A Midwinter Celebration

On a very cold Saturday evening, a group of fun-loving city cyclists came together for a midwinter celebration at local Chicago shop, Dutch Bike Co. A time to recharge batteries, talk with cool people and drink lots of wine out of a cargo bike.  :)

Among the cool people there (I wish I’d taken even more pictures!) was Janet, a writer and illustrator who rides an Oma and blogs at Tuttle Tattle.

And Steve, who just returned from a whirlwind European trip, including stops in Amsterdam and Copenhagen.  You can read about his trip at Steven Can Plan.

The array of bikes parked outside was beautiful, including this Madsen owned by Ashley of new blog One Less Minivan.

Between chatting and sipping, I had time to gawk at all the cool stuff, including Po Campo’s new prototype laptop pannier made by local ladies, Maria and Emily.

Also on display, Dutch seat covers and Yepp kid seats.

And these amazing navy blue and green Brooks saddles.  Has anyone seen colored leather saddles like these before?  I’m intrigued!

I’m lucky to have such great local bike shops in Chicago. A good local shop can become a meeting place for like-minded folk and help create a feeling of real community, even in a big city.  This celebration was all about socializing, talking to old friends and meeting new ones.  Such opportunities are rare.  Usually in the bike community, every event is organized around either recreation, like a group ride, or advocacy work.  I think merely talking with other people who “get it” is an effective, subtle form of advocacy, and a fun recreation to boot.

I encourage everyone, wherever you may live, to approach your local bike shop about hosting a similar celebration.  Get the ball rolling in your own community!

(Dutch Bike Co. is a sponsor of LGRAB. It’s also my local bike shop, which I’ve been writing about since long before we had sponsors.)

  • http://dingdingletsride.com Samantha

    Great photos Dottie! I just saw Janet’s post too. We so wanted to stop by but our evening was already booked. Looks like everyone had a really wonderful time. Gotta love our Dutch bike folks in Chicago!

  • http://dingdingletsride.com Samantha

    Those colored Brooks saddles are very intriguing!!!!

  • Frits B

    Brooks are owned by Italian company Selle Royal. What you see here is probably the Mediterranean influence seeping through. It’s not suede yet, is it?

    • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

      Really? No longer English-owned?

  • http://www.me-go.net/rtw/blog/ Megan

    I love those colored leather saddles, wow! Sorry I couldn’t make it.

    • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

      They look really great. They have rich colors which don’t show accurately in Dottie’s “vintagey” film.

  • Ash

    It was a great evening. Now to convince the boys at Copenhagen to have one next month. ;)

    • http://www.stevevance.net/planning Steven Vance

      I concur!

  • Ash

    Oh yeah, after our brunch last week I decided I too needed a blog, so, if you want to link some kind of accolade to my name, by all means; http://onelessminivan.tumblr.com/

    • http://letsgorideabike.com Dottie

      Love it and done!

    • http://dingdingletsride.com Samantha

      Great looking blog there Ash! You’ve been added to my family and Chicago bike blog lists.

  • http://velo-city-girl.blogspot.com/ Lady Vélo

    What lovely photos – looks like such a fantastic and fun evening! Those Brooks Saddles – wow! I’d quite like to have one of those!

  • http://lodolanes.com JC

    Hi Dottie! Great post on Saturday’s party. It was very nice to meet you. Your blog and photography are amazing.

  • http://chicargobike.blogspot.com ladybug

    Looks like such a great night- sorry we missed it. I love your new blog Ash! Good to know that box bike can hold a party’s worth of fun.
    I think Dottie has a great point. Between blogging, brunch and
    riding she’s been building an amazing community.

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  • http://bikesinmotion.blogspot.com SM

    What a great event and nice to see Janet who I live through vicariously as an artist and I agree she’s very cool :)

    Love the Brooks Saddles. Thanks for giving us thoughts and ideas on how to approach putting an event like this together.

  • http://www.tuttletattle.blogspot.com JTuttle

    Great photos as usual, Dottie! It was great meeting all kinds of folks and it was really fun. I hope that this party at Dutch Bikes might happen again, and I’m in for any other european city bike party as well. By the way, thanks SM, for the sweet comment!

  • http://bikesandthecity.blogspot.com/ meligrosa

    what a fun event!! love the teal brooks saddle OMG <3
    I need me a big bucket of beer like that for city rides in the summer. wooot!

  • http://www.dutchbikeco.com Vince

    Hey Dottie,
    Great post! Thanks for being a part of the evening. Great to see you. Looking forward to many more to come.

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