Charlottetown: Bike as accessory

I heart bikes. There is nothing cuter than a skinny boy on a brightly-coloured vintage framed bike with a basket. Lucky for me I live in flat, beautiful Prince Edward Island where hipsters in Ray-Bans practically live on their arty two wheelers year-round.

Besides the cute boy element there are millions of other factors that make a bike the perfect accessory: For one pedaling from points A to B is an excellent workout, secondly it’s environmentally friendly, and finally, there is something about riding a bike that is just so poetic. Fall leaves, pumpkins, cool breezes, and girls and boys on bikes have always been a few of the ingredients to the most perfect Maritime October.

My favourite bike stores in Eastern Canada are Smooth Cycle (330 University Ave., Charlottetown, 902-566-5530) and Ideal Bikes (1678 Barrington St., Halifax, 902-444-7433).

Smooth Cycle has an astonishing variety of fun, bright mountain and road bikes, and the staff never seems to mind my complete ineptitude concerning the mechanics and machinery involved.

In the harbourside city of Halifax, Ideal Bikes takes in used and vintage frames to rework and resell at decent price (average, $250) that appeals to the paint-smeared and somewhat poverty-stricken NSCAD students that live nearby. Both of these excellent shops also do custom work, will consider trades and sell super-fun tandem bikes, which only increase the romantic poetic factor. All of these reasons aside, the very best part about driving a fun bike around town is that the rest of your outfit can be totally lousy. You could be wearing flannel pyjamas and someone would say, “Wow great bike.”

Photography by Patrick Callbeck

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