Monthly Archives: September 2009

Beautiful Bicycles: My Workcycles Azor Oma

One year ago I purchased a Workcycles Azor Oma, and that decision has changed my life for the better. I already cycled to work daily, but with Oma I was able to integrate cycling more easily and fully into my life. I no longer needed to coordinate my outfits around grease and chains. I was able to cycle through the harsh Chicago winter with no worries about frozen drivetrains. I left behind annoyances such as falling chains, deflating tires, and compromised braking. Now I simply get on my bike and go. It’s really a lovely way to travel.

7-18 profile 9-4 outfit

3-21-dress-bike29-1 oma dress

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Being Totally Sweet in Chicago

Today Being Totally Sweet in Chicago featured an interview with yours truly. That’s right: I’m officially totally sweet!

btsic

BTSIC, a blog about “riding bicycles, sampling culinary delights and getting sloshed on the finest of booze,” is a daily read for me. (Obviously, I am the target demographic.) Even for those who don’t live in Chicago, there’s lots of great information.

A sampling of my favorite bike-related posts:

Bike buying secrets of the commuting elite
Bike pub crawl in 7 easy steps
How to bike in the city, Part I and Part II
Chicago winter cycle chic

Thanks, Ira! I had fun drinking beer and talking bikes and blogs.

Tagged , ,

Autumn Dress

The temperature this morning in Chicago was 48 degrees, with a high of 57. A perfect day to put in action my How to Dress for Fall Cycling advice. Two weeks ago I wore this strappy summer dress alone with sandals. Today it became an autumn dress with the help of knee-high wool socks, tall lace-up boots, a cardigan, and gloves.

Boots!

Boots!

Dresses make up the bulk of my wardrobe, so I will be performing this trick a lot during cold weather. Eventually, I’ll pull out my three pairs of jeans, which I like wearing only in fall and winter.

I’m getting more and more excited about fall!

Tagged , , , , ,

Fall Arrives in Nashville

When we posted about fall cycling wear last week, I felt like cooler weather would never make its way to Nashville. But after nearly two weeks under a raincloud that brought 100% humidity and overcast skies, a cold front is coming through. I like to think Dottie’s waving it my way from Chicago.

There are leaves on the ground.

The autumn leaves . . .

The autumn leaves . . .

And cool mornings with bright blue skies.

But the best thing about this temperature change? I have a feeling tights might make it into my wardrobe rotation this week.

Some favorites from my tight collection

A few favorites from my tights collection--I'm drawn to texture, color, and yep, sparkles.

Are you seeing signs of fall?

Tagged , , , ,

More Gender Gap Analysis from the Media

The press lately has been fascinated with women on bikes. Reading these articles brings us a mixture of pleasure, optimism, frustration and annoyance. While mainstream acknowledgment of transportation bicycling is positive, the coverage regarding women has been shallow. Back in June the New York Times and Treehugger published articles that focus on women’s appearance and risk aversion – flaccid analyses that Trisha took head on in Mind the Gender Gap. Our female readers made their thoughts known loud and clear, which I highlighted in Women’s Voices.

My sister and nephew

My sister and nephew

Now Scientific American has jumped into the discussion with its article, “How to Get More Bicyclists on the Road: To boost urban bicycling, figure out what women want.” While there is the typical assertion that women are more risk averse than men, based on “studies across disciplines,”  there is also an interesting note that even within the same city, women’s cycling rates shoot up when one counts riders on protected paths.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Happy Birthday Grams!

It’s my grandmother’s 75th birthday today.

Grams and her new Schwinn bicycle (and cat!)

Grams at age 10 with her new Schwinn bicycle (and cat!)

There was hard work to be done on the Wisconsin farm where my grandmother grew up, but as the baby of the family by nearly 10 years, she was doted on — her sister Dorothy even took Grams along on dates to the drive-in.

