about this bike. I like that.

No comments: