I love bikes. I almost love how a beautiful bicycle looks more than riding one, but not quite. In San Francisco we have a pretty solid bike culture so you get to see some nice ones around the city now and then. But of course it’s nothing compared to Amsterdam where bikes run the city and they know how to build them right. Sure, there are a ton of junkers but the overall style and pragmatic design of most is something I really appreciate. Every time I go there I resolve to find a nice bike in the Dutch style when I get home but I can never seem to find anything.
That’s why I got really excited when I first saw Vanilla Bicycle’s site. These handcrafted bikes from Portland, OR (of course) are beautiful examples of classic design and everything I’d want out of a bike. Vanilla’s attention to detail and reverence for classic styling is breathtaking. So yeah, I’m really excited at this point.
Then I checked out the ordering page. THE WAIT FOR ONE IS FIVE YEARS. 5. Of course. And of course, any time you have to wait that long for something you can go ahead and multiply the number of years times 2000 and you’ll probably get close to the price (but actually, probably nowhere near it). Also, if they don’t list the price on the site, you can’t afford it. So that’s settled, I’ll never own, see, or be within a mile of a Vanilla Bicycle, but fortunately they’ve provided us with some beautiful photos of the bikes shot with a Canon 5D so we can dream a little. If they sold posters of these I’d buy all of them. The site is a bit confusing but just click around and you’ll start finding some galleries of various custom jobs they’ve done: Vanilla Bicycles Site
There’s also a short documentary on them here.
P.S. Is anyone else getting all nostalgic lately for the original 5D? It might be the first classic DSLR. I need to get one. In 25 years indie kids will probably be hanging out backstage at shows talking about their Canon 5D MK1 and how it “just has that feel that you can’t get with holographic, man…” Then you can start picking up Hasselblads cheap on eBay and the cycle begins anew.