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.
Sometimes it’s possible to write a basic review a bike after a spin or two around the block. But my time with the Pashley Princess Sovereign in NYC resulted only in impressions, since I was faced with both the novelty of the bicycle AND the novelty of riding through bumpy, busy streets. Negotiating traffic, even with bike lanes, doesn’t give you much mental space to devote to the workings of various components. Luckily, the pressure was off since Dottie has already written a review of this bicycle for our site.
But I had been wanting to ride a Pashley for the last two years, so it was my first choice for a test ride despite the many intriguing options at Adeline Adeline. How could I not be intrigued by a classic city bike that’s also the ride of choice for so many of my favoritecycling women?
I took out the 17.5″ frame (love a manufacturer who doesn’t forget petite women!) with three speeds, and it was indeed a smooth and sturdy bike. While I won’t say I didn’t notice potholes, they were definitely minimized by the steel frame. The upright riding position was reminiscent of Oma (check out Dottie’s original review of the Pashley Princess Sovereign for a more thorough comparison of the two bikes) and much more upright than my Batavus Entrada Spirit.
Dottie and I took a spin on some bikes from Adeline Adeline this afternoon with our friend Wanda. We took our time looking over their impressive inventory–Linus, Pashley, Batavus, Gazelle and more–and rode a couple of models each, including the Pashley Princess Sovereign and Pashley Poppy pictured above. It was my first Pashley ride and Dottie’s first time on a Pashley Poppy–and the first time riding the streets of New York City for all three of us. The ensuing debriefing covered many topics, including compare and contrast: Pashley Poppy and Azor Oma; is bigger really better when it comes to bells; and the prevalence of bike salmon. More to come on these all-important thoughts and our NYC experiences when we get home!