Dutch-Designed Wooden Bike Hits NYC Streets

By Meredith Hoffman on October 16, 2013 8:40am 

WILLIAMSBURG — City cyclists can now connect with the elements on a whole new level — by coasting on wood straight from a European forest.

A Dutch company has shipped its first batch of wooden bikes to the U.S., with an "ambassador" showing off the ride by cruising around town on the designer model.

"You feel like you're holding something natural," the representative, Robert Zoon, said of the bike made by Bough Bikes. "It's a bit heavier [than a typical bike], but it's worth it."

The model, conceived by a former furniture designer, has an oak frame, except for a few places where stainless steel is necessary for function, Zoon said.

The bike premiered two years ago in the Netherlands — the top country for cyclists — where about 300 people now ride the model, Zoon said. He noted that here in New York people constantly turned their heads when they noticed his rare ride.

"Every day people stop me to take pictures," said Zoon, 43, who started riding the bike last week. "New Yorkers smile at me."

The bike is already available at the Carroll Gardens store Rolling Orange Bikes, Zoon said, and interested customers can also visit the company's website starting next week to order a bike straight from the company. The cost both in the store and online is $2,000.

"It takes more work to create the wooden parts," Zoon explained of the price, adding it was also considered a designer bike.

As for Zoon, the wooden bike has brought his riding fervor to a new level.

"I started biking right after I learned to walk," he said. "There's nothing like this."

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