fitness · food

In praise of bananas: bike seats and beyond

Today is National Banana Day. Who knew? Well, Sam did, and duly informed all of us at Fit is a Feminist Issue Central. So, here I am with your first (and perhaps only– we shall see how this one goes) National Banana Day post.

Who here had a bicycle with a banana seat? Anyone? Anyone?

I certainly did. Mine looked something like this (my mom is guarding all my childhood pictures at her house far away, so this is from the internet):

Kids’ turquoise blue bike with long mustache handlebars and a white banana seat, covered with flower power stencils. Lookin shahp…

Mine had a white plastic woven basket on the front, also with groovy flowers on it. I don’t think streamers were de rigeur at the time (mine was circa 1969/70), but I wouldn’t have minded either way. Here’s an ad with a lineup of new bikes and a girl dressed in late 60s/early 70s fashion:

Ad for girls’ Spyder bikes, in different colors, some with baskets with flowers. Plaid bell bottoms sold separately.

I rode my banana seat bike endlessly up and down the driveway, and even sometimes out on the road in our suburban development in Florence, South Carolina. Eventually, I screwed up my courage to ride down the very-steep-to-me hill which was a neighbor’s driveway. It was the most thrilling thing I’d ever done. Riding fast down steep-to-me hills is still the most thrilling thing I ever do. Different bike with helmet, but same feeling– wheeeee!

Bananas are not just a design win. They are also good as food, whether on the bike or off. They fit easily into a jersey pocket and come with their own sanitary carrying case.

A somewhat ripe banana, in someone's jersey pocket.
A somewhat ripe banana, in someone’s jersey pocket.

But, if you’re feeling pressed for pocket space or worried about bruising, there are options:

Bananas are perennial sources of fun and humor for cyclists. This week during one of the Spring Classics (European road/cobblestone/mud bike races), someone made everyone smile with this tweet:

A rider making his way up the cobblestones, and it looks like he has an enormous banana in his pocket. But he doesn’t, really. Which is the funny thing.

Finally, bananas can be a bike fashion statement. At least for me and my friends.

In summary, bananas and bikes go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or bread and butter. Or Coffee and doughnuts. Or your favorite combo– you choose…

So readers, how are you planning on spending National Banana Day? I have to work (rats!) but will celebrate by making… wait for it… banana nutella muffins! Get the recipe here.

You’re welcome. 🙂