A sign of maturity in a bicycle culture is the degree to which the bikes suit the riders. At a bike rack in Portland, you see all manner of rides ranging from aluminum comfort bikes, to full-suspension mountain bikes, to 24 speed racers. A lot of them don’t seem practical for daily use, but in Amsterdam, nearly all the bikes seemed quite the opposite.
It’s hard to find a kid’s bike in Portland with fenders, but in Amsterdam, even the tiniest riders will get some, along with a rack and a bell.
As the bikers grow up, there are a variety of increasingly functional options.
Most bikes are black, but every now and then you see something else. All of them are have rear racks, and a majority have a front rack too.
I saw a few bikes built for style and function, but most were just plain old workhorses which are almost always left outside.
Although there are a lot of black bikes, everyone finds some subtle, or not so subtle, way of distinguishing theirs from the crowd.
I saw quite a few purpose-built bikes cargo or kid carrying bikes that were ruthlessly practical. And I did see racing or touring bikes, but never with someone riding them in street clothes.
So, when your town comes of age, the sure sign of maturity is that bikes people ride are the best ones for the conditions, not just the ones that are for sale at the local shop.