Category Archives: video

U.S. cycling from a Dutch perspective

This week I came upon a video on Facebook by Bicycle Dutch called “U.S. Cycling from a Dutch Perspective.”  The video may have already made the rounds, but I’m posting it here because the (lack of) infrastructure and driver behavior in the U.S. and Chicago in particular have been on my mind lately, with several people I know being hit by drivers in the past year (including, of course, myself).

As the video says, “This situation makes clear why you are 30 times more likely to get injured as a cyclist in the  U.S. than in the Netherlands.”  This is a outrage and needs to change.

A few more choice quotes from the video:

“It almost looks as if these people are riding a race, rather than going home after work.  They’re trying to outrun other traffic.  It really seems like a chase.”

“There’s a lot of cycling here despite the infra[structure], rather than because of it.”

“There could be a good future for cycling in the U.S.”

I hope so.

 

 

Indy’s Impressive Protected Bike Infrastructure

On LGRAB’s Facebook page, I shared a photo of the recently-completed separated bike lane on Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago’s busiest bikeway.

I’ll write more about this new infrastructure after I bike it myself next week.

In response, Facebook Friend Matt shared an article about the separated bike infrastructure in Indianapolis, Indiana, via an article from Treehugger, The biggest bicycling infrastructure achievement in North America that you’ve never heard about.

Trisha biked around Indy four years ago and was impressed with the trails and bike lanes, so I knew that the city has some bike infrastructure, but I had no idea it was so sophisticated and extensive.  After watching the video below by Streetsfilm and reading more about the infrastructure in their article, The Next-Gen in U.S. Protected Bike Lanes, I am in awe of what the city has accomplished.

Other mid-size cities should try to replicate this type of project, which must be great for quality of life, health and tourism.  I know that Indy is now on my list of places to visit.

I’m curious: do any of you live in Indy?  If so, are these protected paths useful for biking to work and errands – that is, actually getting around the city?

Tagged , , ,

Video: Bicycle Bag Basics

We here at LGRAB get a lot of questions about which bike bags we use and recommend.  Over the years, I have accumulated quite a collection!  I’m constantly switching from bag to bag – usually between my two Po Campo panniers, my regular purse and canvas shopping bags.  In this video, I go through my entire collection and discuss which styles I like best.

I figure this post will be a resource for new bicyclists searching for ideas about how to carry stuff on their bikes, so please share your bike bag recommendations in the comments.

Brands:

Wald basket

Basil

Arkel

Detours

Po Campo

Fieldguided canvas

Patagonia

Chrome

P.S.  For more info on my bicycle, see my Rivendell Betty Foy video.  Also, my bungie straps and Po Campo review.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Winter Bicycling: Rational and Enjoyable

Happy February!

This morning, my friend Elizabeth posted a response on Bike Commuters to a dumb op-ed stating that winter bicyclists are “insane” and “suicidal.”  I love how her response is so reasonable.  Unfortunately, this particular poorly written op-ed is only a drop in the bucket of ridiculous stuff written and said about winter bicyclists.

My own personal response is: calm down and stop being so lame!  You sound silly.  Winter bicycling is perfectly rational and enjoyable.

So when I returned home from work this evening after bicycling 6 miles in 10 degree temps (-12 C), I made a quick video demonstrating how simple and normal the whole thing is.  Pretty dorky, but I’m embracing my inner Liz Lemon in remembrance of 30 Rock.

liz

My bike ride this evening could not have been better.  As I cycled along the lakefront, the setting sun turned the sky soft shades of blue and pink over the placid, icy blue lake.  Salt covered the trail, rendering the danger of ice moot.  I was not cold; I was happy. And here is what I wore.

What would you say to those anti-winter-bike goofballs?

{See also; video of cycling the lakefronthow to dress for winter cycling, and the LGRAB Winter Guide}

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Video: Cycling in a Long(ish) Skirt

As you may have noticed, I enjoy wearing skirts and dresses, which means that I often cycle in skirts and dresses.  Last summer, I posted about cycling in a long dress on a bike with a chainguard and soon made a  part II video on a “regular” bike with no chainguard.  In both cases, I was wearing ankle length dresses and had to be careful that the hem would not catch in the chain.

Recently, I found myself wanting to wear a new long(ish) skirt on my regular bike.  This skirt stops about 6 inches above my ankle.  I thought I would have to gather the skirt to keep it from the chain and back wheel, but discovered that the skirt hem stayed far from those danger zones once I’m up on the saddle.

I made a quick video to demonstrate how easy bicycling in this long skirt can be – no special accessories or preparation needed.

Bicycling in a Long(ish) Skirt from LGRAB on Vimeo.

Do you have long(ish) skirts that you can cycle in with no problem?

(p.s. I’ll be using Vimeo to post videos now; I’m tired of all the Creepy McCreepersons on YouTube. Visit our channel.)

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Winter Bicycling Is…

Winter bicycling is more than temperatures and forecasts and wool layers and hand warmers. Winter bicycling is when the world brightens as the wind whips and my mind clears as my cheeks flush.

