Dottie and I made it all the way to Littlehampton today and picked up my bike. Paul and the folks at the Littlehampton Dutch Bike Co. were as helpful and friendly in person as they’d been over email, and we were able to take a little ride around the town — once we figured out what side of the street we were supposed to be on, it went well. (Luckily we didn’t have to go through any roundabouts!) My Batavus had a lot of details that I didn’t notice online, like the reflective tape on the fenders that makes them look like they are hammered, and the whimsical abstract details on the tube. Oh yeah, and the ride is pretty smooth, too.
Okay, I am having a heck of a time, Brownie, setting up all this Twitter crap. But I think I’ve succeeded. So. Trisha and I will be tweeting our way across London and St. Petersburg, Russia. Follow us because that’s where all the cool kids will be. We promise many fascinating updates, such as “GOD SAVE THE QUEEN” and “VODKA!”
The name is: Trisha Dottie, @letsgorideabike. You may also want to follow editrish in case my set-up fails miserably.
Smolny Cathedral follows us on Twitter
Perhaps you are wondering why we are going to St. Petersburg. Part of the reason is that my bachelor’s degree is in Russian language and literature (very practical, I use Dostoevsky in my daily life) and I lived in Pete for a semester way back in 2001. Part of the reason is that St. Petersburg is gorgeous and bad ass. We will keep an eye out for “St. Petersburg Cycle Chic” but my clearest memory from the city is of a car careening onto the sidewalk purposely and then honking at me for being in its way, so I’m not sure how much of a thriving bike culture manages to exist.
We will be back on the 28th. We’ll be updating as much as we can along the way and we’ve also scheduled a few posts to publish here and there.
You may have noticed my Batavus Day countdown ticker inching toward the finish line over there in the sidebar. Yes, folks, Let’s Go Ride a Bike will be going international in just a few days as Dottie and I head for London and then St. Petersburg, Russia. Of course, we’re planning some biking outings during our trip, and hope to be able to share them all with you.
In London, we’ll be checking out the new Cycodelic product line at Topshop.
And of course, on Saturday, we’ll be visiting Littlehampton Dutch Bike shop to have tea with Paul and test ride my long-awaited Batavus…as well as every other bike they have in the shop.
Russian bike plans are a little more ambiguous, but we plan to rent bikes at least once: either on Krestovsky Island or during a day trip to Vyborg.
Anything we’re missing? Leave us a note in the comments! I’m especially interested in whether anyone’s used London’s Oybike rentals.
I rode part of the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama today with my parents. Full post TK, but here’s a quick photo of us, windswept but happy, after the ride (thank goodness for self-timers). Was especially proud of my mom for going 13 miles on her first long ride on her new bike, and especially grateful to my friend P for loaning me the Dahon yet again.
After the ride
After the jump, a quick taste of small-town Alabama. (I kid because I love.)
I say that I cycle everywhere, which is basically true. However, there are some places too close or too far to access via bicycle. This weekend presented a mix of destinations and led to a mix of transportation modes.
Bike. Friday night we rode our bikes for dinner at Atwood Cafe and an amazing O’Neill play, Desire Under the Elms, at Goodman Theatre. Pretty sure we were the only ones there carrying around bike helmets, but I care not.
On Sunday, we borrowed a bike from the neighbor for me and set off down the Lakefront Path to go ice skating. I’d ridden the path in the summer before, but was eager to give Dottie’s winter commute a try. It was below 20 degrees when we set out, but the day was clear, sunny and beautiful.
Trying out the Raleigh
The path was pretty clear of ice and snow, and busy, if not crowded — mostly joggers, but we saw a few other cyclists.
What happens when you put two bike blogging friends together in the same city? Lots of bikey goodness. We visited Dutch Bike Chicago and tried out a couple of really cool bikes, the Retrovelo Paula and the Workcycles Bakfiets. The snow was falling pretty hard with already a few inches of accumulation, but that did not stop us. [I was excited to have a chance to ride in real snow. Walking in it was not as much fun! --T]
Everything about the shop is so classy and being surrounded by all of those gorgeous bikes was a treat.