On Sunday, the Chicago Women-Who-Bike gathered for our April brunch. Although we had to cancel a planned picnic at the last minute due to the weather (never trust a Chicago forecast), a great group of both regulars and first-timers gathered at the back-up location.
Beth (on the left below), a first-timer, is preparing for a charity century ride in June and learning how to use clipless pedals. My hat is off to her! Those are two bikey things that I have never tried before. I love how her Fuji manages to be both utilitarian and attractive while primarily being sporty. You can follow her adventures at YAY BETH!! (tagline: “cheer me on, damn you.” ha!).
Jenny (on the right below) is a regular and she rides the most lovely Globe I’ve seen. The Carolina blue frame and cream tires are so gorgeous, right? Especially with her brown leather boots. I’m impressed by how far the Globe has come as a utilitarian and classy bike in the past few years.
Araidia and her lovely vintage Raleigh are regulars. I swooned over her shellacked cork grips for a bit (she shellacked them herself and they look so much nicer than my pre-shellacked ones) and we noticed that our 3-speed Sturmey Archer shifters are almost identical, even though hers is over 30 years older than mine. Ariadia designs and creates beautiful Love Letter Slips and we made plans to go thrifting together soon!
Chika (on the left below) joined the group for the first time. I was amazed to learn that we both grew up in North Carolina, went to the same college (the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), and graduated the same year, 2003! Meeting a fellow Tarheel in Chicago is so rare, let alone one from my class. Very cool!
Lucy (on the right) lives near the restaurant, so she walked and I got a photo of her with her cool shoes, instead of her bike. :) Cute skirt plus leggings plus sneakers = perfect early spring outfit.
Ann was another first-timer. She rides a WorkCycles Fr8 with two child seats, one on the front and one on the back. This badass setup is rare in Chicago and I realized that I spotted her one morning in Lincoln Park last year, biking her children to school. I blogged about the sighting at the time, saying this:
I passed a woman going the other direction who was riding a Dutch bike with flowing hair, carrying a baby on the front and a toddler on the back. It was so beautiful, I could have wept. She must be Dutch or something, although I would love to be wrong. Anyone know a regular Chicago mom who throws down like that? I was tempted to turn around and catch up with her to snap a picture, but figured that would be weird.
I love that I ended up meeting her all this time later at my brunch, and I’m happy to learn that she is American!
We also had a very special guest visiting from NYC, Kim of Velojoy, a “growing online resource for city cyclists and those who may be considering riding in the bike lanes for the first time,” written by an all-female team. Connecting with people from around the country and world through the love of bicycling is the best. I’m so glad Kim contacted me and and now I’m excited to visit New York again soon.
I pulled out Coco for the morning. I’ll be riding her a lot this spring, I’m sure. Such a sweet and happy bike. :)
Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of everyone who was there (Seri, I’m looking at you!).
Of course, the women-who-bike brunch is also about food. My favorite dish at Ann Sather, a Swedish diner, is the Swedish pancakes with lingonberries. Yum!
Our next brunch will be the first Sunday of May and we’re also having a happy hour next Wednesday, April 11. If you want in, email me at LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com and I’ll add you to the mailing list. Don’t be shy – we’re a friendly bunch!
The Women-Who-Bike Brunch tradition continued this month. March’s brunch took place at Tweet in Uptown with a great group of 15 women (and the restaurant hostess wants to join us next time!). I did not get as many photos as I would have liked, but here is a sampling of the awesomeness.
My biscuits and gravy!
Cool quirkiness: chicken hat and baton twirler jacket
Chic knit hats
The next brunch will be April 1st – that’s right, April Fool’s Day. If you’re interested in joining us, email me at LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com.
Is anyone out there organizing brunches or other get-togethers in their own cities? It’s such a great way to meet cool new people – highly recommended!
My inaugural women-who-bike brunch took place on Sunday. The focus was on enjoying good food and even better company, while bikes took a backseat as a tool for transportation and for connecting us all in the first place. To this end, a dozen awesome women rode their bikes without ceremony, in their regular clothes, and proceeded to chat for three fun hours. Here is but a sampling of the awesomeness that ensued.
Women who bike – photo by Martha Williams
Rebecca! of Active Trans
Emily! of Po Campo
Samantha! of Ding Ding Let's Ride
Martha! of Bike Fancy
Janet and Patty
The group checks out Po Campo prototypes
Me – photo taken by Martha Williams with my film camera
Are you a woman in the Chicago area who would like to join us in the future? Email me at LGRAB [at] letsgorideabike [dot] com. If you’ve sent me your email before but did not get the message about the brunch, please re-send. I might have indadvertedly left some people out.
I must sound like a broken record but women who bike are pretty much without fail smart, fun and cool.