Public service announcement: Make sure your belt is fully secured before you start biking. Mine (a loop through style, worn on pants without belt loops) fell off halfway to work this morning and started clanking against the frame. Luckily it caught on the rear rack rather than in the spokes, but I had to pause and put it in my purse.
Other than that, it was a beautiful morning for a bike commute here in Nashville. About 40 degrees, with sunshine and blue skies. I took it slow and had a sip of coffee every so often, just because I could.
I can tell I’m a little out of condition after biking infrequently for the past few weeks, but in some ways it’s fun to have my commute be a little bit of a challenge for a change.
I was even happier that I had biked to work when I got to the office and found someone had brought us some Valentine’s Day treats!
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.
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.
I’m back from Trishaville, aka Nashville. Although I lived there for only three years and moved away four years ago, Nashville is my favorite city to return to again and again, simply because of Trisha and other friends. And there’s something about the South that calls to me, although I spent my youth hatching escape plans.
My three days with Trisha were full of awesomeness, of course: used bookstores, a British sitcom marathon, a discount designer warehouse, French breakfast, fancy ice cream, duck fat tater tots, Yazoo beer and live music at the Mercy Lounge (Those Darlins!). Plus, I finally got to meet Trisha’s brother, Charlie. Hmmm what else?…
…oh yeah – bicycling!
I got to meet the new Kate Spade Abici, whom I keep calling Kermit Spade, to Trisha’s chagrin. With Trisha on KS and me on the Bat, we rode downtown and crossed the pedestrian bridge for a view of the Nashville skyline.
Yeah, we’re cool.
I must share, there are a number of weirdo men loitering around downtown Nashville who were quite interested in us. We handled them effectively with stoney silence, which we’re both really good at when we put our minds to it.
After the bridge, we rode over to Broadway, with its honky tonks and cowboy boot shops.
We really should have stopped to take advantage of the 3-boots-for-the-price-of-one deal – missed opportunity.
Bicycling in Nashville was a great pleasure for me. The weather is not yet at Southern summer oppressiveness. The infrastructure is quite supportive of cycling, with wide bike lanes on many medium-sized streets and plenty of winding back roads with almost no cars at all. Drivers seemed to display the fabled Southern hospitality, although I’m prone to romaticize it now that I don’t live there anymore. One guy in a work truck blocking the bike lane drawled, “Pardon me, ladies,” which made me inordinately happy.
Today my thighs are sore from all those hills (damn! major props to Trisha for handling those every day) but it was worth it.
I make it to Nashville at least once a year, for Trisha’s birthday, but hopefully it won’t take me a year to return this time. Chicago is comparatively cold in all ways.
Many more photos from our Nashville adventures and Trisha’s Abici to come.
Now I’m riding one in Nashville thanks to Adeline Adeline, a fave bike shop of ours and a sponsor of Let’s Go Ride a Bike. Like Dottie’s Coco, my Kate Spade Abici is a good old-fashioned barter in exchange for advertising. That said, my experience on the Abici will be reported honestly. There’s no agreement that I will talk up the shop or Abici or write about the bike. You will see her on this blog for sure — just like Le Peug and the Bat — but my reflections on owning this bright green, single-speed coaster brake bike are completely my own.
So far, the bike is kitty approved.
And on the sunny day that I picked it up, after assembly at my LBS Halcyon, we were a great match.
Dottie is coming this weekend to document the bike in the fashion that it deserves. I’ve installed my coffee cup holder on the handlebars. Get excited folks.
Though we’d altered Oma, she still wasn’t a perfect fit for long rides with lots of stops and starts–so for the cocktail ride, the nice folks at Copenhagen Cyclery in Wicker Park agreed to give me a loaner. The shop’s manager, Phil, and owner, Brent (who was on the Cocktail Ride with us looking quite dapper) set me up with the elegant red Abici Granturismo Donna.
Abici Granturismo Donna
This sexy red single-speed with a rear coaster brake and a front handbrake was easily the most attention-getting bike I’d ever ridden, so it was lucky I had a few of Copenhagen Cyclery’s cards to give out to curious passers-by.
When I began searching for a Dutch-style bicycle last summer, no shop in Chicago sold them. I used a vacation in Vancouver and Seattle for test rides and then in the fall bought my Azor on the day that Dutch Bike Chicago opened. Since then, buying lovely bikes in Chicago has become considerably easier: Dutch Bike Chicago (Azor, Retrovelo), Boulevard Bikes (Pashley, Batavus), and Tati Cycles (Batavus) are the go-to shops, especially my beloved Dutch Bike Chicago.
Now Copenhagen Cyclery joins the group. Chicago’s newest bike shop opened this weekend in Wicker Park and, of course, I had to stop by to check it out.