My fingers and toes may be numb, my nose may be running, my eyes may be watering – but I am the happiest and calmest version of myself, bicycling on a crystal clear winter day.

20130108-R1-01018-023A

20130108-R1-01018-026A

20130108-R1-01018-020A

20130108-R1-01018-034A

20130108-R1-01018-035A

Today I experienced a rare winter treat: leaving the office early enough to catch the sun before setting. The late afternoon light painted the sky with an ombre splash of color, inspiring me to record a video that I hope conveys some of the joy of the ride.

The accompanying song is “This Winter I Retire” by Said The Whale.

(Hello, there!)

P1020812resized

What is winter bicycling to you?

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Simplicity

Although not directly bike-related, I am compelled to share with you this beautiful short film.  Created by Julia Warr, the film features Maia Helles, a 95 year old Russian ballet dancer, as she shares her secret for a long and happy life: simplicity.  The running time is only four minutes – please do watch it now; I’ll wait.

Beautiful.  I want to remember Maia and try to make little changes in life to foster the kind of happiness she displays.  If I could be assured of having half of her health and serenity in my later years (maybe even toodling around on my bike still), I would not fear growing older as much.

{I found this film via the always thoughtful and lovely blog Silent Storyteller.}

Tagged , ,

Video: Chicago’s 18th Street Protected Bike Lane

Yesterday I was in the Pilsen neighborhood on Chicago’s southside for the Women-Who-Bike brunch.  I decided to take the Lakefront Path for the 10 mile ride home, which I could reach by taking the new protected bike lane on S. 18th Street from Canal to Clark Streets, connecting the Pilsen and Chinatown areas.  This protected bike lane is one of three in Chicago and exists in part thanks to Alderman Solis (read more about his Ward’s projects and his recent trip to the Netherlands here).

Here is a quick video I made of the entire half mile long lane, sped 250%.

Grid Chicago reported on the construction of this bike lane in November.  Progress has been made since then, but I assume (hope) that the lane is not finished because there is no protection on the grated bridge and not much treatment for the intersections.  The riding experience for new bicyclists could be stressful at those points.  Overall, the protected bike lane was a pleasure to ride and certainly an improvement, although not as thoroughly executed as the Kinzie protected bike lane.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Video: Cycling Chicago’s Lakefront Trail

I ended the year on Saturday with a ride downtown along the Lakefront Trail with my friend Elizabeth.  Here’s a little video of cycling the Lakefront Trail heading south. I’m riding my Betty Foy and Elizabeth occasionally pops up with a santa hat on her helmet. The video is sped up by 150% and the song is by The Moonlighters from Free Music Archive.

You can see that the car-free trail is a very nice route, especially when it’s not crowded. I would take this route to work every day if it were a little more conveniently located for me.

Happy New Year!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Video: a busy Chicago bike commute

Earlier this week, I posted a video of my commute along quiet side streets.  To show how different the ride is along a busy route, on Friday morning I took Lincoln Avenue, a popular street for both bikes and motor vehicles.  I considered this taking one for the team, because I hate this route during rush hour.

A few notes before moving on to the video:

  • Lincoln Avenue is a major bikeway, with either bike lanes or sharrows along the length of it. As I discussed previously, it’s a pathetic set-up for such a popular bike route. Nevertheless, most bicyclists would take this street from my neighborhood to downtown.
  • This route takes about 25 minutes to my work, while the side streets route takes about 40 minutes.  Lincoln is faster because it is diagonal, a straight shot to downtown.
  • The bicyclist who happens to be in front of me for most of the video is carrying a child on the back, very cool.  I position myself a little further in the street and away from the parked cars than she, to avoid the door zone.
  • There’s a lot of traffic during rush hour and I generally filter on the right to get in front at stop lights.  This is the safest place to wait, but it’s important to position yourself in front of cars and trucks, not next to them.  Also, I know the light cycles well and go ahead only when I have enough time to do so safely.
  • The video is sped up by 250% and shows only 1/3 of the ride.  My memory card got full right before I passed three solid blocks of traffic-jammed cars.  That’s always smugly fun.
Without further ado, I present another low-budget LGRAB production:

The song is Beat Culture by Midori and I found it on Free Music Archive (thanks to Vee for the tip!).

Can you see why I prefer the side streets?  Which route would you take?

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Video: a calm Chicago bike commute

Here is a little video I made of my morning bike commute through relatively quiet side streets. Not the most interesting video ever, but I wanted to show how it’s possible to commute into downtown Chicago while avoiding busy streets and scary traffic. This is part of the quiet route that I often take, which I blogged about a few months ago here.

[UPDATE: May not work for international readers. Sorry!]

It’s hard to hear what I’m saying in the beginning and my memory card became full about 1/4 of my way to work, but you get the idea. The speed is 2.5x faster than reality.

I’m no Leslie Knope with iMovie, so please excuse the poor quality. (If you don’t get that reference, you didn’t watch Parks & Rec tonight – shame on you.)

