“The girls would come in, get on the bikes, and turn into an 8-year-old again. It’s that memory of riding from their childhood, and the bike was bright and colorful. And then they become 8, and they want pink and floral print.”
Electra’s cruiser and “townie” bicycles are also so popular among the biking beauties because they offer a wide variety of eye-catching colors (“pink sweetheart!” “purple fade!” “green polka dots!”) but also a whole catalog of accessories, from leopard-print bike seats to red leather streamers (go crazy, ladies!).
Melissa Broder, 28, senior publicist for Penguin Group books, often gets compliments on her bright pink vintage Columbia Rambler with a matching helmet.
“The whole green thing wasn’t my original intention when I first started, but it’s an added way to feel self-satisfied,” she said, pulling over her bike at the corner of University Place and Ninth Street. “I definitely feel a little snotty about it now.”
She was in a simple cotton black dress with cream-colored embroidery around the collar and snacking on some Soy Crisps while she rode.
“But mainly it’s just the best way to get around,” Ms. Broder said. “I get a lot of comments on the matching helmet, people are surprised.”
Certainly, a beautiful bicycling girl wearing a helmet is out of the ordinary. Helmet hair, sweating and following proper city biking rules, as in, say, riding in the right direction, don’t seem to be part of their code.
“I call them three-speed terrors because they’re always going the wrong way, they’re always on the phone, they’ve always got like a Marc Jacobs bag hanging off the handlebars,” said the anonymous blogger behind the site BikeSnobNYC.blogspot.com, who refused to give his real name, but agreed to a phone interview. “All the time, I’ll be riding and they’ll just be out of it in the bike lane coming towards me. I usually will play chicken with them for as long as I can but they’re not even looking so I’ll just have to shout to get their attention or I’ll just kind of ride by them shrugging in disbelief. … I think they’re cruising. They want to ride into somebody. They see some cute guy and run him off the bridge and then run home” and go on Craiglist’s Missed Connections.
“You know, they’re dangerous but they get away with it because oftentimes they’re very attractive and attractive women get away with things,” continued the bitter blogger. “It makes me think of that Seinfeld episode where Jerry was dating this beautiful woman who could get away with anything and he called her beautiful Godzilla. They’re kind of like beautiful Godzillas.”
“You want to call us beautiful Godzillas?” Ms. Eichmann screeched, back at Union Square, when confronted with BikeSnobNYC’s comment. She stared at an eggplant and poked it before replying, “Maybe you’re right, but would a bunch of pretty ladies riding around on bicycles be so terrible?”