Category Archives: our bikes

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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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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Special Delivery

Today a special creature entered my life: the late 70’s Bridgestone Kabuki that iciclebicycle found in the trash.

The suspense

The suspense

That I have a new (old) bike is still sinking in, since it happened so fast.

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What’s in a Name?

After our first happy hour

After our first happy hour

In  my imagination, my French mixte was a girl. Her name would be Simone,* and she would be the perfect thing to ride to cafes to sip coffee, or to bars to drink gin martinis or sidecars while discussing feminist theory, boys, bikes, existentialism, travel, politics and our cats (what do you talk about at happy hour?). On the off chance the bike was more scientific-minded, she could be a Marie (Curie); or, if she had a more artistic temperament, Camille (Claudel).

Imagine my surprise when Le Peug showed up and was…a boy. We get along just fine, but I don’t have a name picked out! I’ve tossed around Baudelaire, Balzac, Napoleon (top of the list, but not perfect), Voltaire, Louis (too generic), Moliere (too lighthearted) even Charlemagne, but nothing feels quite right. So for the time being, he’s Le Peug (Puhzh). I’m thinking it will take a few more days to take his measure and figure out his personality. Any bright ideas? Leave them in the comments!

* A fascinating interview with de Beauvoir can be found here.

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Love My Bike

Love my bike, love Chicago.

Bike Love

Bike Love

That is all.

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Ménage à Trois

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.

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Batavus Countdown

Coming soon to a blog near you

Coming soon to a blog near you

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:

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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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Have You Seen This Bike?

I’m sad to say that, since yesterday around 6 p.m., I have not.

Pinkie, come home!

Pinkie, come home!

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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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