Major shout-out to super sweet reader Ambrose, who gifted me her old bike camera mount after I posted my last ridiculously shaky handheld video. It made a huge difference. Thank you!!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Video: Biking in a Protected Lane

A couple of weeks ago, I shared photos of my bike ride through Chicago’s first protected lane on Kinzie Avenue. I love this lane, so now I’m sharing the experience with all of you. Sorry for the jumpy video – the ride is more peaceful than it looks, but Chicago’s streets are bumpy and I was holding the camera in my hand.

Enjoy!

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Drumroll Please (Part II)…

We have the winners from Part II of the LGRAB Summer Games!

Watch the video for a dramatic reading of the names or go beyond the fold to bypass the suspense.

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , ,

Friday is for fun

And with the return of sun, and above-freezing temperatures in Nashville (at least for the past two days), I am ready to indulge.


The wind in my hair  was exactly what I needed.

End of the ride on Wednesday -- for some reason I choose cold days to take photos!

Other things this week that have helped chase the winter blahs* away:

  • Charlotte Gainsbourg’s latest album, IRM. Beck co-wrote and produced it and it is delightful. Watch the video of the album’s first single here.
  • Delicious Thai food from The Smiling Elephant.
  • Scarf month on Academichic–so many fun ideas! My fave so far, which worked great with my hair.
  • Keeping up with my training schedule to run an 8K (even though I failed to register for the race in time; oops! Ah well, it’s about the journey, right?)
  • The continuing antics of Baby Walter, when he’s not driving me crazy. Here’s a video of his latest favorite activity, although he was somewhat distracted by the camera.

Now, off to work I go. Happy Friday!

*and yes, I meant to say “blahs” and not blues.

Tagged , , , , ,

Teen Witch Cycle Chic

Teen Witch! I was obsessed with that movie for a bit in 1990, carrying around a pink-papered, heart-shaped notebook in which I wrote all the spells. Somehow I had forgotten all about it, until I saw on Lily and the Muse that Teen Vogue posted a remake of the iconic Top That “rap” scene. The two girls happen to be riding bicycles in awesome preppy 80’s outfits.

The Original:

Good stuff. I’m really feeling their outfits and definitely the bikes. The music, not so much. :)

You can watch the remake here. The remake is by designer Rachel Antonoff (they’re wearing her new designs) with Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development. This demonstrates the growing popularity of both bikes and 80’s fashion.

Tagged , , ,

Folding the Jango Flik

I’ve been out of town for a few days, but I’m looking forward to getting back and spending more time with the Flik. It’s a pretty sweet ride so far, and a real conversation starter. Before I left, I recorded this brief, bare-bones video of the folding process over my lunch break — couldn’t pass up the opportunity to spend some time outdoors in “Dragon Park” on such a beautiful fall day! Apologies for the lack of close-ups — a full review is coming soon.

p.s. if you haven’t found it yet, check out our YouTube channel. From the whimsical to the informative, we’re adding all sorts of things to it these days.

Tagged , ,

My Rivendell Betty Foy Video

After posting my Oma video I got several requests for a Betty Foy video.  Ask and thou shall receive.  (Wait, did I just compare myself to God?)

Anyway, this is for all those interested in the Rivendell Betty Foy.  It’s a very new bike and there’s not much information out there, but there is another video from Velo Fellow of his wife buying her Betty, so any interested parties should check that out, too.

I wanted to write up a detailed Betty Foy review before posting the video, but the darn job really cuts into my blogging time.  Maybe next week. In the meantime, feel free to subscribe to our YouTube channel. More videos to come little by little, based on our whims and with no organization whatsoever. ;)

 

Tagged , , , , ,

Batavus TV

Many people come to our site in search of information about Dutch bikes. It’s pretty shocking that there’s not more out there–even on YouTube, it took a while to turn up videos featuring Batavus bikes. Here are a few of my favorites.

The first is charmingly retro, with a man in a straw hat puttering around on his Old Dutch (step-through!). It presents life as a series of choices and I guess he chooses the bike…but mostly I like seeing the bicycle infrastructure, including designated lights and paths, and the posse of bikes outside the grocery store, locked with O-locks only! Also, the music will stick in your head (sorry).

The second is your more typical gimmicky commercial, and features a sportier bicycle model…possibly a Personal Bike? The quality is too poor to tell.

Continue reading

Tagged , ,

World Premier: Our First How-To Video

Attentive readers might remember Dottie’s passing mention of us filming a how-to video when I was in Chicago two weeks ago. We decided to start with the basics and demonstrate how to start and stop properly. As befits a LGRAB production, it’s a little goofy and definitely unscripted, but we think we shared some useful information  — and hey, if nothing else, you get to see Dottie’s beautiful bikes in motion! This is just the beginning of our YouTube adventures, so stay tuned: we’ve got a channel to fill. And now, without further ado, our video debut:

Tagged , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 46 other followers