Monthly Archives: April 2009

St. Petersburg Cycles, We . . . Sleep

So, the St. Petersburg cycling scene was quite different from the London one Dottie wrote about last week. Though we spotted more bikes than we expected to see in a city that doesn’t exactly make cycling easy, there was nary a skirt or Dutch bike in sight.

BMX bandits are alive and well in Petersburg: a cyclist in Moskovskaya Ploschad.

BMX bandits are alive and well in Petersburg: a cyclist in Moskovskaya Ploschad.

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London Cycling Infrastructure

London cycling infrastructure has some interesting ideas, but it does not come across as a coherent system. What I saw was a hodgepodge of stuff spread around the city with not much of an overall plan or connection.

For example, I saw a few of these bike signal lights. Oddly, they were in the crosswalk with the walk signal, not with the lights for the cars. Since bikes ride in regular car lanes, I’m not sure the point – anyone have insight?

Bike Signal

Bike Signal

I didn’t see a lot of bike lanes compared to Chicago, but the ones I saw were pretty special.

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Cycling Superparents

Some of my favorite discoveries in the cycling blogosphere have been cycling superparents (often moms). Reading about their experiences is always interesting and often hilarious. They are an inspiration for me and, I’m sure, for their kids, too!

My Super Sister Stephanie and Spider Man-Tristan

My Super Sister Stephanie and Spider Man-Tristan

Here is a list of some of my favorites that I can think of at the moment. I’m sure there are some I’ve missed and have not yet discovered. Do you have a fave cycling superparent blog? Are you a cycling superparent? Let us know in the comments! I can keep updating this list.

Full Hands – every day a bakfiets parade
Suburban Bike Mama – angry kid banging on bakfiets rain shield
Car Free Days – reading on the back of a bike!
Totcycle – pronounced like popcycle
Bike Lite – added 5/1 – I don’t know how I forgot this great pair with their set of Jamis!

General cycling blogs with kid-related posts:

Bike Date – trailer hauling
Minneapolis Rad – baby’s first biking
Girls and Bicycles – starting very young – like, in the womb

And there is, of course, Copenhagen’s Supermums.

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Silent and Deadly?

[This post was written and scheduled before our departure.]

Don’t worry folks, this isn’t a post about a certain antisocial behavior. (Yes, we’re 130 posts in, but we still have a few things left to talk about before we get to the toilet humor.)

No, the title of this post refers to . . . hybrids. And the particular threats they pose for cyclists. You can debate all day about whether a new hybrid is any more environmentally friendly than a used diesel that gets 35 mpg, but that is not the focus of this post.

My beef with hybrids as a cyclist is this: you can’t hear them behind you. As illustrated in this brilliant “Office” clip. There have been a few times I’ve turned onto a street, only to realize a Prius was hovering at the stop sign behind me, or have been about to turn and realized that car I see, but don’t hear, is moving toward me, and not parked along the side of the road. So far this hasn’t exactly threatened my life, but now that Nashville has introduced hybrid buses to our transport system, I’m a bit concerned. I really like knowing whether there’s a city bus anywhere in my immediate vicinity. Anyone out there have these in their city already, and how does it affect your commute? On the bright side, maybe I might as well wear headphones . . .

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Betty Foy

From the archives…

In Grant Park

In Grant Park

In Grant Park

In Grant Park

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Fabulous Guest Cycle Chic!

In the comments of my cocktail party post, JJ shared a link to pictures of her and her husband Mac looking FABULOUS on bikes.

Thanks to your inspiration, we biked to the “prom” (aka elementary school auction) this weekend and had a blast.

macjj-on-bikes

These pictures are gorgeous and I simply had to ask for her permission to create a post devoted to them.

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Up Close and Personal

Batavus Entrada Spirit

Batavus Entrada Spirit

A few of those details I was mentioning yesterday . . .