Grams did let Dorothy ride her Schwinn once — but the story goes that Dorothy was not a very skilled rider and promptly crashed into the merry-go-round their dad had rigged up out of a plank and a wagon wheel. Grams still remembers the scratch it made on the fender.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

We Biked the Whole Summer

The Let’s Go Ride a Bike tribute to summer: we celebrate the good times, the sun, the dresses, the friendship, the bicycles.

We basked in the sun.

IMG_1087

We garden partied.

trisha-and-dottie

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

A New Old Bike in Progress

Not for me, but for Mr. Dottie! Thus far he’s gotten by with his Jamis Coda Sport, but has been saving up for another. Instead of buying a new bike, he’s custom building it himself with a vintage frame.

Greg testing the Raleigh

Greg testing the Raleigh

He started with an early 1970’s Raleigh Gran Sport frame that he bought for a low price on eBay. He’s a practical engineer, building it up with components to make the most utilitarian bike for his purposes, including a lot of winter riding. I’ll have a full write-up when he’s finished, but it includes an internal hub, roller brakes, generator lights, and mustache bars. He still has to adjust the parts for the perfect fit and add accessories, but he was able to take his first test ride today. He’s having fun, learning a lot and soon will have the perfect bike that he deserves!

How Much Has It Rained Here?

Well, not as much as in Atlanta, thank goodness — but enough to sprout up some mutant ‘shrooms. The Bat and I had to stop to take some pictures of the massive toadstools near the Acklen Avenue post office.

mutantmushrooms3

And this is one of the puny ones . . .

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

The 4 Most Common Causes of Single Bike Crashes

Cycling is a fun and safe way to get around. What danger there is comes overwhelmingly from motor vehicles. However, there are a few common causes of single bike crashes, and knowing the hazards may help you avoid them.

May help you avoid them. Unfortunately, this does not always work. We all know that broken concrete sidewalks are a tripping hazard while walking, but I bet we’ve all still tripped on them. Such is life outside a plastic bubble.

Mr. Dottie demonstrates hazard #2: ICE!

Mr. Dottie demonstrates hazard #2: ICE!

This week Mr. Dottie had a crash caused by one of the common hazards: clipping a pedal on the ground while cornering. A patch of irregularly raised pavement brought the ground too close, and his heavy work pannier made correcting impossible.  He is sore and a bit scraped on his arm and ankle, but otherwise doing well. A quick trip to urgent care (luckily he has health insurance) showed that nothing was fractured.  When someone cycles as much as he does, stuff like this is much more likely.

In light of this event, here is my very unofficial list of the 4 most common causes of single bike crashes:

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Commute Diary

I have been waxing poetic about my lovely rides lately. However, every ride is not rainbows and sunshine – you all know that. Here is a commute diary entry from a less enjoyable day.

More tights!

Not so cheery

I’m not smiling because:

  1. I am sick with a cold.  I thought a 12 mile bike ride would make me feel better.  I was wrong. Quite the opposite.
  2. The weather was super muggy.  I was sweaty.
  3. My thighs were tired.  My lack of a daily commute is showing.
  4. I cannot walk in those heels.  They hurt my feet.  Why do they make them that high?  Why do I buy them?  Eternal mystery. (For the record, I wore black flats for the ride and carried the heels in my basket.)
  5. I was on my way to an interview for a part-time job.  My competition was teeny boppers.

There will be good days and bad days, regardless of whether you are on a bike. Don’t be discouraged; even a bad day on a bike is better than a day without a bike. We hope this message comes through here.

Tagged ,

How To: Dress for Fall Cycling

Welcome, Autumn! This is my favorite season with the best cycling weather.

Fall cycling: light jacket and tights

Fall cycling: light jacket and tights

Incomprehensibly, when summer ends bike commuters begin dropping off as if they were flies and the crisp autumn air were infused with Raid. I’ll never understand why so many people think the best days to cycle are the insufferably hot ones. In light of this phenomenon, we’d like to discuss how to keep on cycling in the fall. The main trick is using light layers to combat the chill that you can remove easily if your body warms up. I am writing this from my point of view cycling in Chicago. If you live in an area with mild weather, consider this your how to dress in winter advice, or pick-and-choose what works for you.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,

Chicago Hot Dogs and Kitschy Fun

Chicago has plenty of sophisticated dining options, but the heart of Chicago’s food experience is its deep dish pizza and hot dogs. Our friend Tanya visited this weekend and wanted a Chicago dog, so I took her to  Murphy’s Red Hots (1211 W. Belmont Avenue).  I am not an authority on Chicago’s best hot dog – I don’t eat beef or pork! – but she gave them two enthusiastic thumbs up.

