November 2009 archive

Chicago’s Christkindlmarket

This weekend we took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather (~50 degrees F) and cycled along the lakefront to the Christkindlmarket downtown.

I love being able to take off my helmet when I get on the Lakefront Trail with Oma. The wind in my hair feels so good.

Helmet off, hair loose

Chicago’s Christkindlmarket claims to be the only authentic Christkindlmarket outside of Europe. I’m not sure about the “only” claim, but it looks “authentic,” based on pictures of a Christkindlmarket in Salzburg via Academichic.

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Fall into the Flik

As I work on the review of the Jango Flik, and about five other half-finished blog posts, enjoy this photo of the bike posing with the last of the autumn leaves. Like Chicago, Nashville has passed a mild, dry fall that has been a joy to ride in.

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A Bike Lover’s Gift Guide: Etsy

Confession: Internet shopping is one of my favorite pastimes. I know it’s not right, but somehow filling a virtual shopping cart with crap I don’t need and then closing the window at the last moment, without checking out, is just as therapeutic as actually making the purchase.

Know what else is therapeutic? Passing the finds on to someone else. In that spirit, and because it is the season of gift-giving, we will be sharing some of our favorite bikey finds with you over the next few Saturdays. First up are some items from one of the places I find near impossible to resist: Etsy.com. If you haven’t heard, Etsy is a fabulous online marketplace where people (like  our friends at cyclemumbreeze!) sell handmade or vintage goods. All of these unique gifts are under $50, by the way.

Row One: Bicycle Key Rack, Custom Leather U-Lock Holster, Vicious Cycle T, Screen-Printed Bicycle Glasses

Row Two: Bike bag, Heidi Cycle Cap, Bicycles Only (Russian), Letterpress Pink Bike

Row Three: The Bicycle (cards), Schwinn Breeze photo, Bike Drawstring Pouch, Bicycle Quote shirt

Row Four: little steel bicycle, Go By Bike Carryall, Going to See My Baby print, Sparkling Grey Legwarmers

Love all of these, but my favorite has to be the Vicious Cycle t-shirt. It’s just so very punny.

How about you?

(p.s. Etsy mini-gallery inspired by the oh-so-tempting collections of Miss Nightingale at Beyond the Pale.)

Winter?

I think today was the coldest of the season, dropping down to 32 degrees F. We donned our winter Bern helmets and safety glasses for a trip to a home improvement store. I got caught up in the holiday ribbon section, where I picked up some trimmings for Oma (more on that later).

Waiting for Winter

Despite the chill today, the weather tomorrow is expected to be sunny and up to 54 degrees F. I feel like I’ve spent a month bracing for a winter that never comes. By this time last year, snow was on the ground. Not that I’m complaining – I’ll be on my bike enjoying the sunshine!

Bike Calendar 2010

Our friend Elizabeth of Bike Commuters created a Chicago Bikes calendar with great pictures that she has been taking year-round from her bike. All of the proceeds support Chicago’s Ride of Silence, which Elizabeth plans and coordinates.

Image from Chicago Bike Calendar

Oma is excited to be Ms. September.

There is also a calendar of Chicago Flowers and Chicago Scapes.

Everyone needs a calendar, right? Today they are 40% off with free shipping. Order here.

Happy Thanksgiving!

This year, I am thankful for family and friends near and far;  the community we’ve found through blogging,  good health  and the good food that will be on the table today . . . etc.

But most of all, I’m thankful that after a year and a half on two wheels, I’ve yet to inspire a highway art installment like this one.

Bike art near Guntersville, Alabama

Bike art near Guntersville, Alabama

How about you, friends? And what do you think of this installment? Humorous, or hostile, given that it’s located next to a highway?

And to our American readers — how are you celebrating Thankgiving? I’m spending it away from my family for just the second time in 29 years (yikes). Planned to bring a cake to a friend’s, but a pan extraction incident means I’m making cake balls instead. Something tells me my hosts won’t complain.

(Thanks to Ash & C for the snap!)

I Believe in Peace, B_ _ _ _

I admit that I was all fired up to write this post when I got home, but after a hot shower, a cold beer and a phone call with my mom, I’m feeling pretty chill. Nevertheless, the show must go on.

You can't tell, but I'm flipping her off

You can't tell, but I'm flipping her off

My ride home today was scary. It was pouring rain, dark out and with all the city lights reflecting off the pavement, I was nervous about drivers seeing me and my lights. Then one particular driver had to go and be an a-hole. I was in the bike lane passing a line of stopped traffic when a car started moving into the bike lane. I yelled on the top of my lungs, “HEYYYYYYY!” to prevent being run over. The car slammed on its brakes (I’m loud) and I proceeded on.

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Sir Raleigh and Betty Foy

In celebration of the mild weather, Sir Raleigh and Betty Foy went for a date ride today – chaperoned by me and Mr. Dottie, of course. I think they are a perfect match. (Tip: you can now see a bigger version of each picture by clicking on it.)

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Back to Bat

Well, for the day at least! Afraid that continued neglect of my darling Batavus could lead to a pant-snatching incident, á la Oma, I took her out to enjoy one of the last days of fall. Together we posed in front of a scraggly tree that is desperately holding on to its leaves. Keep ‘em up there, little tree — I’m not ready for winter!

Off to work — I look skeptical of the self-timer feature

After two weeks plus of riding the Flik, my Bat felt . . . heavy. But also — stable! And comfortable. I know you roadies out there will probably say it’s just what you’re used to (and you’ll have a point — to an extent, I have gotten used to craning my neck on the Flik), but an upright riding position is SO much more comfortable than being launched out over the handlebars. The Bat was forgiving of my neglect and my sweater tights made it to work without complications.

Weekend plans include meeting up with Andrew, a local owner of a Bike Friday, during a ride through Shelby Bottoms. And, gulp, a viewing of New Moon. Don’t judge, people. As this spot-on article in the WaPo warns, it could happen to you.

Happy Friday!

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