Dynamo headlight

Dynamo headlight

seatpost1

Seat tube decals and "hammered" reflective fenders and built-in Trelock

 

dutchbikesticker

Dutch Bike Shop

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London Cycles, We Watch

Cycling is quite prominent in London, although the city obviously has a long way to go. The narrow streets, huge double-decker buses, and tiny speeding cars present special challenges for cyclists, but many Londoners are up for the challenge. Walking down the main streets downtown, I watched several cyclists go by each minute. A lot had sportier bikes and special gear, but the vast majority looked quite stylish. I saw a few Pashleys and some Dutch bikes, as well. I took as many pictures of interesting cyclists as I could manage whilst site-seeing. I don’t know how Riding Pretty, Chic Cyclist and others do it so well, because it’s been hard for me to hit a moving target.

My favorite find was this lovely lady on a Dutch bike. Love the flowing locks!

Beautiful

Beautiful

More cycling Londoners:

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Batavus Day Is Finally Here!

Dottie and I made it all the way to Littlehampton today and picked up my bike. Paul and the folks at the Littlehampton Dutch Bike Co. were as helpful and friendly in person as they’d been over email, and we were able to take a little ride around the town — once we figured out what side of the street we were supposed to be on, it went well. (Luckily we didn’t have to go through any roundabouts!) My Batavus had a lot of details that I didn’t notice online, like the reflective tape on the fenders that makes them look like they are hammered, and the whimsical abstract details on the tube. Oh yeah, and the ride is pretty smooth, too.

Can you tell I'm excited?

Can you tell I'm excited?

More pictures, anyone? Continue reading

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Chicago Tribune: Cyclists Face Daily Perils on Crowded Streets

This article speaks for itself:

Mary Pat Fabeck agonizes over the last minutes her 22-year-old son Tyler spent after being struck by a car while riding his bike in the Logan Square neighborhood a year ago.

“He bled to death and died within a half hour of being hit. That’s what I know of my son,” said Fabeck, through small sobs. “It took him a half an hour to die and that’s as long as it took him to be born.”

Read the rest here.

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Bikes and Baby Bellies

Warning: this is a total Friday post, with gratuitous cuteness and only a minimal connection to bikes. My next post will be all Batavus, so enjoy the break. :)

I got to see one of my favorite babies on Sunday night. His mom, Ashley, is one of my best friends and put up with me for three whole years while we were in college, so it’s always a treat to catch up with her and her family. Rowan was looking adorable as always, and I got a kick out of his little outfit — Ash knew I’d appreciate it! Anyone have a guess as to what kind of bike Pooh is riding on Rowan’s onesie?

Close up

Close up

The whole package!

The whole package!

Happy weekend, everyone!

Tweeting Across Europe

Okay, I am having a heck of a time, Brownie, setting up all this Twitter crap. But I think I’ve succeeded. So. Trisha and I will be tweeting our way across London and St. Petersburg, Russia. Follow us because that’s where all the cool kids will be. We promise many fascinating updates, such as “GOD SAVE THE QUEEN” and “VODKA!”

The name is: Trisha Dottie, @letsgorideabike. You may also want to follow editrish in case my set-up fails miserably.

Smolny Cathedral follows us on Twitter

Smolny Cathedral follows us on Twitter

Perhaps you are wondering why we are going to St. Petersburg. Part of the reason is that my bachelor’s degree is in Russian language and literature (very practical, I use Dostoevsky in my daily life) and I lived in Pete for a semester way back in 2001. Part of the reason is that St. Petersburg is gorgeous and bad ass. We will keep an eye out for “St. Petersburg Cycle Chic” but my clearest memory from the city is of a car careening onto the sidewalk purposely and then honking at me for being in its way, so I’m not sure how much of a thriving bike culture manages to exist.

We will be back on the 28th. We’ll be updating as much as we can along the way and we’ve also scheduled a few posts to publish here and there.

Tweet, I’m out.

Dutch Bike Co. New York!