While she had a red hot with everything, I enjoyed delicious fries and a vanilla shake with a hearty dose of kitsch.

9-21 sign

9-21 red hot

Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

When Graffiti Goes Right

Yesterday, in between thrift store visits, we stopped for lunch at the Earwax Café, where the food was much more delicious than the name might suggest.

Public bathrooms aren’t usually the best photo venues, but I couldn’t resist documenting this piece of graffiti. If you’re going to deface a wall, you might as well say something worth saying. Just one of the reasons I love visiting Chicago!

Graffiti I can agree with

Graffiti I can agree with.

Tagged , , , ,

Bicycling in a Wedding Dress

My friend Jeremy is planning his wedding and wants to ride off afterward with his new bride on their tandem bicycle. They have a very cool set-up where they commute to work together 20 miles on their drop bar tandem, so they are experienced tandem riders (in fact, they have a whole blog about tandem cycling, Honking in Traffic). The problem is how to secure her wedding dress to prevent it from getting wound up in the drivetrain.

Extra complication: there’s a chain on both sides in the stoker’s position, drivetrain on the right, timing chain on the left. Alas, the tandem is not equipped with chain- and wheel-guards and step-through frames…

You can read the full explanation here.

Wedding Tandem

Wedding Tandem

Weather Girl via Great Full Day

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Together Again! (Again!)

Surprise – Trisha and I are together again! She’s in Chicago for the weekend, to be joined soon from Texas by our friend Tanya. Tonight we rode our (well, my) bikes downtown for a picnic in Millennium Park. I thought we were going to see a free ballet performance, but that was yesterday – oops! my bad. We still enjoyed our picnic and the beauty of the park at night.

Trisha and Dottie - you'll have to take our word for it

Trisha and Dottie - you'll have to take our word for it

Laughing :)  Totally not staged

Laughing :) Totally not staged

Continue reading

Tagged , , ,

Two Pictures, One Garden

After six months of winter, I was thrilled by the re-emergence of roses and puffy hydrangea in Chicago’s Grant Park. I cycled through the garden every day to and from work, and these flowers always brought a smile to my face. Sadly, they are now dying as autumn takes over.

Beginning of summer, blooming flowers in Grant Park

Beginning of summer, blooming flowers in Grant Park

End of summer, dying flowers in Grant Park

End of summer, dying flowers in Grant Park

Aw, so sad.  See you in nine months, garden!

Tagged , , , , , ,

I Love Riding My Bike

The number one reason I ride my bike is because cycling is so much fun. Words cannot describe the feeling that comes over me while riding my bike. Even if I’m running late to a meeting and there is a ruthless headwind, I am happy. If I get soaked by a sneak wave attack, I swear and laugh and keep rolling. If I get to ride with a friend, it’s double the fun (thanks, EA!).

I wish I could make everyone feel this, but the best I can do is blog about it and hope others give bikes a try.

Seagul over Lake Michigan

Seagull!

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

Shakespeare in the Park

Last week, my friend P. and I took Le Peug and the Dahon down to Centennial Park, one of my favorite places in Nashville, to see a performance of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged.

We both decided that we would have preferred an actual play, but it was still a nice night under the stars. Before the show, we had a quick ride around the park and admired the sun setting behind the Parthenon. Unfortunately I couldn’t convince P. to step out from behind the camera and make her internet debut—next time, I hope! Since brevity is the soul of wit, I’ll speak no more and simply draw the curtain and show you the picture[s]. ;-)

09.15meparthpeugpretty

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 56 other followers