Monthly Archives: March 2012

Review: Lululemon Ride On Crop

Lululemon sent a pair of Ride On Crops along with the other items in the Ride On collection, but the sizing and style weren’t quite right for me. So I passed them along to one of the most faithful members of our bicycle gang to assess! In addition to being a badass cyclist who bike commutes from East Nashville to downtown more often than not, Lauren is a talented seamstress, so her opinion on clothing is probably worth a lot more than mine anyway. :) Without further ado, here’s Lauren’s take on the Ride On Crop

Let me preface this by pointing out that I don’t wear cycling-specifc clothes—nothing against those of who do, I’m just the kind of girl who rides in what she happens to be wearing. Which is usually something tacky like denim cut-off shorts and a ratty tank top. So I was pretty delighted to be given the opportunity to review these sweet little cropped pants.

As both Trisha and Dottie have pointed out, the sizing is kind of weird in this line. I was given the size 8 and it fits perfectly in the legs and bum, which is interesting since I normally wear a 2 or a 4 in ready-to-wear. The waist is a bit large, but I have a fairly substantial hip-to-waist ratio so I’m not necessarily going to blame the pants in this case. [ed: this seems to be common throughout the LL Ride On line; I had the same issue with the shorts. But I also have the waist-to-hip thing going on.] There is an (elastic!!) drawstring on the inside of the waistband, which cinched them to the correct size. The pants I was given are a greyish white, although they also come in indigo and black.

I really like the way these pants are engineered. As a seamstress, I love lurking the insides of a piece of clothing to see how it is constructed—especially something with such a high price tag! The very first thing I did when I got my hands on these pants was to flip them inside out and start inspecting seams. As Lululemon boasts on their website, the seams of these pants are specially engineered to avoid chafing—they are serged completely flat, so there isn’t any bulk to rub against. I’ve never had a problem with chafing (despite the aforementioned denim cut-offs), so I can’t really weigh in on that matter. But it does make for some very strong seams—and combined with how hefty the fabric is, despite the stretch factor, I feel that these pants are pretty hard-wearing.

The extra details (both fashion and functional) are what really sold me, however. The bottom flips up and buttons closed to make your pants into cropped length—and exposes the reflective trim. Can we all stop for a second and admire how cute that reflective trim is, by the way? It looks like rick-rack! So sweet, but it doesn’t scream GIRL’S CYCLING GEAR! Another feature I really love are all those mesh pockets at the hip—yes, those are pockets, and there are three of them.

I like to carry my phone and iPod in my pockets while I cycle, so I appreciate a good pocket. These pockets are awesome! I dropped my iPod in the back pocket for my ride into work (don’t worry —I keep my headphones around my neck while I’m riding :)) and it stayed put the whole way. The mesh is stretchy, so the elastic at the top keeps your stuff from popping out while you ride. Much more secure than pants pockets—I have definitely had my iPod push its way out of my back pocket before, and drop itself into the street! I also really loved that the drawstring at the waist is elastic. I needed to cinch in quite a bit to get the pants to fit at my waist, and the elastic kept everything comfortable so there was not digging into my midsection whenever I bent over.

I was excited to try the “moisture wicking and breathable” fabric—I am definitely a sweat-er and I need all the help I can get when it comes to staying cool :) And you know what? I think the fabric actually does a pretty good job! I was still pretty warm—cycling in 80*+ weather will do that to ya—but my legs didn’t get all sweaty and I found that I cooled down much more quickly than if I’d just been wearing jeans. It’s nice to have a pair of pants like this for cycling, especially since the mornings here start out pretty cool and then progress into those higher temperatures later in the day.

As far as the price is concerned . . . well, $92 does seem a little steep for what is essentially a pair of yoga pants. I will say that I think these pants are really well-made and have great details that definitely push them above your standard stretch exercise gear. And they are stylish enough to wear for non-cycling purposes—which is like getting two pairs of pants for the price of one. My butt has been getting a lot of compliments in these pants, which I’d say is definitely a plus!

{Thanks for your take on these pants, Lauren! This review is Lauren’s personal opinion and she was not paid to write it, although she is keeping the pants. :)  Lululemon is not a sponsor of LGRAB. Find out more about Lululemon here. Find out more about Lauren and her sweet handmade wardrobe here.}

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Chicago Cherry Blossoms

I’m so happy to be back in Chicago for springtime.  I’m more of an autumn person, but I must admit that the city looks most beautiful during the short time period when cherry blossoms bloom.

