As I was walking down the street today, I felt an eerie sense of foreboding. Something felt wrong, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. And then I realized—the weather was just too nice. No oppressive heat, no torrential rain, no choking humidity. Just a clear sky and a slight breeze. Taipei weather is like being in a relationship with a crazy person. When it’s finally pleasant, you get suspicious and wonder what kind of trick it’s going to pull next. Don’t get me wrong. I love living in Taipei, but I was spoiled by growing up in north California! I hope temperatures remain mild for a little while longer so I can enjoy the outdoors. One thing I wish I had is a nice, sturdy roadster that I can take for a leisurely ride, like the ones I used to go on when I was a kid. My friends and I rode to each others’ houses, down to 7-Eleven to get Slurpees and around and around our school’s blacktop, before we rushed home to make it back before our curfews. I recently wrote an article about Sense30’s (叁拾) new store and it brought up many memories of my childhood cycling adventures (though my bicycles were never as awesome as the ones they build).
The three owners of Sense30 created the company because they felt many modern bicycles are too unattractive and uncomfortable. They liked the solid feel of vintage steel frames. Their first bicycles were built from secondhand components, but as demand increased, they started sourcing reproduction parts from factories located in Taiwan, Japan and England. In addition to bikes, the store carries clothing and accessories inspired by cycling wear from the first half of the twentieth century. There is also a selection of cameras from Lomography; Sense30 encourages riders to take photos during the “slow rides” they occasionally organize. You don’t have to own a Sense30 bike or wear vintage clothing participate, you just have to enjoy an easygoing attitude toward cycling. For more information about Sense30’s background (one of its co-founders also helped create Pizza Cut Five), check out my Taipei Times article. The store is located at 40, Ln 417, Guangfu S Rd, Taipei City (台北市光復南路417巷40號), tel: (02) 8789-4835.