Bike Date – French Restaurant in Lincoln Park

Last night Mr. Dottie and I enjoyed a romantic dinner at a fancy French restaurant. I wanted to wear my new Saja dress, so I wore it. This is not an ideal dress for cycling because of the length. However, when you ride your bike everywhere, it comes down simply to wearing what you want to wear. If I limited my wardrobe because of my bike, I would resent the limitations. If I took a cab to the restaurant instead, I would be incredibly lame. So I threw on some small shorts underneath, put my basket on Oma for the fig leaf effect, and pedaled in a ladylike manner. This was less revealing than a pair of shorts. Actually, the most challenging wardrobe issue was getting Mr. Dottie out of his cargo shorts and “fun in the sun” t-shirt. Turns out, he cleans up quite nicely. :)

Me and Oma in Lincoln Park

Me and Oma in Lincoln Park

Greg in Lincoln Park

Dapper Greg in Lincoln Park

The restaurant had no bike parking and a sign reading “Do Not Lock Bikes to Fence.” This forced us to lock up to the fence in the park across the street. Ritzy people must use this park to walk their little dogs and then neglect to pick up after them, because I stepped in an unhappy surprise. Getting doggy do on my suede Prada pumps was not the best way to start my evening, but after some emergency cleaning in their ladies’ room, I was over it.

Greg in front of the restaurant

Greg in front of the restaurant

For those helmet fans – yes, I wore a helmet. I never leave home without my helmet, although I often put it in my basket when I’m riding through the park or bike path on Oma. I’m perfectly capable of assessing risks and there is little risk in riding a sturdy Dutch bike 10 miles per hour on a bike path. (Walking downtown, riding in a car, and running are all more dangerous activities for which I have never worn a helmet.)

Nutcase helmet

Nutcase helmet

My shoes were a bit annoying because they slipped on the pedals a few times. I had rubber bands on my pedals to prevent this a couple of weeks ago, but they must have fallen off. For these particular shoes, I’ll probably throw them in my basket and wear flats for the journey in the future.

Slippery but awesome Prada shoes

Slippery but awesome Prada shoes

Next time you have a date, consider riding your bike! If your companion does not ride a bike, forget ‘em. No, I kid. If your companion does not ride a bike, simply offer to meet him or her there. Showing up on your bike will make you memorable. Trust me that he or she won’t be thinking badly of your slightly mussed hair and glowing skin ;)

  • John Greenfield

    The restaurant is Mon Ami Gabi, 2300 N. Lincoln Park West, right?

    I’ve biked by there a few times recently and it looks pretty glamorous, in a good way. The baroque architecture of the building, with its crown lit up by
    floodlights, is a lovely sight on a summer evening.

    How was the grub?

    John Greenfield

    • dottie

      Yup, Mon Ami Gabi. We both got fish dishes, which were tasty but nothing too special. The atmosphere, service and cocktails were all lovely, though.

    • E A

      Mmm… a date night on a bike! Perfect!

      But I’d also like to find a companion to ride with me to/from the date. I think I may have to bring my purple bike out of retirement for such events. :-)

  • anna

    Cycling to date certainly adds a fine note. Wonderful dress and shoes. I think it depends on the pedals on how slippery shoes are on it. Well, on the mountain bike I have rather massive teethed pedals and not so huge problems, but sometimes on the plastic pedals of the Citybikes…

  • kerri

    soooo pretty! x

  • Todd

    On the guy end, riding a bike to a date impresses the ladies as well. Makes me think that if I got a xtracycle, would that impress more? Ya know giving a ride to show how neat it is to ride on a summer evening. It’s a thought.

  • Kyong

    you’re a vision! haven’t quite got comfortable enough to wear anything but sneakers when i cycle, but i totally admire those who can rock heels & dresses!

    • MamaVee

      oh- and the shoes are to die for. So sad I can’t walk in a heel.

  • sara

    you’re looking good. love the idea of storing the pumps in the basket.

    i particularly love riding home after dinner. nothing like a bit of easy exercise after a meal…

  • academichic

    Ok, I don’t even know where to start here…

    1. I love that he’s “Mr.Dottie” :)

    2. Amazing dress!!

    3. Amazing shoes!!

    4. Had to laugh at the “fig leaf effect” idea!

    5. what a wonderful date night!


  • Xtra

    Great site. What kind of helmet does Greg have? Looks pretty cool.

    • dottie

      Thanks. His helmet is a Uvex Urban. He likes it a lot, very easy to adjust.

  • Christa

    Adorable – I love these posts. I’ve been wanting to get a photo of my and the bf on our tandem.

    Nice style and awesome shoes!

  • Lovely Bicycle!

    I don’t know, I hear that cargo shorts and Mr. Smiley T’s are the new haute couture — Throw on a blazer and should be good to go!

    You know, you can bring slippery shoes to a cobbler and have them install soles with traction. I do this to nearly all of my high-heeled pumps and boots, because it is more comfortable and safer in the winter. It is not noticeable at all when you look at the shoes unless you turn them upside down, and feels great.

  • Dean Peddle

    Date nights on the bike are great! I had one last week with my wife….rode to park to watch outdoor movie they were putting on in our city. Then we rode home in the dark with our Dynomos. It was great….sad part about it was out of probably a hundred people…we were the only ones on bikes :(

    • MamaVee

      I love that dress. You guys look great. I want to go on a bike date. I just want to go out on a date period. But def a bike date. WIll make this happen soon. ( The best thing about the Tri? Husband was checking out all the cool bikes and is now hot to get a new bike. He’ll get a hybrid.

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    • miss sarah

      Dresses like that totally keep inching up when you’re pedaling, don’t you find? Oh well:) I have a nice collection of plain black boy short panties for these sorts of dresses. Then if somebody sees my underwear I’m like, “so what?”

      LOVE the shoes too. I know what you mean about slippery, that’s why I am obsessed with mary janes. Straps!

  • Cosmo

    You looked lovely in that dress and shoes.

  • Johnny

    Is Mr. Dottie on a Jamis Coda? I love that blue!

    • dottie

      Yup, Jamis Coda Sport with added fenders, racks, and Brooks saddle.

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  • Trisha

    Gorgeous dress — looks like fun. BUT you neglected to provide a restaurant review. :)

    I can attest to the fact that cycling to a date is likely to impress a man. And if they’re put off? Not the right kind of man.

  • dottie

    Restaurant was nice, but not one we would take you to. Have been to better places for the price – luckily, Greg had a gift card that he won at a work party so we did not pay :)