| Cycling |

Cruisers and Cruisers

Now that's a cruiser

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You got your cruisers, and then you got your cruisers, you know?

Let’s talk police cruisers first.

After last week’s Take Back the Road Ride (a.k.a. Critical Mass – this is getting confusing) was crashed by City of Miami Police, the Bike Blog called around to try and figure out why the cops came, and how the hell they knew about the ride in the first place. Lucky for us, the Miami PD has a few public information officers who actually hand over public information – which is often more than we can say for their county counterparts.

Here’s the official line, as delivered by public information officer Martha Carbana: “Basically we had received information – we received intelligence -- that there was a group of people on bicycles who were going to obstruct streets,” said Carbana, who was unable to say from whom the “intelligence” had come. The Department sent a few cars out to investigate, she said, and they stuck around to make sure the cyclists didn’t start blocking streets, “which is a violation of the law,” Carbana says. “We didn’t take any police action.”

Carbana makes it sound like the police just tagged along with the riders just in case anything unseemly might go down. Descriptions from riders make it sound like the police pursued them throughout the city and stuck around to watch them congregate after the ride.

If the police were able to find out about last Friday’s ride so quickly, they’ll almost certainly be ready for the next one.

Enough about police cruisers -- what about beach cruisers?

In a totally unrelated piece of news, the Bike Blog stumbled yesterday into The Scoot, Skate and Bike Co. on Biscayne and 18th Street to find beach cruisers everywhere. The shop had a whole line of them – pretty ones, too, with bright pastel colors and flowers painted on the chain-guards and such. There are still plenty of old-school cruisers circulating out there in the used-bike world – you always see cute girls riding them (a spectacle which beats the pants off of Venus riding a clam). But these bikes were brand-new. And then, later that same day, we saw a few of the bikes – flowers, banana seats, cute riders, and all – on the Beach.

Is this a phenomenon? Are cruisers back on the rise?

“They kind of are making a comeback, a little bit,” says Darren, who works at Scoot, Skate and Bike. They sell two brands of neocruisers – Phat and Felt – for somewhere between $250 for your basic cutesy cruiser to $500 for crazy chopper-style bicycles and the like. “They’re cool and they’re stylish – we wanted do something different, so we got a lot of them in,” Darren says. “But to tell you the truth, -- everybody loves them, but nobody wants to buy one.”

Are cruisers the new fixed-gears? Is it lame to buy a new cruiser that tries to look like an old cruiser? Can guys ride these things? If so, will they be considered metro-sexual? Will a sudden onslaught of pretty girls -- or cute guys -- on cruisers make the world a more beautiful place, or will it just remind us how fleeting, how ephemeral is beauty and instead cause us all to become despondant and depressed?

Hmm? -- Isaiah Thompson

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