Category Archives: Oma

Oma Loves Her Neighborhood

Today Oma got out of the house for a fresh air tour of the neighborhood. I went along for the ride and picked up a fab vintage dress ($15!), cupcakes and beer. This is her travelogue.

Oma loves da Cubs

Oma loves da Cubs

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A Change of Scenery

Here comes the sun, la de da da...

Here comes the sun, la de da da...

I had a lovely ride this morning on the lakefront trail and a lovely ride this evening on the city streets. My heart always thumps wildly when I ride in the Loop (the core of downtown Chicago) during rush hour, but that must be good for the cardiovascular system. A special thanks to the SUV that honked at me in a good way – to let me know he was stopping so I could go around the car that nearly ran me over to parallel park.

I took the city streets today because suddenly I was so bored of the lakefront path. The streets I take are busy and have itty bitty bike lanes, so I always have to be 100% on my guard, but the change was nice. I guess I’m pretty lucky to have two drastically different route options. Does anyone else have more than one route they can take and, if so, how do you decide?

Bike Date – French Restaurant in Lincoln Park

Last night Mr. Dottie and I enjoyed a romantic dinner at a fancy French restaurant. I wanted to wear my new Saja dress, so I wore it. This is not an ideal dress for cycling because of the length. However, when you ride your bike everywhere, it comes down simply to wearing what you want to wear. If I limited my wardrobe because of my bike, I would resent the limitations. If I took a cab to the restaurant instead, I would be incredibly lame. So I threw on some small shorts underneath, put my basket on Oma for the fig leaf effect, and pedaled in a ladylike manner. This was less revealing than a pair of shorts. Actually, the most challenging wardrobe issue was getting Mr. Dottie out of his cargo shorts and “fun in the sun” t-shirt. Turns out, he cleans up quite nicely. :)

Me and Oma in Lincoln Park

Me and Oma in Lincoln Park

Greg in Lincoln Park

Dapper Greg in Lincoln Park

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Perfect Weather

Oma on the way home

Oma on the way home

As much as I love the sun, today’s somewhat stormy and cool weather was perfect for cycling. The storms stopped before my ride home, which meant that the trail was dramatically less crowded than it usually would be (people are easily scared off by the rain) but I did not get wet. The temperature hovered in the low 60’s, which meant that I did not sweat. I had a 16 mph headwind, so I simply popped Oma into 4th gear and took my sweet time. Mmmm, lovely. What is your perfect cycling weather?

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Perfect Weather

Oma on the way home

Oma on the way home

As much as I love the sun, today’s somewhat stormy and cool weather was perfect for cycling. The storms stopped before my ride home, which meant that the trail was dramatically less crowded than it usually would be (people are easily scared off by the rain) but I did not get wet. The temperature hovered in the low 60’s, which meant that I did not sweat. I had a 16 mph headwind, so I simply popped Oma into 4th gear and took my sweet time. Mmmm, lovely. What is your perfect cycling weather?

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Sweet Oma

The past couple of days have been much more relaxing than Monday. I’ve been riding Oma and one thing I love about that bike is her calming effect. Pedaling slowly and enjoying the sweet summer air, there’s not much that can ruffle my feathers.

Reflective Handlebar Flower

Flowers!

Oma in the Summertime

Oma in the Summertime

How does your bike affect your mood?

p.s. Thanks to {frolic}, one of my favorite websites, for highlighting our little blog!

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Oma’s Operation

Just before the mixer on Thursday, Mr. D and I discovered that Dottie’s 53-cm Oma could not be adjusted to fit me. The seat post was a bit too long for the tube, so the seat wouldn’t go down to the top of the seat post. That left those last two crucial inches that meant the difference between my toes grazing the ground and my toes having to stretch to complete the revolution of the pedal — not the safest method of riding in city traffic.

Contrary to what Friday’s post might imply, Dottie is more than willing to go the extra mile to share her bikes with friends. Once we got back to the condo, she gave the go-ahead for those crucial inches to be amputated the next morning. Ten minutes and visit with the handsaw later, and the extra seat post length was history.

Dr. Greg: "The patient is recovering nicely and will be ready to ride later this morning."

Dr. Greg: "The patient is recovering nicely and will be ready to ride later this morning."

And I was able to spend the weekend on two wheels.

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Famke Janssen Rides My Bike!

That beauty there is definitely an Azor Oma.  I’m such a trendsetter. First Ellen, now Famke.

Famke Janssen rolls like Dottie

Famke Janssen rolls like Dottie

Spotted at Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

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Every Commute An Adventure

Today’s commute was a hodgepodge of scenery. As always, the gorgeous sunrise over Lake Michigan was the one constant. Will I ever tire of taking pictures of my bike and the sun? Probably not.