Bike Girl by Ed Fotheringham

Bike Girl by Ed Fotheringham

Lots o’ peeps have blogged about today’s Dutch bike / Style articles in the NY Times. (My friend Jeremy even sent me the link, which I’m sure he found through Bike Snob making fun of it.) I’m not crazy about the articles, a little too “Vogue.” Don’t you love how they refer to the bikes as having a “hefty pricetag” but when you look at their slideshow, it’s the same damn price as their featured “Navy cotton jacket with contrast detail”? A-holes. But this is good press for cycling. I was most excited about the mention that Dutch Bike Co. (Seattle, Chicago) is opening a third store, this one in New York City. So happy for their success! They are a really cool group of people and I’m proud to have been the Chicago store’s first customer. So here is a toast to Dutch Bikes and the fine people who import them!

(The lovely Dutch bike print can be ordered here.)

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In Honor of Ugly Rental Bikes

I owe a lot to an atrociously ugly (even, dare I say, fugly) beach cruiser. In the spring of 2007, I went on vacation in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. The whole place is basically a huge retirement community with some of the coolest older folks. They were up with the sunrise to play bridge by the pool and stayed up for the sunset to play dominoes by the pool – sign me up! Anyway, in this bucolic place a natural activity, after tennis and shuffleboard, was to rent a couple of beach cruisers and explore the nice bike path down the beach to the park.

might want to raise the seat a bit...

might want to raise the seat a bit...

The bikes were god awful ugly, but I don’t think I was fully aware of the severity of their aesthetic failures at the time. Besides having been beaten by the proverbial ugly stick, they were also not so comfortable. BUT. Continue reading

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Cake Would Never Run Red Lights…

…and that is why I love cake. No, not the band! This isn’t the ’90’s. Here is Betty dutifully carrying Pho’s Thai take-out and Dinkel’s cake slices. No matter how I’m feeling, this combo never lets me down!

Happiness

Happiness

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Going International

You may have noticed my Batavus Day countdown ticker inching toward the finish line over there in the sidebar. Yes, folks, Let’s Go Ride a Bike will be going international in just a few days as Dottie and I head for London and then St. Petersburg, Russia. Of course, we’re planning some biking outings during our trip, and hope to be able to share them all with you.

In London,  we’ll be checking out the new Cycodelic product line at Topshop.

And of course, on Saturday, we’ll be visiting Littlehampton Dutch Bike shop to have tea with Paul and test ride my long-awaited Batavus…as well as every other bike they have in the shop. :)

Russian bike plans are a little more ambiguous, but we plan to rent bikes at least once: either on Krestovsky Island or during a day trip to Vyborg.

Anything we’re missing? Leave us a note in the comments! I’m especially interested in whether anyone’s used London’s Oybike rentals.

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Jammies As Rain Gear

I admit that if it had been raining at the time I left for work this morning, I would have taken the EL train. But since it was only dark and gray with a 100% chance of rain, I went for the bike. Of course, it started raining two minutes into my ride. I figured it would, though, and I’m glad that I took the bike. The rain was not a downpour, but the wind was quite nasty. No bother – still better than public transit.

Woman v. Nature

Woman v. Nature

What do jammies have to do with this?

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Happy Easter!

Bike on, chicks.

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Quality Family Time

I rode part of the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama today with my parents. Full post TK, but here’s a quick photo of us, windswept but happy,  after the ride (thank goodness for self-timers). Was especially proud of my mom for going 13 miles on her first long ride on her new bike, and especially grateful to my friend P for loaning me the Dahon yet again.

After the ride

After the ride

After the jump, a quick taste of small-town Alabama. (I kid because I love.)

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Quality Family Time

I rode part of the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama today with my parents. Full post TK, but here’s a quick photo of us, windswept but happy,  after the ride (thank goodness for self-timers). Was especially proud of my mom for going 13 miles on her first long ride on her new bike, and especially grateful to my friend P for loaning me the Dahon yet again.

After the ride

After the ride

After the jump, a quick taste of small-town Alabama. (I kid because I love.)

Continue reading

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