This year is way ahead of schedule.  Last year, the blossoms did not appear until May and the year before, not until mid-late April.

Another lovely change is being able to bike without tights, which is always exciting after six months of covered legs.

I’m so lucky to enjoy this beautiful scenery and weather on my bicycle every day.

Are the flowers blooming along your bike route?

Review: Lululemon Pedal Pusher

A good handlebar bag is hard to find. Lululemon has entered the competition with The Pedal Pusher, a small baguette-style handlebar bag. I received this bag in the dune/fossil color combination, but it’s also available in black.

 

This bag has one main compartment and two external pockets on the front and back. This is a small bag that will easily carry the basics of purse, phone, chapstick, camera, etc,  but not much more. It has a comparable amount of interior space as my Po Campo Pilsen Bungee, though the soft nylon sides do allow for some cramming.

Inside, there are two mesh pockets—one zip, one not—and a strap to secure your keys.
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I love the pinstripe lining.

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Exterior, with a phone pocket. There is reflective piping along the edges of the zipper pocket. This piping is in the back of the bag also and is the only reflective material on the bag.

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Baguette-style bag

 

lululemon ride on collection

Straps with D-rings and clips to attach the bag to the handlebars

 

Straps to go around the stem.

External rear pocket, and straps to go around the stem.

I live on the edge and use this for my phone, not just as a “strap garage.” (I find the type instructions on what goes where to be annoying—both twee and dictatorial!—but realize others might not be bothered.)
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Like most handlebar bags, this one suffers a bit when it comes to actually attaching it to the handlebars (ah, the reality of brake cables!). The main problem here is that the straps that are meant to attach the bag to the stem for extra support (shown above) tend to come loose as you ride along, so that the bag will bounce as you go over bumps, and droop lower. This could be a problem if you have a short stem and no fender or front rack, since it could rub against the wheel.

On the plus side, the clip-on style makes it fast and easy to secure the bag to the handlebars. And the design, while a bit sportier than Po Campo, doesn’t scream “bike!”, nor is it obnoxiously girly. I find the herringbone strap particularly attractive. The material is water resistant and the straps and clips are very sturdy. The price ($58) is competitive. Those in the market for a smaller handlebar bag should take a look at The Pedal Pusher.

{This review is my personal opinion. I was not paid for the review, but the bag was sent to me to keep. Lululemon is not a sponsor of LGRAB.}

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Surprise Trip to Montreal

I’m back!

En route home to Chicago from Dublin, I had an unexpected side trip to Montreal. My flight from London was delayed, causing me to miss my connection from Montreal to Chicago – the last of the day.  Air Canada comped my hotel and meals, so although I was exhausted and ready to be home, I embraced the opportunity to see Montreal for the first time.

In the morning, I woke early and Mr. Dottie and I set off to spend three hours wandering around downtown before we had to catch the 1:45 flight home. The weather was perfect – warm and sunny. Armed with a map, complete with Bixi bikeshare station locations, we planned to pick up Bixi’s at Parc LaFontaine and ride along a protected cycle track to the Old Town area, ending at Marche Bonsecours.

We arrived at the park and wandered around looking for the Bixi station for a good 15 minutes. (Montreal peeps know where this is going…) We were so confused, standing exactly where the map said the Bixi station should be. Finally I asked a woman walking by with a bike where we could find the station and she informed us – oh, the bike share? – Bixi does not open until April. :(

Sad about not being able to ride a bike (no time to track down a bike rental store), we instead walked the planned route, which was also a great way to take in the city sights.

The feel of the city is unique.  The old buildings and French language contributed to a European feel, but overall it felt more like Chicago than Paris.  I imagined an idyllic bicycling paradise, while in reality it was more…real.  A big city with a lot going on.  There were many cyclists and some cycle tracks, but also a lot of motor vehicle traffic.  The number and types of people bicycling seemed similar to those in Chicago.

Since I could not ride a bike there, I compensated by buying a bicycle t-shirt.  It says in French, “Ceci n’est pas une bicyclette,” which Trisha assured me is an arty little meme, nothing dirty. :)

I also bought a lovely bicycle-print dress at Marche Bonsecours that was designed and made in Montreal.  I love the dress and I’ll definitely post about it later.

I enjoyed the unexpected side trip to Montreal.  I only wish I had time to plan ahead, see more of the city, ride a bike, and meet up with some locals.  Next time!

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March Nashville Bike Brunch

March has been full of sun and warmth, but also some killer winds and sudden storms. (Lion’s breath?) But we gathered our biggest group yet for a late brunch on March 11 at Margot Café.

