Tuesday, 5 April 2011

High-Vis Rainbike, Anyone?

The past couple of days were rainy and dreary, and I've been sick in bed. Still, I managed to crawl to the door when the bell rang, and take delivery of an enormous package from Urbana Bikes - a Canadian manufacturer that has asked me to review this unusual creation. I opened the box and nearly jumped back from the burst of colour that greeted me. I'd requested a bike in "olive," which on the manufacturer's website looks like this. In person it resembles an exotic poisonous mushroom. "Oh boy, I should have asked for black!" was my initial thought. But as I continued to stare, the neon shade began to grow on me. At least it offered a cheerful contrast to the dark gray skies and pelting rain outside. I dragged the bike outdoors for some quick snapshots, half-hoping the rain would mistake it for the sun and stop... and believe it or not, it did, if only for a few minutes.

The Urbana bicycle is a rather extraordinary cross between a BMX bike, a mountain bike, and a Dutch transport bike with large hauling capacity. But I will elaborate on all of that once it's time to review it. What struck me today, was how remarkably vibrant the "poisonous mushroom" colour looked in rainy weather. I walked away from the bike, stood to the side, turned around partially - but as long as it was even peripherally in my field of vision, it commanded attention. I look forward to comparing my experience in traffic on this "hi-vis" bicycle, to my own, neutrally coloured bikes.

We are still in the process of adjusting the bike's components and I was not in a condition to cycle yesterday anyhow, but I will share my impressions once I begin to ride it. This is the first time I'll be reviewing a bicycle that isn't mine beyond a single test ride, so it should be interesting. I am still ironing out the logistics with the manufacturer, but after my review the Urbana will go to a new home.

Normally I am not a fan of hi-vis anything, but I make an exception in inclement weather and I think that neon bicycles would make good "rainbikes." How many of you ride brightly coloured bikes - either because you prefer the colours, or for the sake of visibility? And do any of you have dedicated rainbikes?


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