Belle and Sebastian and Bikes

Do you have tickets to a concert? Consider riding your bike there! Nothing is better after leaving a crowded theater and feeling amped up than jumping on your bike and sailing home in the cool night air. As a bonus, you probably have the streets all to yourself. Just bring your lights and pepper spray.

I experienced this joy Monday night, riding the Lakefront Trail after a Belle and Sebastian show at the Chicago Theater. At nearly midnight, Mr. Dottie and I were the only ones out there on the bike path and there were barely any cars on the streets. My new $5 thrift store skirt managed the bike/work/bike/concert/bike transition very well.

Past posts about riding bikes to concerts:

The Magnetic Fields
Tori Amos
Sonic Youth
Nashville’s 12th South Concert Series

Naturally, I’ve ridden my bike to every concert I’ve seen for the past two years. In addition to the shows I’ve blogged about, there’s been Kate Nash, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Amanda Palmer, Aimee Mann, Ani DiFranco, Meiko, Lucinda Williams, Lilly Allen, Swell Season, Regina Spektor, Sia, Death Cab, She and Him. So now you know my musical tastes and my failure to blog about many outings. :)

Who else likes to combine bike riding with concerts?

  • Niklas

    Went to Bayfest in Mobile via bike a couple of weekends ago with a friend and we had a great time. We got free tickets last minute and saw Reba McEntire and Lady Antebellum. Getting there traffic was slow because of the congestion so we felt safe. Although, there are always a few yahoos roaming around with obnoxious comments and such after drinking. But I can deal with that. We didn’t have to worry about parking and that’s very nice. And yes, after the concert the streets were calm and the night air felt good.

    • Dottie

      Sounds like fun!

  • David Cain

    Belle and Sebastian are excellent. Sounds like a great evening of music followed by a great ride home. Bravo!

  • ian menzies

    Riding a bike to a movie is a pretty cool thing as well. Not sure about the pepper spray though?


    • Dottie

      Pepper spray is like mace but less harmful to the attacker. An important tool for any woman living in a city.

  • oldfool

    Lovely skirt on a Lovely girl. It makes me happy.

    • Dottie

      Why thank you. Love the blog name. :)

  • Gina

    I would love to see a pic of you riding the Betty Foy, I’m curious to see the posture on this model.

    • Dottie

      Hi Gina – I made a video about the Betty Foy that shows me riding at the end (feel free to fast forward). It is on our YouTube channel. There’s also a picture of me riding it in this post, as well as others if you dig through the archives.

  • beany

    I bike to concerts too! Well, they’re more like local tiny bands before they hit the big time.

    One of my favorite concerts was a Cornelius concert in Philly. After the concert, I felt glowy since I had seen my absolute favorite artist live!

    • Dottie

      I’ll have to look up Cornelius and listen to them.

  • Trisha

    Skirt looks great! That was a real find. Glad you enjoyed the show.

    • Dottie

      Merci. I’m glad I got the skirt; I got a lot of compliments at work.

      • E A

        Love the skirt too! I seem to lack your luck at thrift stores.

  • Cameron

    Love and have seen B&S, Magnetic Fields(twice), Dresden Dolls. To ride home from any of those shows must be magical.

    • Dottie

      Yes, indeed. Glad to see another person with my tastes :)

  • Nicolas

    In Paris, it can be kinda hard to ride to good concerts, because so many of them happen at la Maroquinerie, which is on top of the (second-) highest hill in the city. There’s no pleasant way to go there. That said, I really could have used a “wheeeeeee!” ride downhill after Shout Out Louds + Baden Baden there last night, had to settle for the bus.

    • Nicolas

      (Also: is Zooey Deschanel kind of a jerk, or was she just not in a good mood when I saw She & Him in Berlin?)

    • Dottie

      Ha, riding uphill might be worth being able to ride downhill later.

      ZD seemed super nice when I saw She and Him.

  • Nuresma

    I’ve never ride to a concert because my town’s theater is a 5 minutes walk from my home and the big concerts are in the city (50 km. from here).
    But I would like to do it someday ;)

    • Dottie

      Yeah, unfortunately a lot of big concerts are often at those huge, ugly stadiums that were built to accommodate a bunch of cars and no pedestrians.

  • Simply Bike

    Great skirt! And I’m jealous of your thriving concert-going life – so many wonderful shows that you’ve attended! I have attended a few community outdoor concerts this past summer by bike and I agree that it’s so nice to just hop on one’s bike and ride past all the people trying to get out by car. S.

  • John

    I have tickets to Chris Botti, but leaving our bikes outside the theater in such a dicey neighborhood it just too chancy.

  • Dave

    We have hardly gone to any concerts since we have started riding bikes, actually. But we did, if I remember right, bike to Muse recently. It’s kind of nice, because the big stadium in Portland is actually only about a 5-10 minute ride from our apartment, and though the roads in that part of town are kind of wacky, it’s not too hard to get there by bike. They do need more bike parking though.

    It’s been a very long time since I’ve driven to a large concert, we always have taken transit (light rail).

    We’ve seen Regina Spektor live, and I’d love to see Charlotte Gainsbourg, She & Him, Lilly Allen and Death Cab. I think my favorite concert ever was Sigur Ros – that show was actually one of the most impactful experiences of my life. The only two shows I haven’t seen that I feel like I need to before I die are Radiohead and Bjork. Here’s hoping.

    • Dottie

      Radiohead and Bjork are high on my list of must-sees, too. And Prince!

      • Dave

        Oh yeah, Prince would be fun too! And David Bowie :)

        • Dottie

          BOWIE!! Yes, he’s on my list.

  • Scott

    Nice! I am seeing Sufjan tomorrow night at the same theater. We’ll be arriving by bike, of course.

    • Dottie

      Have fun! I wanted to go to the show, but it sold out before I could buy tickets.

  • E A

    Can’t forget the bike ride(s) to see Javier Mendoza perform when he’s been in Chicago. :-)

  • David from Madison

    I get too drunk at shows to considering riding a bike at night.

    • Dottie

      Ha, good point. I’m sure that’s an issue for a lot of people. I can’t drink much at concerts without feeling nauseated, so I haven’t had that particular problem.

  • Mark Simpson

    I’m in Chicago for a conference and on Friday we were taking on the “Chicago Dine Around” tour. First stop was Quartino. Outside were parked two very stylish bikes: a green Pashley with cute front wicker basket and a silver bike with lovely cream tires. Not sure whose bikes they were – but i figure maybe they read this blog and i’d just like to say that those were pretty nice looking bikes. Hope the huge mass of conference attendees coming into Quartino didn’t disrupt your evening.

    (at first i had thought it was your bike Dottie and i said to some people that i thought i recognized the bikes – they stared at me and said: you _recognize_ their bikes?)

    Sad to leave Chicago without time to do some exploring, or even a little biking like last time.

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