4 countries, 20 streets, 50 rides – how bikes reflect the character of a city

During these last few weeks I’ve racked up quite a few air miles. Not something you should really be too happy about these days but I think my usual choice of 2 wheels over 4 offsets that a little…I feel slightly better thinking of friends that actually contribute significantly more to global warming just by turning the key in their vintage Range Rovers & Mercedes than a 12,000 mile flight by a 747. Some more green energy in Australia soon please Julia….

The damage to my wallet has been less severe than I had anticipated thanks to a uranium enriched $AUD and the fact food, drink & accommodation outside of Australia is at least HALF the price…are there still tourists visiting Au$$$tralia? Save those shekels before you visit!

‘He comes to me for advices. So it’s not that hard for me to give him the wrong advices.’ Thanks Arnold.

Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer.

Since Iron Horse Clothing was launched we all pay even more attention to anything cycling related that we see around town and overseas. This includes our growing collection of bike pics from the streets of major cities around the world (feel free to send us any pics of your bikes too). Already on that list is Tokyo, LA, Hong Kong & Melbourne.

It’s clear that the bikes in each of these places not only reflect the individual..ism riders personality but also the culture…ism of each city. With the vast majority of cars being similar in most modern countries, bikes have become a great (cheaper & cleaner) way for people to show off their style whilst getting around. Whether that be functionality, colour, or just funking out your ride like no one else’s…

I really enjoyed checking out Buddah’s & TW’s pics from Tokyo (thanks to Wada-San too). From just a few photos you feel like you have a small window into life on the streets there. For one, all the bikes seem to be complete ie/ no wheels or seats missing….that says a lot about the Japanese society. In London it’s common to see a bike stripped of everything that is not locked to the pole or fence! Sorry if this has happened to you…

I was just ordering my skim milk triple shot vanilla latte in Coffee Republic and now it's....ALL RUINED!!

The Japanese traits of efficiency, cleanliness & embracing technology are all evident in the shiny, modern looking bikes from Tokyo.

Toe Kee Oh

They are in stark contrast to (most of) the bikes you see on the streets of Hong Kong. Areas such as Kowloon & Sheng Wan are predominantly filled with working bikes, delivering everything from dried seafood to tea, with huge baskets that look too large for the bike to balance. You won’t see many of these bikes pulling up to the Little Mule in Melbourne for a cappuccino. Maybe there should be though…won-ton?

2 dried urchins please, go easy on the ginseng.

Currently I am in LA, enjoying the spring sunshine y disfrutando los burritos y cervezas del sur de California! The bike scene here is awesome, as you would expect from a city with so much sunshine, $ and roads to ride on. Although I haven’t seen anyone riding alongside the 16 lane highways…how strange?

Aside from the usual road bikes, the beachside suburbs (Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Malibu) are full of fat white wall tire’d cruisers and chopper handlebars with plenty of LA attitude. Celebrities visit stores like Bike Attack in Santa Monica to get the latest steeds for rolling along the beach paths.

The difference between these three cities could not be greater in terms of lifestyle and you only need to look at the photos of the bikes streetside to see this.

LA

not for fast cornering

Similarly, its not hard to see Australia is an extremely affluent country just by checking out the bikes on the street. In Perth you will see dozens of $5,000+ road bikes parked outside any cafe that serves latte’s for $4 and over. The bike scene is only just getting some momentum and so you don’t see huge variety in bike styles, but again that is changing as people realise what a great lifestyle there is around riding. The kids are just getting into single speeds and hopefully turning off the playstations.

Melbourne Street

In Melbourne however, it being a far more vibrant & culturally rich city than Perth, you can really see this reflected in the cycling scene. It’s not just expensive road bikes, and with cafes such as the Little Mule and magazines like Treadlie both coming out of Melbourne, it will surely become one of the most diverse biking cities in the world.

I can’t wait to add more pics from the next city I or one of the other Iron Horse Clothing team get to visit.

Check out more of our street bike pics on our facebook page.

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