Sunrise over Lake Michigan

Sunrise over Lake Michigan

But this sun is deceiving. Let’s go back in time half a day and see what Sunday morning brought …

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First-Time City Cyclist + Rain, Wind, Cold = FUN

What is the absolute worst way to introduce a friend to cycling in the city? Perhaps by taking her through heavily trafficked streets in the freezing rain. What is evidence of the lure of cycling? When the friend still has fun.

Innocent and Unknowing of What Lies Ahead

Innocent and Unknowing of What Lies Ahead

My best friend Melissa is in the city from the suburbs this weekend, and we wanted to check out some thrift stores in Wicker Park. Melissa agreed to travel by bike on Smurfette. I was a little worried about the route because it requires us to go over a big bridge and through two huge intersections, but Melissa was up for it.

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Cocktail Party Ride

My fanciest ride was this weekend, to a fundraising gala for a domestic violence organization I volunteer with. Deciding to ride my bike was natural, as I have no car and taking a cab would have been lame when I live only two miles from the location. I was a bit worried about hurting my silk, lace and beaded Badgley Mischka cocktail dress and silk Anne Klein heels – my one and only black tie outfit. Turns out I had no reason to worry: the ride was effortless in every way!

3-21-dress-bike2

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Cocktail Party Ride

My fanciest ride was this weekend, to a fundraising gala for a domestic violence organization I volunteer with. Deciding to ride my bike was natural, as I have no car and taking a cab would have been lame when I live only two miles from the location. I was a bit worried about hurting my silk, lace and beaded Badgley Mischka cocktail dress and silk Anne Klein heels – my one and only black tie outfit. Turns out I had no reason to worry: the ride was effortless in every way!

3-21-dress-bike2

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Abnormally Attracted to Bikes?

Cycling has become a central part of my life. I have a strong emotional connection with my my bikes, especially Oma. I don’t know if this type of bike love is more common among women and their bikes, or if it’s common among men, too, or if it’s not common at all and I am abnormally attracted to my bicycles. Ha.

Makool Loves You Locket

Makool Loves You Locket

Regardless, I found a little something to honor this relationship that I can carry around with me all day, even when I’m stuck in my skyskraper at work.

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We Biked the Whole Winter

We set out every morning, out of habit, for the fun of it.

morning

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Love My Bike

Love my bike, love Chicago.

Bike Love

Bike Love

That is all.

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The Hog

2-11-my-hog4

Okay, maybe “The Hog” is not the nicest nickname for a full-figured bike like Oma. But she takes it as the compliment it’s intended to be. I only call her The Hog sometimes, particularly when (as in this picture, though you can’t really see) I ride her wearing a black leather jacket, black leather gloves, jeans, tall black boots, and serious looking black helmet. I’m sure I intimidate all the SUVs on the road! And everyone at my destination can assume that my “bike” is a motorcyle – fine with me. You know those shirts that say “This Is What A Feminist Looks Like”? I need one that says the same for “Cyclist.” :)

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What I'm Riding

I ride a Dutch bike, oma-style.  (This is not the first bike I bought, as she was tragically stolen yesterday, but that’s for another entry.)  This bad-ass girl weighs a lot; she’s a brick house, if you will.  Guaranteed to mess up a car’s paint job when it hits me more than any other bike.  And look good doing it.  Handmade in Holland, she’s black steel, with a skirt guard, chain case, internal gears and brakes, dynamo powered lights (they get energy from my pedaling), heavy duty fenders and mudflaps, thick tires, cute bell, crazy kickstand, back rack that holds 75 lbs and front rack that holds 50 lbs.   (I have not yet come across a reason to load my racks with 125 lbs, but I merely need to be more creative.) If only she were bright pink, she would be perfect.

 That's What Oma Talkin' About
That’s What Oma Talkin’ About

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What I’m Riding

I ride a Dutch bike, oma-style.  (This is not the first bike I bought, as she was tragically stolen yesterday, but that’s for another entry.)  This bad-ass girl weighs a lot; she’s a brick house, if you will.  Guaranteed to mess up a car’s paint job when it hits me more than any other bike.  And look good doing it.  Handmade in Holland, she’s black steel, with a skirt guard, chain case, internal gears and brakes, dynamo powered lights (they get energy from my pedaling), heavy duty fenders and mudflaps, thick tires, cute bell, crazy kickstand, back rack that holds 75 lbs and front rack that holds 50 lbs.   (I have not yet come across a reason to load my racks with 125 lbs, but I merely need to be more creative.) If only she were bright pink, she would be perfect.

 That's What Oma Talkin' About
That’s What Oma Talkin’ About

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