We even filled the bike rack! It was a proud moment.

This time around, I got portraits of almost everyone and their bikes. Tell me you’re impressed, Internet. :)

Lauren

Abby

Sarah

Chad

Kim

Whitney

Jessica & Sten

Me

 

Our April bike brunch will be Sunday, April 1, at 11 am at West End Café. RSVP via email and let me know you’re coming. New faces are always welcome!

 

Road users and patience

I spent a little too much time on YouTube looking up clips from “Trigger Happy TV” the other day. For those of you who haven’t seen this gem, it’s a hidden camera show from the UK that used to air on Oxygen about 7 years ago. Although my absolute favorite gag is the cell phone one, on this watch through the following clip stood out (click the image to watch on YouTube).

Yes. it is hilarious to see a grown man crawling across a crosswalk in a snail costume—but what really struck me about this clip on this viewing is that THE CARS STOP. And NO ONE HONKS. It’s really rather remarkable.

Here in Nashville, I’ve noticed an increase in signage at crosswalks and intersections over the past few months, along with an increase in sharrows and bike lanes.

Unfortunately, there has been no corresponding increase in cars actually stopping for pedestrians at said crosswalks, and the signs have ended up looking more like this (and having to be replaced) more than once. Today I stopped at a crosswalk—a new one on Wedgewood, with flashing lights that signal to motorists when people are crossing—and the guy behind me swerved around me to avoid having to wait for the pedestrians.

image by notes from the basement

I’m hoping that the Share the Road campaign launching soon will have some effect on this, but I am not going to hold my breath. Has anything worked in your city? Anyone interested in staging  a snail-crossing protest in Nashville?

 

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Review: Lululemon Ride On Blazer

Dottie and I got the opportunity to review a few of the items from Lululemon’s Ride On! collection, a limited run of cycling clothes being released this month. (See her review of their rain jacket here.)

I’m also starting out with the item from the collection I liked the most: The Ride On Blazer.

I was sent this blazer in “fossil” in a size 6. If you have never tried Lululemon, know that they do not vanity size: definitely get a size up from what you wear normally. This jacket is a bit snug on me and fits more like a 2/4. Because it is a stretchy jersey-esque fabric, though, it’s not that big a deal.

Like the other items in the “Ride On” line, the blazer has specific details that were conceived with cyclists in mind. For example, the collar of the jacket has a fleecy insert that can be zipped up to your neck to keep out the chill, as shown on the model below. This piece can be removed.

detail photo from Lululemon's site

LIke the rain jacket, the blazer is longer in the back—no fear of showing anyone anything you don’t want them to see while you’re pedaling. I absolutely love the peplum effect that the back has.

Flaunting the back of the jacket

Note the small reflective detail near the elbows, almost a reflective rick-rack. There is another similar reflective detail on the collar if you pop it up, although that would normally be covered by my hair.

Yes, my seat is too low.

The jacket is cut with a generous pleat in the elbows, leaving lots of room for movement. The sleeves, however, are quite long, as you can tell by the fact that the reflective strip is on my forearm and not actually at my elbow. They do have thumbholes so you can keep the wind off your hands.

detail photo from Lululemon's site

There are two pockets with trendy exposed zippers. The fabric is some Lululemon trademarked thing that is breathable and moisture-wicking.

Overall, this jacket is a win for me. Though the fit is not perfect, it is comfortable, I’ve gotten countless compliments on it in just a week, and it has a lot of thoughtful functional details that prove it was made with cyclists in mind. The one thing that surprises me is that they weren’t a little heavier on the reflective details—as with the rain jacket, there are no reflective pieces on the back of the jacket other than the one on the collar. I would love to know why this didn’t happen. Maybe they’re worried about limiting the market, despite it being a cycling-specific collection? In most of the online reviews of this product, the purchasers make no reference to bicycling.

And then there’s the price: $168. Not outrageous for this sort of well-made piece, but certainly not an amount of money I’d throw down without a little bit of inner turmoil. Your mileage may vary, of course! Still, if you are looking for a unique, stylish jacket with cyclist-specific details to wear on your rides, the Ride On Blazer is the cutest I’ve seen yet.

More on the jacket on Lululemon’s site.

{This review is my personal opinion. I was not paid for the review, but the jacket was sent to me to keep. Lululemon is not a sponsor of LGRAB.}

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Winter gives way to spring

These two windows were directly next to each other along my bike commute route in Chicago.

