In recent weeks I have mentioned that I have a second city bike in my possession for a long term temporary period. This bicycle is the Electra Amsterdam La Fonda del Solwhich is part of the Alexander Girard series. I actually owned an Electra Amsterdam 3i in late 2009 until mid 2010, and it's been like having an old friend around having the opportunity to ride this adorable bike.
Electra Amsterdam "La Fonda del Sol"
My first impression of this bicycle after having almost 2 years in between riding mine and this borrowed one was surprisingly the same: It's so much fun to ride. I think if I am totally honest, the thing I love most about Electra bicycles is the very thing that others might completely despise. I love that they are so colorful and that people always say hello to me, wave wildly as I ride by or they drive by, and that I have the opportunity to have random conversations with strangers about bicycles. It is virtually impossible for me to ride this bicycle and not have a stranger stop me to ask about it, tell me how cute it is, or hear about how a particular individual would love to have such a bike. It's also impossibly difficult for me not to smile while riding this bike... and, who doesn't want that?
She's a dirty girl from all the mucky icy snow gunk, but still quite fun!
Okay, so we've established that I am a fan of the funky color scheme on Electra bicycles, but what else is there to this bike? Well, the nice thing is that one of the updates to the Amsterdam is the addition of a front hand brake as well as keeping the rear coaster brake. While I have recently found coaster brakes to be awkward and somewhat non-functional for me to use (despite having no issue with them in the past), the addition of the hand brake is nice not only for those of us who aren't as comfortable with the coaster brake, but it also provides additional braking power.
My experience with the Amsterdam is remarkably similar to my memory of it - almost surprisingly so. The things that I loved about it then I still appreciate and the things that were slightly bothersome are still a bit of a pain, but it's nice to experience it all over again. I'm going to be doing a bit of a comparison of this Electra and the Bella Ciao very soon, so I won't go into a ton of detail here, but suffice to say I am enjoying riding this bike and remembering why I bought mine a few years ago. Although it's a completely different feel than the Bella Ciao, Pashley, or Public Bikes, I think it could be a nice option for the right person, depending on needs and ride distance. As for me, I'm happily having random conversations with strangers and experiencing a bit of nostalgia while riding this fun bicycle. It has been quite fun to find this old friend, and have the chance to re-experience the ride.