September 2009 archive

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

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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.

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!

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?

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.

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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.

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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!

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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 . . .

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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:

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