Seems even the shop owners are divided on whether we’re experiencing winter or spring. I’m going to optimistically say spring, but then again I don’t return from Scotland until the first official day of spring, so I don’t have to worry about it. :)

Are you feeling more winter or spring where you live? And will anyone kinda sorta miss winter when it’s officially over?

The city too busy to care?

This video from filmmaker Casey Neistat is disheartening. Neistat locked up his bike in several different locations in NYC, then proceeded to steal it to see if he would be stopped or questioned by a bystander. No spoilers, but let’s just say the results were not what bike owners would like to see.

Why do you think that people are so reluctant to step in? What would you do if you saw a bike getting stolen?

 

East Nashville Greenway tour

A couple of weeks ago I took advantage of the beautiful spring weather to ride to East Nashville and do some of the Shelby Bottoms Greenway with some friends.

Kermit Allegra was kitted out with everything you need to go 20-ish miles crosstown: coffee and a Po Campo bag.

Of course, we started out at the coffeehouse.

And then hit the trail for a couple of miles.

It’s nice being so close to nature in the city. We could hear frogs croaking like mad and were determined to see one.

Whitney attempted to prod the area with a stick to see if we could make the frogs jump

Finally, we spotted one, thanks to a kid and his mom.

Shelby Bottoms Nature Center

All in all, it was a relaxing way to spend the afternoon.

What have you been doing on your weekend rides lately?

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Review: Lululemon Ride On Rain Jacket

When Lululemon approached me and Trisha to review some products from their new Ride On collection, we were intrigued. First, because we are fans of Lululemon (I love their yoga pants and tops with built-in bras). Second, because free stuff is fun, as long as it does not suck and waste room in our closets. Finally, because it’s really cool to see a mainstream brand acknowledge the growing popularity of transportation bicycling.

We recently received several pieces each and overall we are impressed, especially since the collection is not covered in pink and flowers (not that we’re opposed to such, but we see a bit too much of that in women-specific bike wear). We definitely have mixed reviews on some of the items, which we will talk about later, but I wanted to post specifically about the product that I absolutely fell in love with: the Ride On Rain Jacket.

Lululemon Ride On Rain Jacket - Unzipped

As you can see, the Ride On Rain Jacket is similar to a classic rain trench, but it is optimized to be worn for transportation cycling AND it’s super elegant.

The fit of this jacket stands out as unique among all rain jackets I have seen. The fabric is light and drapes beautifully. The waist is cinched by pulling two drawstrings on the inside of the jacket. Brilliant! This allows for a perfect fit and makes the shape so much more flattering.

Soft lining, inside pocket, waist cinching drawstring

Zipped with waist cinched

The fabric is breathable and not heavy, which is important for a rain jacket, because I’d rather get wet by the rain than by sweat. I wore the jacket in 30 degree weather by simply layering a cashmere sweater underneath. This jacket performed well in light rain and windy conditions. I have not had the luck to test it in heavy rain yet.

On the bike

The hood is large to fit over a helmet, although I usually find a helmet alone sufficient to keep my head dry and a hood could interfere with peripheral vision. There is a drawstring on the hood to keep it in place the also helps with vision.

Zipped up with the hood

The back of this rain jacket is the best part, in my opinion, with an elegant and stylish shape that drapes nicely over my thighs and keeps my pants dry all around. I had no problems with the back getting near my wheel on either my Dutch bike or my Rivendell (which has no skirt guard). There are cords that can be pulled to bunch the bottom up and stop it from draping.

The back

The cuffs are strongly reflective and there is some additional reflective strips around the pockets. For a jacket made specifically for bicycling, I would prefer more reflective pieces and I’m bewildered by the decision not to include more, especially on the back.

Reflective Cuffs

Reflective cuffs at night with flash

This beauty of this rain trench does not fully come through in photos, so I made a quick video to give you a better idea of the draping and fit.

Now, price – $298. Would I walk into a store and pay that much….ummmm, probably not. Would I stalk the store in hopes that it eventually would go on sale? Absolutely, although that usually does not end well for me.

I’m not saying that the jacket is not worth the price, because it seems to be very well-made and it’s so unique, but I’m not exactly rolling in the dough and I’m not the type of person to drop 300 bones on a rain coat. BUT now that I have the jacket, I want to wear it every day forever, so who knows.

Lululemon sent me a size 8 and I think a size 6 would be a better fit, but because I can cinch the waist, it’s not a big deal.

