Betty Foy has brand new, beautiful, red bungie straps! For years, Betty has had navy blue striped ones that did not match her aesthetic well. I’ve always wanted pretty straps for her, but found only boring colors in the past. The old straps were slowly becoming more slack, so when I saw these new bungie straps in a rainbow selection of colors, I knew it was time for a change.
This red color matches her heart lugs – a subtle detail that is important to me!
These straps snapped on in a matter of seconds, since I already had a base for them on my rear wheel.
For now, I’m using the bungie strap to hold only my lock, but these bad boys are stretchy and strong enough to hold big boxes on the rear rack. I’ve used simple straps to carry cases of 24 bottles of beer!
Sorry, I do not know the brand (no markings on the product), all I know is they are from Holland and locals can pick them up at J.C. Lind Bikes, where I got mine. I’ll update this with the brand name when I figure it out.
With a front basket, plus a rear rack with bungie cords and panniers, a regular bike can hold a lot of cargo.
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.
When I was in Chicago, I got to ride Coco. Somehow, Dot and I overlap on the bike size spectrum—just enough so that I can ride most of her bikes as long as the seatpost is alllll the way down and I’m willing to dismount at all stops. Anyway, the lovely Coco and I got along just great while I was there.
Not sure what is up with my hair here. Or why I’m trying to kill myself by balancing on the bike, but sometimes I get a little giddy when I’m having my picture taken.
Every time I ride in Chicago I discover all over again how different it is to ride somewhere that’s FLAT. So flat. Like, the “hills” in Chicago feel like speedbumps flat. It’s a totally different thing. No coasting, but no real exertion either, unless you want to be a speed demon.
(Which, in case you just stumbled on this blog today, we don’t.)
Instead of hills, Chicago has potholes. Thank goodness for sprung saddles, Coco’s big balloon tires and posting skills, is all I’m saying about that.
But the best thing about riding bikes in Chicago is sharing the street with this lady.
I’ll be back in November for my first (Chicago) winter cycling effort in a couple of years. I have some winter boots and plenty of wool tights. Keeping an eye on the weather report to see if I need them—we’ll see how it goes (and so will you, I’m sure!).
Last Sunday I rode the Four Star Bike Tour, a massive group ride organized by and benefitting the Active Transportation Alliance. I chose the 35-mile route through the west and south sides of Chicago and my total mileage for the day was a little over 50.
Betty Foy at Promontory Point
I enjoyed the ride a lot. The crowd was too packed together at the beginning and after rest stops, but most of the time I was alone or with a small group. Sunday morning traffic was light and we had the roads mostly to ourselves. The route was pretty easy to follow and I saw many parts of the city for the first time.
The view from Promontory Point
I wore my one sporty bicycling outfit – a wool jersey and padded shorts from Ibex. Although I hate the diaper feeling off the bike, the outfit was super comfortable for the ride and I was happy to have the padding.
A sporty thumbs up
I enjoyed bicycling for the sake of bicycling, not as transportation, but I kept wanting to stop places, especially in Hyde Park, like my favorite bookstore or the place with the best croissants. I was determined to stick to the task at hand and ride a straight 35 miles, so I resisted temptation.
Except for a quick detour to Promontory Point for some photos.
Enjoying a quick break
Betty did a great job
I’ve never biked more than 60 miles at a time and rarely more than 10. I was happy to find that my regular daily riding was enough “training” for this longer ride. I even pushed myself to go quite fast, relative to my usual speed, the last several miles because I still felt so good. My legs were tired by the end, but in a healthy way, and my muscles were not sore the next day.
Participating in the Four Star has inspired me to spend some of my Sundays waking up early and going for long bike rides. I mean, not this Sunday, but maybe next? Definitely next year at the 2012 Four Star.
The weather is warm and sunny, the flowers are blossoming, and the traffic is calm on my quiet side street route. Riding my bike is so much nicer than squeezing onto the L train or being trapped in a car.
Even if the rest of my day is not so great, at least I know that I will enjoy my commute to and from work. (Even if I cut my head off with my self-timed photos :)) That’s why I ride my bike. Most assume it’s an environmental or health statement, but those factors are secondary to having a happy commute. If it were not enjoyable, I would not do it.
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.
Trisha showed you her Little Miss Messy coffee-stained Abici and now I’ll show you my Little Miss Muddy Velorbis. On Wednesday I rode Coco, my Velorbis, in the rain for the first time. I discovered that the gorgeous cream-colored frame shows mud quite clearly. I’m not good at keeping my bikes clean, but I definitely have to wipe Coco down after the rain.
Although Coco’s aesthetics suffer in the rain, her performance is top notch. The substantial fenders, chain case, and internal brakes are perfect for keeping me clean and stopping on a dime. The super cushy Fat Frank tires are a big bonus and make Coco the best among my bikes for riding in the rain. Normally, I feel paranoid riding on slick roads and through puddles, but the stability and comfort of the fat tires made me feel completely secure. I love those tires.
As for myself, I dealt with the rain fine. I wore my Patagonia trench rain coat (not pictured below), which caught most of the drizzle. My wool tights and tweed skirt dried quickly and my helmet protected my hair.
So that’s it. I made it through a 30 minute drizzly bike commute a-okay. By the time I got to work, I was a little bit more in love with Coco than before.
What aspects of your bike help (or not) when riding in the rain?
Like a parent, I really can’t choose a favorite among my three bikes Oma, Betty and Coco. But I do go through periods when I heavily favor one over the others. Right now, it’s Betty’s time in the spotlight.
For the past month and a half, I’ve been riding Betty Foy exclusively. (April 7 was our 2-year anniversary!) I missed her so much during winter, as soon as the ice cleared and I got her tuned up, she became my ride of choice day after day. She’s so fun and breezy. I haven’t ridden Oma since the weather cleared two months ago because she still has studded tires and I hadn’t ridden Coco since…let me check the archives…March 31.
That changed on Wednesday, when I pulled Coco out for the day.
And boy, am I glad I did! She’s a lovely bike and those Fat Frank tires are so cushy. I feel different when I’m perched atop her riding straight up. Once I break in the Brooks saddle, the comfort level will be perfection.
As for Oma – getting her studded tires swapped out is on my to-do list for this weekend. So Betty may have to take a back seat again for a while.
On another note, after all my talk of allergies, I finally went to a doctor yesterday and learned that I don’t have allergies at all (good!), but a two week virus (basically a bad cold). I plan to bike today even though I feel like crap because I can’t stand a second day on the L. (There’s a double meaning with “stand” – get it?)
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.