Racing, Thrifting and Cargoing

Today was absolutely gorgeous – sunny and 60 degrees! I biked without gloves and earmuffs for the first time since October. Yes!

During lunch I went to the Salvation Army with a friend from work. I wanted to enjoy the gorgeous weather, so I told her I’d bike and meet her there. We did a little “on your mark, get set, go” when leaving the building. My bike was right outside, while her car was parked in the lot a block away. I left her in the dust until, a mere block from the destination, she passed me tooting her horn. BUT she still had to park, pay the meter machine and put a ticket stub on her dash. By the time she got to the entrance, I was waiting impatiently.

Somehow she beat me on the way back to the office, but just barely. And she didn’t get to enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. :)

Betty being cocky

I scored big at the thrift store, buying a manual 35 mm camera in great shape, two dresses and a skirt. Finding beautiful clothes for only $2 is such a thrill. I have very little interest in shopping at real clothing stores now.

My favorite thrift store

On my way home, I was in such a good mood and the weather was so beautiful, it seemed a shame to ride straight home. Instead, I stopped in J.C. Lind Bikes, which I pass by every day, to chat with the owner Jon. I left about an hour later with a Yuba instead of Betty – only for an overnight test ride!

Me and the Yuba

I love riding unusual bikes around town, always fun. I’ll write a full test ride review after I try it out more tomorrow. Plus, the story of a certain awesome cycling family I ran into on my way home!

  • Louise

    Biking always does have it’s advantages, including winning races! The Yuba is an interesting bike, longer in the back. I haven’t seen one before so it’ll be interesting to see how you rate it. :)

    • Dottie

      This may have been the first race I’ve ever won in my life!

  • Kara

    Your Wednesday turned out to be quite the adventure. And all thanks to biking! Pretty amazing, isn’t it?

    Hope to see some of your new thrift store scores in some future posts.

    • Dottie

      I will definitely be featuring all my thrift store finds in future posts!

  • Karen

    If we get to Chicago in the coming year, I want to go thrifting with you. I used to go in Louisville all the time and snagged some great deal. My favorite was a spring weight, suede, camel trench. It was my Audrey Hepburn coat and made me feel so smart and pulled together. $15! Naturally, I wore it for years until it fell apart. I miss that coat.

    • Dottie

      It’s a date!

  • Lovely Bicycle!

    Looking forward to your impressions of the Yuba. A friend of mine has one and loves it, but I did not feel comfortable trying it – too unwieldy for me. Then again, you’ve ridden Bakfietsen, so you should be good!

    • Dottie

      I did not find it unweildy at all, but then I did not have a very heavy load.

  • northwest is best

    A lunchtime bike ride and thrifting? I love it. Can I be your friend, please?!

    • Dottie

      Yes! If you promise to show my around Manchester, should I ever make my way over there. :)

  • NancyB

    I’m a huge thrifter and like you, hate paying retail. My favorite haunt is Unique Thrift Store especially on Half Price Monday. It’s where I developed my love for Le Creuset.

    • Dottie

      Oh yes, I’ve hit up Unique on Half Price Monday. I didn’t find much that day, though – I’ll have to go back sometime. We should arrange a biking & thrifting get-together one of these days!

  • Trisha

    When I first read the title of this post, I thought you had gone somewhere in a car. :) Sounds like a lovely lovely day!

    • Dottie

      A car? Never!

      Okay, once in a blue moon. ;)

  • SM

    Sounds like you had a great day! How fun. Wow! Look at the distance between the wheels on the Yuba. Look forward to reading about how it handles with such a wheel span.

    • Dottie

      The wheel span just makes it very stable. Surprisingly, it does not feel different from a regular bike.

  • Mr Colostomy

    Good luck with the Yuba, I hope you enjoy having it for the next day. I’ve had mine for nearly a year and a half now, it is the bike that got me started on practical upright bikes. After I got it I used it for everything because it was so much nicer to ride than the only other bike I owned at the time, a mountain bike.

    • Dottie

      That’s cool. I’d love to hear more about your experiences in the comments of the review I just posted.

  • neighbourtease

    Envious of midwestern thrif stores. Ours in NYC suck.

    Coincidentally, I saw my first Yuba this morning. With two kids’ seats. Righteous.

    • Dottie


      Awesome thrift stores is something that we excel at out here.

  • Melissa @ HerGreenLife

    I’m hoping to score thrift store items for most of my maternity wardrobe, but so far the pickings are slim. Like you, I rarely buy new clothes, and it seems extra silly for pieces that I will only be wearing for the next few months!

    Unfortunately, the thrift stores I have found with a decent maternity selection are not really bikeable for me.

    • Dottie

      I saw some cute maternity stuff at this thrift store. In fact, one empire dress was so cute, I almost bought it despite the tag saying “Motherhood Maternity.” Good luck with your search!

  • Melissa @ HerGreenLife

    By the way, thanks for the cycling family link. I’m doing some digging on best options for biking with young infants. I hope to be out and about with baby before the uber-conservative 9-12 months that I see as the standard recommendation in the U.S. It seems this will most likely involve purchasing another bike, and their “About Cargo Bikes” section has some useful info.

    • Dottie

      I’m glad it was helpful. That family is the coolest – I’m so impressed by them!

  • Luke

    Our thrift store prices are alot higher here upstate New York, $7 or more for jeans $10 for shoes, $4-$10 shirts.
    But even at those prices it’s a deal compared to $40-$70 jeans. Still it is very fun to look through them is always fun, my wife and I go Mondays. I have however scored two slr film cameras for cheap.

    • Dottie

      Finding film cameras for cheap is one of the many reasons I love shooting film. So many great quality film cameras out there for peanuts.

  • jim

    I’ve had my Yuba for a while now and really like it. My first choice was a Bakfiets, but I have a long steep hill to climb and the gearing of of the. Bak just wouldn’t let me make it up that climb. The Mundo does a great job of hauling cargo for me and has turned out to be an incredibly comfortable ride as well. I did upgrade the brakes to Avid discs, as the ride down the hill while fully loaded with two weeks groceries was a little unsettling with the stock V brakes, but otherwise, the Yuba has been fantastic.

    • Dottie

      That’s great to hear! Would love to hear more about it in the comments of the review I just posted, especially about your experiencing hauling cargo, since I was not able to try out a really massive load.

  • Jim

    ^not that jim.

    My Yuba review: near-great.

    There’s nothing about this blog entry I don’t like immensely.

    Please note contents of overflowing Wald get swallowed into the Yuba bag as if they were a bug.

    • Dottie

      Ha, yes, that was pretty awesome – love the huge Yuba bag.

  • Maureen

    Looking forward to reading your Yuba review, and hearing about your thrift store finds! Today was beautiful in NY!

  • Sara

    What a fantastic lunch break! And the camera, so awesome! It’s been such a great week in Chicago :)