You can learn more about and buy the train trench via Lululemon.

If you’re interested, you can see the rain coat I’ve been using for years here. I bought it from Patagonia and it was not cheap (over $160) but it leaves much of my legs exposed, does not always cover my seat, and gets very icky humid inside. The Lululemon jacket is an improvement.

{This review is my own personal opinion. I was not paid for the review, I just get to keep this sweet trench. Lululemon is not a sponsor of LGRAB.}

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March’s women-who-bike brunch

The Women-Who-Bike Brunch tradition continued this month. March’s brunch took place at Tweet in Uptown with a great group of 15 women (and the restaurant hostess wants to join us next time!). I did not get as many photos as I would have liked, but here is a sampling of the awesomeness. :)

My biscuits and gravy!

Cool quirkiness: chicken hat and baton twirler jacket

No trespassing!

Chic knit hats

Meself

The next brunch will be April 1st – that’s right, April Fool’s Day. If you’re interested in joining us, email me at LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com.

Is anyone out there organizing brunches or other get-togethers in their own cities? It’s such a great way to meet cool new people – highly recommended!

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To Scotland!

Photo by Martha Williams of Bike Fancy

I’m off to tour Scotland (and a bit of Ireland) for the next 10 days.  I have posts scheduled for the next couple of days, but after that I don’t know how often I’ll be able to pop in here. Trisha will hold down the fort and I’ll certainly have lots of stories and photos to share when I return.

Cheerio!

Happy Friday!

Enjoy the ride!

Let’s Go Ride a Bike 2011 Year in Review

[Ed note:  We found this draft in the archives, which we were tweaking so much, we forgot to finalize and publish.  Better late than never!]

Holy crap it’s 2012. We’ve had an eventful year over at Let’s Go Ride a Bike.

Travel

Dottie visited Nashville in April to celebrate Trisha’s birthday and photograph her new Abici.

We went to NYC together and organized a social at Adeline Adeline.

Dottie B-cycled in Denver and toured breweries by bike in Fort Collins.

Trisha visited  Chicago for Dottie’s 30th birthday bash, and again the next month to try out the Chicago bike commuting lifestyle.

 EventsThe 2nd Annual LGRAB Summer Games!Trisha started a brunch for Nashville cyclists—we meet on the second Sunday of every month. Cruising to brunch in Nashville

Twelve Women-Who-Bike brunches happened in Chicago, on the first Sunday of every month.

LGRAB friend Ash of One Less Minivan organized monthly Critical Lass rides, which Dottie joined, beginning with the first in May.

Sara and Dottie organized a Cupcake Ride of select Chicago bakeries, ending with a rose garden picnic.

Dottie also joined in on a Seersucker Ride.

We both checked out the Tour de Fat festivals in our respective cities of Nashville and Chicago.

Trisha takes refreshment after the Nashville Tour de Fat

Beyond the Written Word

We started a podcast series and have posted three interviews on our iTunes page: with the men of Grid Chicago, the women of West Town Bikes, and Trisha and Dottie of LGRAB. :)

Trisha added Kermit Allegra to her bicycle stable.

We also continued our videos via our YouTube page and posted several this year: riding Chicago’s first protected bike lane, a busy Chicago commute, a calm Chicago commute, Chicago’s second protected bike lane, and a ride along the Lakefront Trail.

Cheers to another year of happy bike rides, friendship and fun! We can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store.

Bike Winter Fashion Show – Friday!

Chicago’s annual Bike Winter Fashion Show will take place this Friday, as part of the closing party of the Bike Winter Art Show.

I will be participating in the fashion show for vintage shop Lucite Box, owned by bicycling-and-brunching lady Holly. Last week, the group got together for a dress rehearsal, complete with hair and makeup magic by Christopher Conner.  Then we had a photoshoot by bicycle style photographer Martha Williams of Bike Fancy fame.  She is the best!

Model Lisa, Photographer Martha, and Vintage Clothier Holly

I’m in love with the Pashley Princess Britannia I was riding, courtesy of Boulevard Bikes. (I have a long and documented obsession with Pashleys.)

And I may have to buy this vintage 60’s tweed cape suit.  (As well as the blue velvet dress I chose as my evening look!)  Check out Lucite Box for some fabulous vintage clothing and housewares.

Me and Pashley by Martha Williams

You gotta check out the preview photos for all the lovely ladies at Bike Fancy. They look amazing! Such a fabulous collection of portraits.

