Category Archives: our bikes

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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Chicago’s Bike Share Program

There wasn’t enough time for me to scare up a bike between my arrival in Chicago and the start of the Active Trans mixer. I thought I was OK taking the El, until I met the gorgeous Betty Foy and bike withdrawal hit hard.

two women, one bike

one bike, two women

Apparently Dottie’s support of a bike-share program only goes so far! Can’t say I blame her.

Stay tuned for more Chicago adventures!

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Separated at Birth?

As I’ve mentioned before, Vanderbilt’s campus is THE place to go to spot bikes in Nashville. (A hot second: the Belmont Blvd. bike rack.) Unfortunately Le Peug was not with me when I spotted this guy:

Long-lost relative

Le Peug's long-lost relative?

Nice to see another Peugeot on the road — or, well, on the rail, anyway.

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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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Me and the Bike and the Morning

Here’s a short video from my morning ride last Thursday. In summer my ride takes place much earlier, and I love the sounds of the birds and the quiet of the street when I am on the road before anyone else (at least, that’s what it feels like). Of course, it all seems much nicer when you can’t feel the humidity!

Other than the sweat factor, does your commute change in the summer?

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My Batavus Entrada Spirit

Now that I’ve had my Batavus Entrada Spirit for nearly a month, it’s time for the review.  The short and sweet version: I love it. Buying a bike I’d never ridden was a risk that paid off.

On our way to work

On our way to work

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My Posse Can Do

Right now I have three bikes. They’re all in my living room. And I love it. Check out my posse:

There be things that my posse can do.

There be things that my posse can do.

Don’t they look ready for action? I love the way the flash caught the reflector on the Bat.

Another snap:

Oh boys you give me the beat.

Not sure what’s up with the angle of the seat on the Dahon and the Batavus, but other than that, they look ready to ride into the sunset. Speaking of bikes in the living room, I can’t seem to leave the Bat outside. If anyone has any interior bike storage ideas, I’d love to hear them. Have thought about the Cycloc, but it’s expensive and I’m not sure how it would work for a step-through frame. Anyone tried it?

Song that inspired the title is after the jump.

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Bringing the Batavus Home

There is a beautiful bike in my living room today and it’s all due to my fabulous parents.

You may recall my riding the Batavus in England and then heading off to Russia. Since I wasn’t going back via the UK, there was no way I could bring the bike home myself. Luckily, my brother and I had bought tickets for my parents to visit Prague and London last fall, for their upcoming 30th anniversary — and they generously offered to take the bike back for me. I arranged to have it delivered to their hotel, and they would simply take it to the airport on a shuttle, check it, and take it to Alabama. Easy peasy? Not so much, when you’re talking about a fully assembled Dutch Bike. Anyone who thinks they might be traveling with a bike in future, read on!

Mom and Dad decided to take the bike from the box and transport it in the cardboard sleeve, since the box was so unwieldy.

A Batavus packed for transport.

A Batavus packed in a cardboard sleeve for transport.

When they came rolling up to the check-in counter, the United Airlines people at Heathrow looked at them like they were aliens. The woman at the counter asked my dad what she was supposed to do with it…he said, “Well, I was hoping you’d put it on the plane.” They made them deflate the tires because they were worried they’d explode. Luckily, they were too taken aback to realize they could have charged $200 for transporting the bike. Score one for my budget!

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Betty Foy

From the archives…

In Grant Park

In Grant Park

In Grant Park

In Grant Park

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Up Close and Personal

Batavus Entrada Spirit

Batavus Entrada Spirit

A few of those details I was mentioning yesterday . . .

Dynamo headlight

Dynamo headlight

seatpost1

Seat tube decals and "hammered" reflective fenders and built-in Trelock

 

dutchbikesticker

Dutch Bike Shop

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Batavus Day Is Finally Here!

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.

Can you tell I'm excited?

Can you tell I'm excited?

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Betty Loves Shakespeare and Dresses

Today I cycled to the Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier to see Twelfth Night, a 12-mile round trip.  This is probably my favorite way to spend a Saturday. I do it quite often (see here and here). (This is amazing theater and younger folks in Chicago should know that they can get tickets for only $20 by using the code UNDER35 when purchasing online.)

Betty Loves Dresses

Betty Loves Dresses

If you look behind me, there’s another great example of how not to lock your bike – only a u-locked back wheel left.

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Betty Foy: the new lady in my life

Betty and I spent quality time together on the commute this week. The past three days Greg and I have been riding to and from work together. This gets me up and out the door earlier than I’m used to – 6:00 a.m. – but I’m going to try to stick with it. The streets are so peaceful at that hour and for the most part we can ride two abreast. Plus, we get to be there for the magical time when the sun rises, so that it’s almost dark when we leave and completely light when we arrive at our destinations.

Dottie, Betty, and the Sun

Dottie, Betty, and the Sun

I’m loving Betty. I’m not ready to give a full ride review because we’re still getting to know each other, but I can say a few things for sure.

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Charting New Territory

I was also going to use the term “adventure” in the name of today’s post — I guess Dottie and I think alike! Whatever you want to call it, yesterday’s ride took me off my beaten path and allowed me to face a new challenge: Green Hills. Any Nashvillian knows that the traffic on Hillsboro Rd. anywhere south of Wedgewood is pretty heinous. It’s so bad that I take back roads when I drive. But there was no reason I couldn’t bike those same back roads — or at least that’s what I told myself when setting off after a happy hour near my work to attend an (excellent) reading at Davis-Kidd by author Mary Pat Kelly.

This is my, "why yes, I'm having my picture taken for no good reason as dozens of people trot by" face.

This is my, "why yes, I'm having my picture taken for no good reason as dozens of people trot by" face.

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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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Say Hello to the Future – Rivendell's Betty Foy!

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).

Betty Foy - Size 52

Betty Foy - Size 52

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