My friend, Maria, of PoCampo put together a nifty guide for National Bike Month on how to bike to work safely and arrive looking presentable.
I recommend that you check it out and – most importantly! – forward it on to anyone who may be interested in bike commuting. Spread the bike love! :-)
~For Chicagoans looking for fun ways to connect with other bicyclists in the area~
This Thursday, in collaboration with local bike advocacy brewers Spiteful Brewing and local bike-coffee shop Heritage Bicycles, Chicago’s Ride of Silence (organized by my friend Elizabeth) is hosting a pre-Ride Tribute Event to raise awareness of the Ride of Silence and bike safety. Come to Heritage Bikes on Thursday to chat and enjoy beer from 6-9 pm. The Ride of Silence is on May 15 this year.
On Sunday, PoCampo is leading a leisurely Mother’s Day ride along the lakefront in Chicago. I’ll be there! The ride will start at 11 a.m. with mimosas & juice at Cricket Hill (Montrose & Lakefront) and continue south to the free Spring Flower Show at Lincoln Park Conservatory. Feel free to bring the whole family!
On Friday, I saw a special outdoor showing of Blues Brothers at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. This was my first time watching the iconic Chicago movie and there was no better opportunity to do so, as the setting was dramatic and the audience was absolutely enthusiastic. Although the temperature reached a high of 100 degrees that day, I was happy to take my seat in the bleachers, knowing the sun would soon set.
The ride to Wrigley Field was quick and there was ample bike parking right outside the stadium. We were glad to avoid the expensive nightmare that is car parking.
Chika on the left also biked there, from several miles away. I thought she took the L train, judging by her miraculously fresh appearance, complete with a skirt and pearls. Sara on the right simply walked to the stadium.
Here is my favorite bit of the movie:
Elwood: It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, a half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark and we’re wearing sunglasses.
Jake: Hit it.
Speaking of wearing sunglasses in the dark, just before the movie began, we in the audience broke the Guinness Book record for the most people wearing sunglasses in the dark at once. Yes, apparently, there is a Guinness Book record for pretty much everything!
This was one of those perfect Chicago nights that make me so happy to live and bike in this city.
Attention Chicagoans! This Tuesday, June 5, 6:30-7:30, I will be teaching a class, The Lady and the Bike, at Next Door community center at 659 W. Diversey. This class is part of the Chainlink Bike Semester and is totally FREE.
There is so much information to share in one hour and I’m sure people will have lots of questions, so I’ll be hitting a nearby bar afterward for anyone who would like to continue the conversation.
Right now I am still working on my presentation. (Well, not right now, obviously right now I’m procrastinating by blogging.) I will use photos to illustrate several of my points, which means I’ve been looking through my archives all morning. I came across a series of photos that shows the challenges I face when taking timed self-portraits. I have to wind the timer on my old film camera and then run in place before it goes off. As you can see, I do not always make it.
…and, finally made it!
Looking back at these pictures 1.5 years later is pretty funny. Thus concludes this exciting behind-the-scenes look at the making of LGRAB. :)
Hope to see some of you Chicagoans on Tuesday!
The next class in the Chainlink Bike Semester is Racing 101 on June 19 -taught by a woman!
I missed the past couple of Critical Lass rides, so I was happy to catch up with the group for May’s ride. Coolest bicycling group in Chicago, for sure, including a couple of baby-bicyclists. We started in Roscoe Village and enjoyed a leisurely ride through Lakeview and Lincoln Park, ending at a Mexican restaurant for margaritas.
Many thanks to our fearless leader Ash, pictured first below.
We got rained on a little during the ride, but hail and lightening waited until we were safely at the restaurant and finished by the time we departed for our rides home. The goddesses were on our side.
Chicago’s monthly Critical Lass ride continues on, even in the dark cold!
Usually I avoid winter group rides because biking for a long time at slow speeds in freezing temps is a great way to freeze my extremities off.
The ladies behind Critical Lass understand these problems and have adjusted the winter rides accordingly. For the next few months, the ride will be short (3-4 miles) and end at neighborhood bars that are close to home for as many of the lasses as possible.
This plan worked perfectly for December’s ride. A hardy group of 16 lasses showed up and spent much more time drinking pitchers of beer in a cozy pub than pedaling in the cold.
To stay up-to-date on the different dates and locations for Chicago’s Critical Lass ride, check out the Facebook page.
What do you think about winter group rides? Have you been on one this year?
On Sunday, Chicago’s lovely bike ladies got together for the final brunch of 2011. The weather in Chicago is unseasonably mild and I was able to get by without a coat, wearing a sweater dress ($2 from Salvation Army!) and glittery Cynthia Rowley tights (a gift from Trisha last Christmas).
About 15 of us met at The Southern in Bucktown and boy was it good!
I had to get the fried chicken, biscuits and gravy (hey, I’m from North Carolina!). There was enough left over for yummy dinners on Sunday and Monday.
Martha seems to be taking her benedict seriously in this photo, but she liked it. And Ash her donuts. :)
For real, these cinnamon donuts with fruit and coffee dipping sauce looked amazing.
After a leisurely meal, we headed outside for our usual bike talk.
Maria, Samantha and Seri showed off their wintery white helmets.
Jen, Ash and Holly modeled their oh-so-lovely jackets. ;)
Catherine made a strong case for purple and green together.
Martha’s bright red scarf and Samantha’s neon yellow gloves were great pops of color (visibility!) next to their black coats.
And check out Martha’s new Yakkay helmet cover. Swoon!
April and Holly brought some spring colors into the mix. (Stay tuned for a full review of April’s raincoat coming later this week.)
So cheerful on a grey winter day!
I think I managed to get everyone’s photo this time except Stef and Carrie, so I’m posting these that I took at prior gatherings. (A bit underdressed for December, aren’t we, ladies? )
The Women-Who-Bike group has been coming together for brunch every month for over a year now. November’s brunch was number 13. There were 20 of us, a great mix of regulars and new faces, plus Trisha. I was especially excited to have a group of teenage girls and their mentors from West Town Bike’sGirls Bike Club. (Much more about them in a future post!)
I was so busy eating and gabbing, I managed to take pictures of only a few of the women, so this is merely a sampling of the awesomeness. :)
I must give thanks to Bleeding Heart Bakery and Cafe on Chicago Avenue. Even though they don’t take reservations, they accommodated our large group, plus the food was delicious and our waitress was super sweet.
If you are in Chicago and interested in joining us for brunch, we meet on the first Sunday of the month. Email me at LGRAB [at] letsgorideabike.com to get on the mailing list for the details.
Those of us who were not out of town for the Labor Day weekend met up for our monthly brunch on September 4. We enjoyed the back patio at bike-friendly Handlebar Bar & Grill, a group favorite. The weather was perfect and we savored what may have been our last outdoor brunch for 7 or 8 months.
Megan and her Bianci
Cute shoes and Road ID
Sara and her Jamis
Cute bike flower
Stefanie and her vintage roadbike
Jennifer and her vintage Raleigh
Me and Oma
I love hanging out with this cool group of women! We meet for brunch the first Sunday of the month and for happy hour whenever. If you’d like to join us, email me at LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com.
What is a cargo bike roll call? I like this description from Steve Vance: “Think of the Cargo Bike Roll Call as a lowrider or antique car show. Those with cargo bikes and cargo-carrying schemes will “pop the hood” and show it off. Everyone else can gawk and chat!”
All are welcome, with or without a cargo bike. Bring yourself, your bike, your friends and family, to West Town Bikes from 6-9 PM for cargo bike gawking, socializing, and drinks and snacks.
Read more about the event or cargo bikes in general here.