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
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.
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!
Along with the gorgeous mast that Trisha designed, we’ll soon have a new addition to Let’s Go Ride a Bike. My decision is made, finally! Long-time listeners may remember my first steps to finding a bike to replace my stolen Jamis. I oggled bikes the I could not afford, such as ANTs and MAPs. I encountered annoying bike shop guys. I toured Chicago’s bike shops. At one point I thought I had something on the horizon, but that did not work out. After (almost too) much thought, I’ve decided that I will purchase the Rivendell Betty Foy. This was one of my original loves that’s pretty much perfect and reasonably in my bike budget (which, by the way, comes completely from selling my car and renting out my garage parking spot).
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
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.
I have a confession to make: I’m not sure one bike, even one as lovely as the Batavus, is enough for me. I used to think bikes were like men — you find the one for you, and that’s it (or so they say). Now I know that they are more like shoes, or maybe coats: there’s the right choice for every occasion. One day you’re feeling sporty; the next, you might want to haul groceries home. And what if someone comes to visit and needs to borrow a bike? It doesn’t help that they’re all so beautiful in different ways.
This is the long way of telling you that I’m cheating on the Batavus before he’s even made it home (such a vixen). But it wasn’t my fault! Had Pinkie not been taken from me, I promise I never even would have looked at another bike — or at least, not with my wallet in hand. However, among the many kind comments on the entry about her theft was one from Jon at Grinder Bikes, who offered to lend me something to ride until May. I clicked on over to his site and noticed he’d rebuilt many lovely bikes out in Denver. I’d fallen for a few vintage bikes during my bike search, but they were always too large for me. Maybe he had something suitable? Maybe he has a mixte, whispered the devil on my shoulder. So I asked the question.
Now that Pinkie is gone, I’m counting the days until I get my new Batavus even more closely than I was before. (Looked for a little countdown ticker to put in the sidebar, but they all seemed to be for weddings and pregnancies.**) Here’s the current breakdown: