Yesterday I went over to check out the new bike shop in my neighborhood, Halcyon Bike Shop. Pinkie’s chain had started sounding like a flock of birds, so I stopped by thinking I’d pick up some chain grease, and ended up bringing her back over for a quick overhaul (I had been running errands in the car and didn’t have my bike the first time around).
OK, there weren't actually this many people outside…
Poor Pinkie felt a bit out of place as we squeaked our way through the crowd of hipsters on well-maintained, customized bikes out front…but I told her not to worry, they were friendly.
Even though the shop has only been open about six weeks, it seems like it’s already part of the community. Between the guys riding outside and the customers inside, there must have been about 15 people there during the course of my visit, in addition to the resident dog and cat (love stores that have pets!). Since I normally would go a week without seeing 15 people on bikes, it was a welcome change to see so many people interested in cycling.
While I waited, I looked around front of the shop. They had about 20 reconditioned bikes for sale. Most of the ones in stock were medium-frame men’s road bikes, with distinctive vintage looks, priced between $350 and $600 dollars. They sell new and used parts (I may go back for some fenders) and some handmade and vintage bicycle accessories, including some very cute hats.
We left the shop about 15 minutes later, having spent $15 on a tuneup that made the ride home a lot easier — perhaps a commuter bike should get some attention more than once a year? I realized during my awkward conversation with the very nice mechanic that I know more about working on my Mustang than I do my Schwinn. He said they’re going to get some community classes on bike maintenance going soon, and I will definitely be signing up.
ETA: I came across this series of video tutorials on BicycleTutor.com that looks like a great intro to maintaining your bike—can anyone suggest other resources?
Okay, so this is not actually “my” bike, but it is an Oma that looks identical. And, okay, she probably used it only once for a photo shoot. But still. Loveliness. I have a crush on the cute little road bike her character rode in Juno, but this is even better. I now covet that dress and shoes.
On Saturday my husband and I rode our bikes downtown to the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre at Navy Pier. With the temperature at a relatively balmy 18 degrees, the 13 mile round-trip was quite nice. We saw Macbeth, a stunningly modern and sexy production (In high school I won a Shakespeare recitation contest with a Lady Macbeth monologue – the difference here is that when I said, “Come to my woman’s breasts and take this milk for gall,” I did not get on my knees and take my top off).
Biking downtown to see a play, ballet, opera, or concert makes all sort of sense.
It’s been a slow week here, but Dottie and I have made a pact with Elisa of Bike Skirt to commute at least three times next week. Given that the forecast for Nashville next week looks pretty clear and not too cold (lows in the 20s), I’m going to up the ante and say I’m riding in for all four of the days I’ll be in the office next week.
One reason I should be able to do that? Novelty. A friend is letting me borrow her Dahon folding bike.
This isn't the exact model, but close!
Stay tuned for a full report on how it compares to old Pinkie.
Since yesterday, it has snowed 12 inches in north Chicago and it’s still snowing. What’s a cyclist to do? Well, first, be grateful that’s it’s a Saturday and the commute to work is not an issue. Second, have fun with it! This morning I had to babysit my nephew and if I was late, my sister would have been late to work, so I caved and took the el. Later that afternoon, my husband stopped by – on his bike – after a trip to Sears to buy new boots, which were strapped to his rear rack. He then cycled the 2.5 miles home (6 miles total).