A Rare Winter Ride with Betty Foy

Today I rode to Evanston, a city north of Chicago, to hang out with Holly (who writes the blog Dancing Gypsies), where we had a fun time looking through book shops and clothing boutiques.  Since the distance was long and the streets totally clear of ice, I rode Betty Foy and took the most direct route along a major street. Things I learned on the 9-mile ride:

  • I miss riding Betty Foy.
  • I get a cardio workout riding Betty that I don’t get on Oma.
  • I can sweat a lot even in freezing temperatures.
  • I was in better shape in the summer.
  • There is a reason I don’t usually ride on big roads with fast traffic.
  • Big roads with fast traffic are scary.
  • The city is not that concerned about bicyclists’ safety.
  • Air pollution is a problem. *cough*
  • Sometimes when the route is stressful and it’s dark out and flurries begin to fall, the best way home is riding the train with my bike.

Now Betty Foy goes back in the garage and I go back to my regular commute until the next totally clear day.

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15 thoughts on “A Rare Winter Ride with Betty Foy

  1. Anne says:

    Betty is so pretty!

    The city is not that concerned about bicyclists’ safety.

    A sad but true statement pretty much nationwide, I’m afraid. Even here in Portland, where bikes rule the political discourse and safety is said to be a top priority, the actual safety–driver training, separated bike paths, penalities for drivers who cause bike accidents–is still mostly in the talk stage.

  2. such a long ride for winter!!
    i also can’t wait for spring. around here it is way way too snowy this week and last for biking (sigh). the side-streets aren’t plowed at all and i’ve taken a few too many spills just coming down my driveway.
    together we’ll hope for an early spring, huh?

  3. BikeWorkPlay says:

    Hi!

    I’m new to these things (blogging) but I totally agree with

    “I get a cardio workout riding Betty that I don’t get on Oma.”

    I have a lovely older bike too and I like him best (comfort and style), but my other old (new to me, but more roady) bike is far easier on the sweaty “work out”!

  4. Cherilyn says:

    Good for you for going outside your comfort zone! It’s always a dance for me. Do I stretch myself and find out it wasn’t so bad, or do I come home from the experience totally frazzled and frantic? No easy answer.

    I miss my lightweight bike, too.

  5. Vee says:

    I love your betty posts. It reminds me the the grin I wore after I test rode one. I wanted to take it home ASAP. Still do…

  6. E A says:

    Up to Evanston? Nice!
    What route did you take? Clark? Any route to Evanston, especially through the Rogers Park area is tough – all routes are heavily trafficked and the side streets are really torn up (pot-holed).
    Hopefully the roads weren’t too bad with traffic since not everyone had to work yesterday.

  7. Dean Peddle says:

    “I was in better shape in the summer.”

    Don’t beat yourself up about this one. You may have lost a little fitness but not as much as you think. One thing I’ve leaned about riding all the winters that I have is that the air is thicker and heavier in the wintertime so it is harder to ride the same speed as summer therefore you feel like you are out of shape.

  8. sara says:

    OK, I’m gonna say it. I wish New Haven had bike paths. Real ones. I know there are cycling folks out there who disagree, but I ride on roads every day with cars. It is mostly OK. But damn, even though my older two boys can ride bikes with their own pedal-power, my husband & I still need to keep figuring out ways to cargo bike with them b/c there is just NO way they can ride on these streets themselves. They can ride short distances on the sidewalks but they really can’t get around on bike like we can. It is starting to really bum me out. Hearing someone like you, Dottie, who is committed to bike commuting BUT so prefers not to ride ‘big roads with fast traffic’ makes me think about bike paths…

  9. Dottie says:

    @Cherilyn – That’s a great way to put it. Usually I find that it’s not so bad, but yesterday was an exception.

  10. Dottie says:

    @sara – Yes, more bike paths! I was just thinking that if the experience bothered me so much, no way would a novice rider feel safe out there.

  11. Dottie says:

    @Anne – Talk is definitely a great start, but yeah, when I stop and realize how little is actually being done by local governments, it’s kinda sad.

  12. Dottie says:

    @BikeWorkPlay – Hi! Welcome to blogging things :) Nice place you’ve got over there.

  13. Dottie says:

    @Dean Peddle – Thanks! That makes me feel better ;)

  14. Oh nice! She looks quite beautiful in the snow. I know someone who uses a Rivendell Sam Hillborne specifically as a winter bike, so Betty is not entirely out of her element.

    I can’t wait to ride a mixte again!

  15. I just found your blog and I love the whole idea and what y’all are doing. Personally I can’t imagine doing this in Chicago but I’m a wuss with cold weather! All your bikes are so cute too! Much enjoyment…

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