On the cusp of realizing my life long Angela Lansbury Jessica Fletcher Cabot Cove Murder She Wrote dream to live, write, and melt into the local Palm Beach Island lifestyle, the one last thing, the icing, the missing piece to solve the puzzle is to find the perfect cruising bike with a basket that I can ride around town enjoying the full experience of my favorite place on earth. This sounds like a pretty simple thing, except I have a picture of what I want in my daydreams, and finding that exact bike in the real world isn’t as no-brainer as I figured. Hours on Google only made things worse! Looking through hundreds of choices, prices, and add ons is ridiculously overwhelming. Granted life will not fall apart if I do not find perfection, but the ideal vision of me riding my bike to Blue Provence or Amici Market, filling my basket with bread and cheese, a wine stop at Scottis, and a leisurely cruise home along Ocean to enjoy a lazy afternoon by the beach with friends is the goal, and it’s one goal I am positive I will achieve.
Of course, like all of my days on Shop Bop or Ebay, I had chosen, customized, and deposited dozens of bikes in shopping cart all over the web. This only made the situation more confusing, I couldn’t remember which bike or which site or how much different ones cost. Luckily, before I needed a Valium to clear my buzzing head, a favorite Client from LA called asking me if I could see if Hermes on Worth Avenue may have The Hermes H enamel Clic Clac bangle in orange, as she had promised her Daughter one for her birthday, and now had waited until last-minute. Beverly Hills does not have one in stock, and if they ordered it may take weeks. Talk about perfect timing, at this point I had double vision from staring at my screen, so I happily decide to take a break, put myself together, and march to my favorite Parisian Mecca of all things perfection.
What happened next is like a cruel joke from the shopping Gods. There it was, in the front of the store, staring at me, basket and all, basking in its self-assured Glory! The picture that had danced in my head for months was realized right there in Hermes, and it’s not just a Hermes Bike, it’s a Hermes Bike with Birkin Basket! I knew this masterpiece would run way above my budget, but being a natural glutton for punishment I inspected it anyway. You never know! So, When the Sales Associate came up to welcome me, she dropped the bomb I was avoiding, the bike came in around $4500 plus additional costs for upgrades. So I tell her about my day bike shopping online, and that I had no idea Hermes made bicycles let alone such perfect looking ones. Well, you could have knocked me over with a pencil when she asked if I had seen the Chanel, Fendi, Gucci, Louis, or Kate Spade and Lily Pulitzer. Huh? Where were these options in my research? I immediately went Back to the drawing board, H bangle boxed and ready to ship, to redoubled my efforts and find my dream bicycle once and for all!
If you are very fancy or loaded, both of which inhabit Palm Beach Island, these bikes are the answer to your gift shopping dilemmas. As I always say, giving a gift anyone can buy off the shelf is unacceptable, giving a gift that makes you look like a chic stylish mad genius is always the goal. So… ta-dah! Here is a list of the most fashion forward Cruisers out there. As we already know, these companies are the cream of the crop from top to bottom, but with their bicycle additions they also have geniously gained free moving billboard advertising, proof they support environmentally responsible lifestyles, and cornered the high fashion markets in Asia where bikes and Designer Labels dominate. Beyond Style Brilliant!
Retailing at $4,650, this bicycle from Hermès has a classic design. Hermes began producing bicycles back in the 80s, so, unbeknownst to me, they were way ahead of the game and it shows. The lacquered black steel frame, expertly designed handles, and signature saddle are all wrapped in Taurillon Clemence leather, making it distinctly Hermes, with the fine hand sewn craftsmanship any H fan has come to respect. This one is a dream come true, not a fast bike by any means, but perfectly fits my caviar dreams.
Photo Credit: Hermes
At a minimum $14,000, this cruiser is a collaboration between Gucci and Bianchi, an Italian manufacturer of ultra high-performance racing bicycles. The Gucci looker is a black 11-speed carbon bike and is suitable for both city and country biking, Of course, the bike features the familiar red and green Gucci stripes on the frame and diamante signature on the black seat and handlebars. In addition, true to form, Gucci has created a line of accessories to make the Gucci bike even more Gucci, but they’ll cost extra. The helmet is $890, biking gloves are $305, and the water bottle $105!
Photo Credit: Gucci
DOLCE AND GABBANA
Just knowing Dolce and Gabbana created a bike made me giddy! And this one does not disappoint. It’s called The Animalier, and it exemplifies the true Dolce and Gabnana fabulousness. The leopard-print bike is a very limited edition that has a solid frame made of steel, no gears, and the brake mechanisms are hidden inside the lux fur covered trim. As with everything they do, the bike goes beyond with 24-karat gilding and is protected by an all-weather varnish. The Animalier has a hand crafted leather seat, a working black bell, and the all important plastic-coated aluminum basket. Unfortunately the bike has not been released in the United States, but is available in Dolce & Gabbana boutiques in several European and Asian cities, for about $2,048.
Photo Credit: Dolce and Gabbana
Photo Courtesy of CHANEL
CHANEL’s bike is custom-made and features Chanel’s distinctive quilted calfskin. The seat, as well as three attached bags and chain cover, are all made out of the black calfskin, set in the classic Chanel quilt pattern. All black, this bike screams Lagerfeld. The frame is sturdy and coated to protect the bicycle from the elements. Oh, and for me the built-in Chanel Make up case is a favorite add-on, since I never leave the house without mascara and rosebud salve. After all, you never know when the Paparazzi may attack.
Photo Credit: Chanel Inc
Fendi went with the Italian bike maker Abici to create the Selleriae. A stitched leather seat with the Fendi name, leather handle covers, a chain and padlock, as well as a pump and a nylon cover to protect it from the elements. They kick it up a notch with an attached leather-covered water bottle, not to mention a leather encased GPS, rear packs made from gazelle fur, and the most amazing accessory of all, instead of just a regular basket it sports a leather mini-trunk attached to the front rim. The bare bones bike goes for $6,000, and with all of the additional options the price reaches a pricey $10,000.
Photo Credit: Fendi
Of course Ralph Lauren will not be left behind, so Ascari and RRL collaborated to create a custom cruiser out if it’s Rugby division. The bike has copper and brass–brazed edges, dropout faces, and bears both the Ascari and RRL logos on the side. Ralph Lauren comemented that “,the machine is a testament to both companies’ design philosophies and, quite simply, elevates bicycle construction to an art form.” No doubt, for all things designer fashion and sport Ralph always leads the way, and they are apparently planning even more upgrades for next seasons model.
Photo Credit: Ralph Lauren
The Kate Spade for Adeline Adeline Abici is a Granturismo Donna For the Girls we have a fun-loving model from Kate Spade. Custom options don’t really exists like some of the more elite brands, but it does include a rear rack, a vintage designed front headlight, and,of course, the signature Kate Spade bright green color logo. The bike runs $1100, and I can assure you nothing will make you smile like looking at your adorable Kate Spade Cruiser with its cute as can be vintage steel headlight. Too much fun!
Pulitzer Cruiser Bicycle has returned as well. A standard cruiser, the bike comes with signature Lily patterns and colors, a hand-made comfortable seat, and an all important basket. This bike was made for Palm Beach Island fantasies like my own. Not as many add ons as some, and maybe a little less adorned, but a total pleasure to ride basket full around town.
To find out my choice, keep your eyes peels around town. With the addition of my new cruiser, I am officially living the dream! (Hint: I’ve taken to Palm Beach Island culture hook, line, and sinker!)
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