Martha at Work

In Chicago? Great! Come out to the Bike Winter Fashion show this Friday night, 7-11:30, at Gala Gallery, 1000 N. Milwaukee.

The official description:

The 15th Annual Bike Winter Art Show closes on March 9th at the Gala Gallery located at 1000 N. Milwaukee Ave. Join us at the Bike Winter Art Show for a night of bicycle enthusiasm, cycling camaraderie and rider revelry that’s sure to shake off the winter blues. The benefit kicks off at 8 pm with a family fun puppet show performed by Jabberwocky. The main event, a runway fashion show, starts at 9 pm and is sponsored by Rapid Transit Cycles. After the fashion show, deejay Montay spins the beats. The event is free and open to the public.

More info on the Facebook page.

P.S. After Martha finished with my photos, she spotted this little girl bicycling in the park. Sweet!

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Nashville Share the Road photoshoot: Behind the scenes

Two weeks ago, Kermit Allegra and I were invited to take part in a photo shoot for Metro’s latest “Share the Road” campaign — an initiative created through a collaboration between the Mayor’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) and Metro Public Health. Funding came from Communities Putting Prevention to Work, a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (so Nashville cyclists, don’t say the stimulus package never did anything for you.).

They shot two types of cyclists: me on my bike in a dress and heels, and a sporty road bike rider. Imagine me in the place of Keith (the sporty cyclist) and Kermit Allegra in place of his bike (since I could not photograph and also be photographed). You’ll see the shots soon! The campaign is set to launch March 15, in conjunction with the official inauguration of the spanking new Music City Bikeway. It’ll be mostly MTA and (gulp) billboard ads.They are meant to educated drivers in particular on how to behave when confronted with people who make alternate transportation choices.  Hence the car in the shot, happily sharing the road with the bike.

This is what the creative director saw.

 

Here is Kermit Allegra waiting her turn, with her Po Campo bag on the rear rack. Note the sadist with the reflector blinding our cyclist friend. He was doing the same when it was my turn (though he was quite apologetic about it). I’m pretty sure they’re going to have to Photoshop eyes onto me because it was nearly impossible to keep from squinting! But I guess that’s how photoshoots roll.

This was what I was staring at. Note the sunny glare/flare/whatever you call it. One other fact I learned: you cannot expect sweet jams during a city-funded photoshoot. So if I don’t look particularly natural when you see me on the side of the bus, please be kind. I was sun blinded and not even enjoying some Lady Gaga to compensate. :)

Despite these hardships, the photoshoot was a fun experience, and the campaign is going to be a great thing for Nashville. Let me know if you spot it before I do!

 

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Only bikes

It’s been a turbulent weather day here in Tennessee, and in much of the southeast/midwest. I actually got some indoor use out of my bike helmet while sheltering in my safe place for a good 30 minutes this afternoon, although Nashville was thankfully spared a hit from one of the 94 tornadoes spotted today. Instead of showing you my cracked bedroom window (from golfball sized hail — which, in the grand scheme of things, is nothing to complain about!), I’ll share this photo from my dad in Malibu, where there’s a protected lane for “only bikes.”

I hope that you have had a palm tree sort of day, wherever you are.

Bicycling to the Bookstore

One of my favorite things to do on a weekend is get out of my jammies, bike to the bookstore, and return home to my jammies and a day of reading new books.  (I’m a wild woman, I know.)  The ride to my favorite bookstore is about 3.5 miles roundtrip – the perfect distance for an easy ride that nevertheless allows me to feel like I’ve accomplished enough physical activity for the day.

As much as I love this bookstore, I would shop there less often if I could not ride my bicycle, because 3.5 miles is a bit much to walk in the cold and the store is not along my public transit route.  Even if I had a car, parking is nearly impossible to find in that neighborhood.  Lucky for both me and the store, I have my bicycle.  :)

Last Saturday I went a little crazy in the sale section, but they had so many excellent books for under $5.  By looking at my haul, you can get a big hint about where I’m going for my next trip.  (Mr. Dottie and I leave in one week!!)

Of course, I did not carry my books directly on my rack like this, but a canvas bag smushed down by bungie straps is not so photogenic.

Is there anywhere you enjoy going, but would rarely frequent if you could not bike there?  I think businesses in the city are well-served by a growing bicycling population.

Happy relaxing weekend to all!

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Happy March!

Stuff your coat in your bike basket and go ride through some puddles of melted ice!  :)

With any luck, we’ll all be seeing some flowers outside in a few weeks.

(And I hope everyone enjoyed Leap Day!)

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