August 2009 archive

Cycling Chicago’s North Lakefront Trail

Chicago’s gem is not the Sears Tower and other skyscrapers or the Magnificent Mile and high-end shopping. Rather, it’s the beauty of nature carefully curated by city planners – the Lakefront Trail that runs along Lake Michigan from the north to the south of the city, with downtown in the middle.

Betty and Chicago's Skyline

Betty and Chicago's Skyline

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Sometimes I Take The Sidewalk

Bikes belong in the street, not on the sidewalk. In fact, it is illegal for anyone over the age of 12 to ride on a sidewalk in Chicago. Riding in the street is generally safer because you are visible, while on the sidewalks you encounter pedestrians, cross streets, alleys and parking lot entrances where drivers don’t expect to see bikes. Riding in the street is also generally faster and smoother, on better-maintained pavement instead of concrete blocks. Finally, riding in the street sends the correct message to drivers: that bikes belong.

Sidewalk Riding

Sidewalk Riding

Despite all of this, sometimes I take the sidewalk. (more…)

Beautiful Demo Bikes For Sale

I love a good sale and recently spotted these bikes online. If anyone has been shopping around for a new city bike, here are two demo options that may put these makers’ bikes in your price range.

Rivendell is selling a Betty Foy demo built up for $1400. That is about $800 less than what I paid for mine. This is the smaller frame, which will fit someone around 5’3 to 5’6. They also have a couple of Sam Hillbornes – a 48 inch and 52 inch.

Betty Foy Demo

Betty Foy Demo

A.N.T. is selling a Roadster demo for $1900. This bike is gorgeous and will fit someone 5’7 to 5’9.

A.N.T. Roadster Demo

A.N.T. Roadster Demo

Hey, that’s my size! Too bad I currently have more bikes (2) than jobs (0).

Bikey music video

It wouldn’t have been a real girls’ visit if Dottie and I hadn’t spent at least one night last week dancing around the condo, singing at the top of our lungs to various songs. Need I say wine was involved?

After we got the cheesy music out of our system (I can’t be the only one who can’t keep from singing along to Nicki French‘s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”?), we found ourselves surfing YouTube for cool videos and uncovered Bat for Lashes’ “What’s a Girl to Do?” Deliciously creepy and slightly fairy-tale-like, it’s worth watching–enjoy, and bon week-end!

How To: Fresh Summer Cycling

Cycling with style is easy and fun. However, I don’t want it to seem like I simply hop off my bike fresh as a spring flower and go along my merry way. If that’s what people think is supposed to happen after they read about how easy it is to ride in regular clothes, then they will be annoyed when it does not work for them and give up. So I want to be clear that I sweat. A lot. More than the average person. I have been known to sweat in the dead of winter on my bike if I wear one layer too many. My hair gets sweaty and a bit frizzy. Sometimes I get grease on my leg and curse at Betty Foy. Over time I have learned how to deal and always have a plan of action for hot rides.

For example, yesterday I rode 7 miles downtown to have lunch with a friend. The sun was at its peak and the temperature was around 80 F. I wore a breezy lined silk skirt and a cami, stowing my cardigan rolled up in my purse. I strapped my purse in my front basket with a bungie cord and put on my helmet. I then cycled at a steady but easy pace to avoid getting too hot. Twice I stopped to turn my skirt around to prevent sweat spots from building up.

On Bike

On Bike

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Chic and Happy Cyclists Overtake Nashville

Well, it’s over — and our first LGRAB-organized group ride was officially a success. Despite camera malfunctions, a last-minute venue change and me running my usual five minutes late, we made it to all three restaurants right on schedule and enjoyed delicious drinks and food. Oh, and the cool and breezy weather couldn’t have been better. I’m not sure Nashville has ever seen this many bikes in one place.

Almost everyone...

Almost everyone…

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Beautiful (Budget) Bicycles: REI Novara Transfer and Fusion

The other day while at REI with my friend L., I spotted a couple of intriguing Novara commuter bikes in the clearance section, but didn’t have time for a test ride. The Transfer has won Bicycling Magazine‘s editor choice award for the past two years, so I was eager to give it a shot. After our slightly disappointing Electra test ride Dottie and I decided it was a good time to head to Brentwood and check them out. The models we tried were the Novara Fusion and the Novara Transfer.  Overall we found the REI Novara Transfer to be a good value for money, especially when on clearance. (What can I say, I love a good sale!)  The higher-priced Fusion with upgraded components is nice, but not as budget-conscious.

Dottie on the Fusion

Dottie on the Fusion

Trisha on the Transfer

Trisha on the Transfer

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Electra Bicycles: Townie and Amsterdam Sport

Electra makes bikes well-suited for city cycling, but Trisha and I knew them only by reputation, advertising, and second-hand sightings. Today we stopped by a bike shop to take a closer look. Unfortunately, the shop recently sold its only lady’s Electra Amsterdam, so we were left with a Townie and diamond-frame Amsterdam Sport.

Trisha and the Electra Townie

Trisha and the Electra Townie

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