It really says something about how mild this winter has been that tonight, when I had the chance to ride in the rain in the dark, I was actually sort of excited about it. After all, I haven’t had to walk home or catch a ride home because of the snow even once!
Made me think of all those poor people who live in Hawaii or California and never have to pull out sweaters and barely open umbrellas.
They’ve gotta get bored. Change is good!
p.s. hi everyone. It’s been a while! [Insert boring computer story and other lame excuses here.] Short version: I’m back. And there’s a lot going on in Nashville that I can’t wait to tell you about.
OK, so I’ve taken advantage of the headline writer’s prerogative to get your attention. To clarify: Jack White did not attend our brunch, but he was totally at the same restaurant. So clearly, if you want to see a celebrity, you have to hang with us.
Christina and Kim
Lauren & me
Whitney and Christina
You can see pictures from our first Bike Brunch on July 10 here. Nashville brunches are always on the second Sunday of the month. Our next one is on September 11—check out the calendar here. Cyclists of all types welcome.
My fun with Kermit Allegra Spade (official name!) has been put on hold, thanks to a maintenance snafu. Kermit Allegra was originally slated to be my ride across town on Sunday. Filled with zeal, I decided that I’d check her tires before we left.
Walter is an attention whore
KAS did not come with a manual, but I felt especially confident because I have not only a standard Schrader valve pump, but also a Woods/Dunlop pump. What ever was on this bike, I thought, I’d be ready. Then I removed the cap to reveal something completely different. A Presta valve.
Unfortunately I did not stop there and turn to YouTube. It was clear that SOMETHING had to be done with the little brown top before air could be put in the tire. I opened the valve–but made the mistake of putting pressure on it. Whooooooosh, went the air. Flaaaaat, went my tire.
Le Peug and his old-school Schrader valves smiled in triumph and carried me off on the ride. Now I’m in the market for yet another pump to join the crew in my front hall closet.
I’m back from Trishaville, aka Nashville. Although I lived there for only three years and moved away four years ago, Nashville is my favorite city to return to again and again, simply because of Trisha and other friends. And there’s something about the South that calls to me, although I spent my youth hatching escape plans.
My three days with Trisha were full of awesomeness, of course: used bookstores, a British sitcom marathon, a discount designer warehouse, French breakfast, fancy ice cream, duck fat tater tots, Yazoo beer and live music at the Mercy Lounge (Those Darlins!). Plus, I finally got to meet Trisha’s brother, Charlie. Hmmm what else?…
…oh yeah – bicycling!
I got to meet the new Kate Spade Abici, whom I keep calling Kermit Spade, to Trisha’s chagrin. With Trisha on KS and me on the Bat, we rode downtown and crossed the pedestrian bridge for a view of the Nashville skyline.
Yeah, we’re cool.
I must share, there are a number of weirdo men loitering around downtown Nashville who were quite interested in us. We handled them effectively with stoney silence, which we’re both really good at when we put our minds to it.
After the bridge, we rode over to Broadway, with its honky tonks and cowboy boot shops.
We really should have stopped to take advantage of the 3-boots-for-the-price-of-one deal – missed opportunity.
Bicycling in Nashville was a great pleasure for me. The weather is not yet at Southern summer oppressiveness. The infrastructure is quite supportive of cycling, with wide bike lanes on many medium-sized streets and plenty of winding back roads with almost no cars at all. Drivers seemed to display the fabled Southern hospitality, although I’m prone to romaticize it now that I don’t live there anymore. One guy in a work truck blocking the bike lane drawled, “Pardon me, ladies,” which made me inordinately happy.
Today my thighs are sore from all those hills (damn! major props to Trisha for handling those every day) but it was worth it.
I make it to Nashville at least once a year, for Trisha’s birthday, but hopefully it won’t take me a year to return this time. Chicago is comparatively cold in all ways.
Many more photos from our Nashville adventures and Trisha’s Abici to come.
1.) I’m even more annoyed at the pharmaceutical industry this week, because Allegra would be the perfect name for the Kate Spade Abici if allergy meds hadn’t made it there first.
2.) Loving the coaster brake on the Abici, but still working on my gracefullness skills when it comes to starting and stopping with it. Though the handbrake helps, starting in particular can be a bit awkward (especially if I am on a hill). I plan on posting about this at length later, once I get my thoughts together, but would be happy for any tips.
3.) I admit it: I watched the royal wedding before going to work on Friday morning. Friends, scones and mimosas were involved. Kate’s dress was beautiful.
4.) I need to get out of my comfort zone more. During a ride home from happy hour on Friday, I spotted a new bike lane on Edgehill that’s probably not that new since it’s been a few months since I rode that way. A good reminder to continue to push my biking horizons.
5.) One of the items that’s kept me from the blog lately is working to help plan the Tour de Nash. It’s just three weeks from now, on May 21, and two of the four rides are completely free. It’s a great way to tour Nashville’s greenways and bike lanes—you should all come out.
6.) My homestate of Alabama is reeling from the mile-wide tornados that struck on Wednesday, the most deadly natural disaster since Hurricane Katrina. As the story develops it becomes more and more obvious how bad things are down there. My uncle is a state trooper who works the Tuscaloosa area, and the photographs and stories from that area are heartbreaking. There are a lot of small communities outside Birmingham that are equally bad off. Almost half a million people in North Alabama are still without power after a major TVA plant was destroyed. If you want to help, you can donate to the Red Cross (text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10).
6.) And now, to end on a more positive note: Dottie is here! We are happily biking, shopping & eating (rinse and repeat!) and made a visit to the Mercy Lounge to see Those Darlins. One more day of fun before she has to go back to Chicago. We haven’t been as good as we should have been about taking pictures (yet) but hopefully we’ll make up for it tomorrow when we do our Abici photo shoot.
Now I’m riding one in Nashville thanks to Adeline Adeline, a fave bike shop of ours and a sponsor of Let’s Go Ride a Bike. Like Dottie’s Coco, my Kate Spade Abici is a good old-fashioned barter in exchange for advertising. That said, my experience on the Abici will be reported honestly. There’s no agreement that I will talk up the shop or Abici or write about the bike. You will see her on this blog for sure — just like Le Peug and the Bat — but my reflections on owning this bright green, single-speed coaster brake bike are completely my own.
So far, the bike is kitty approved.
And on the sunny day that I picked it up, after assembly at my LBS Halcyon, we were a great match.
Dottie is coming this weekend to document the bike in the fashion that it deserves. I’ve installed my coffee cup holder on the handlebars. Get excited folks.