Bike, Sun, Beauty, Happiness!

Forget winter – today was the best day of the season with clear blue skies, a bright sun and warm breezes.   I did not even mind working on a Saturday since my commute was such a joy.  Otherwise, I would have slept in and missed the morning after a fun late night out with the lovely Ms. Elle of Dancing Gypsies.

This is what I call a perfect commute.

11-7 sun and betty

The Sun and Betty

11-7 lake

Lake Michigan

11-7 tree

Spindly Tree

11-7 city

Chicago

That is, until a gush of wind and a poor kickstand conspired to ruin my fun. Betty fell down while I was taking these pictures, and the force knocked her front fender out of alignment. I could not figure out how to fix the problem without making it worse, so I turned around and rode home slowly while the tire loudly rubbed against the fender, then took the EL train to work (I did not want to ride Oma in the strong headwind).

11-7 fall down

Fall Down, Go Boom

I grieved the loss of my bike commute at the end of the day. Who wants to be stuck in a train on such a beautiful day? Not I, said the Dottie!

My bike mechanic aka husband fixed the fender; now I just have to get a double-footed kickstand.

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20 thoughts on “Bike, Sun, Beauty, Happiness!

  1. G.E. says:

    What a bummer! :o( Maybe Betty just wanted to enjoy a nap in the nice weather?

  2. oh no! glad you got it fixed. today was gorgeous here, too, and a perfect day for a long bike ride for ice cream. sorry you and betty missed the rest of your commute in the sunshine!

  3. Steve A says:

    Mr Dottie is a keeper.

  4. It seems that most of us in the U. S. had a great day. My ride was shorter – all around our cul-de-sac while my son rode his tricycle.

    Sorry Betty fell down so hard. That had to be a huge wind breaking the fender just from the kickstand position.

  5. Wild Bill says:

    What a beautiful day on the Lakefront Trail! I hope this isn’t our last weekend like this. I still have a ways to go on my cyclist’s tan and 45 degrees F is too cold for short sleeves!

  6. bob says:

    Or just take off the kickstand and lay the bike down. It can’t fall over if it is already on the ground and it will be lighter.

    • dottie says:

      Having to lay my bike down would be silly. I carry a lot of stuff in my basket that would fall out, plus the ground is often dirty, snowy or wet. I would have to worry about scratching my frame. And I want pictures of my bike standing up. The weight of a kickstand is negligible. All of my bikes need to stand upright securely – that’s not too much to ask.

  7. dukiebiddle says:

    Before you commit yourself too completely to the view that a two leg kickstand is the ultimate solution I recommend this as a very good read, and check out that support triangle comparison diagram she drew up. You may still feel that the two leg kickstand is still the best solution for your needs, but an opposing viewpoint can be invaluable.

  8. Frits B says:

    Nothing against the Pletscher but why not a Hebie complete with steering stabiliser like on Oma? The people you bought Oma from must have it available.

    It seems Betty Foy is too light to stand up against a strong wind ….. :-)

  9. Sorry about your bike falling; that’s happened to my mixte as well. It’s good to have handy husbands : )

  10. Keri says:

    Sorry about the bike falling and the loss of your commute on such a lovely day. :-(

    I started out with center-mounted kickstand on my Surly and hated the instability, especially while trying to load it. I was planning to put a double stand on it, but ended up going with the rear-mounted single stand they use on the police bikes. I’ve been very happy with that, even when I have a heavy load.

    • dukiebiddle says:

      Rear-mounted stands are great if you carry your cargo on a rear rack. If you carry cargo over the front wheel, not so much. I have a front basket bike with a rear-mount stand, which for various reasons is my only option on that bike. Even if the basket is empty, the extra flop caused by the front basket combined with the long and narrow support triangle, make standing the bike a constant struggle.

      The question really is whether the pletscher is the correct solution for the light mixtie. As Dottie carries cargo over the front wheel, I think it might be, although I’m not sure. Also, I’m not sure if the Betty Foy has a kickstand plate. If does, I’d probably go with the pletscher. Pletscher’s pinch clamp is notoriously problematic and can crush the chainstays.

      • Keri says:

        Agreed. I use a large bar bag on the front. It does flop around. The stand still holds the bike up, but the flopping can be annoying sometimes. I’ve gotten in the habit of parking near a structure (wall, curb, etc) that can catch the front wheel when I have the bag on it.

  11. Dwayne says:

    I don’t think it’s a kick stand problem. Maybe instead of the front basket, you could use a pair of baskets or panniers on the sides of the rear wheel. It would definitely lower the center of gravity of your bike which would make it less likely to get blown over. I believe that the front basket also contributes to the fall in another way when there’s stuff in it. The wind catches the full basket, turns the wheel, and the bike falls.

    • dottie says:

      My oma has a spring that keeps the basket and front wheel from flopping over. I’m going to hunt one of those down for Betty. There’s no way I’d get rid of the front basket, I like it.

  12. chibikegal says:

    poor Betty! I took Oma out in crazy wind yesterday for a very slow ride – after filling up her milk crate with apples and pumpkins and all sorts of stuff at Stanley’s, we made it home safe and then plop – milk crate toppled over. apples, bananas, everywhere. hopefully santa will bring me proper panniers…

  13. Jon Grinder says:

    Well, I have one of the two-legged kickstands on the Red RockHopper, and I love it. The bike has never blown over, while on it. I like the looks of it, and the geek factor is in the stratosphere!

    Seriously, I think it would be a good addition to the Betty. My only regret is that I can’t mount one on my 29er fixed gear commuter, due to the frame design. If only it had a kickstand plate…

  14. E A says:

    With Betty being a mixte and not as heavy as Oma, I’m not so sure a double-footed kickstand would solve the falling over problem. I went for a ride on Saturday and as we were getting ready to go, one of the guys had the double stand on his bike was battling the wind that still wanted to blow his bike away! Blame the Chicago wind… ;-) But it would have been a nice tailwind for your commute home.

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