On Saturday I attended the Tour de Fat, an annual bike festival by New Belgium Brewing, where I ran into several people I know, including frequent commenter Scott and his girlfriend with their gorgeous Velorbis and Pashley bikes (pictured below). Chicago was the first stop on a nation-wide tour. You can read, see and watch more about the Tour de Fat at my write-up from last year.
Before heading out, I decided to decorate my bike. The flowers came from a thrift store wreath and were already strung together. I simply zip-tied each end to the top of my basket and voila – bike basket beauty.
I also decorated my hair. This is going down as an event in the Summer Games, “Decorate your bike.”
All bike baskets should be adorned with flowers and/or ribbon!
My world is all better today. I have a renewed appreciation for my regular commute, despite the congestion and car door flinging. At least traffic is slower, there’s a marked bike lane and lots of other bike commuters along the way.
Chicago from a lobby window
This is Bike to Work Week in Chicago and there are definitely more cyclists out and about. I’m team leader at my workplace and five other people have biked so far this week!
My new camera remote and $4 thrifted dress
In random news, I bought a MacBook! Last month, my six-year-old IBM Thinkpad gave out. After all the problems and crashing I put up with on PCs through the years, I decided to join Trisha in the Mac love. I’m giddy over the vastly increased RAM.
Well, the first phase of the LGRAB Summer Games is over, and we have had a blast reading and sharing your incredible, inspiring entries–more than 50, at last count! We’ll be drawing for the first round of prizes tonight, so be sure to get your entries in by noon today if you want to be included.
The Learning Experiences portion of the contest starts today, and I’ve been looking forward to this one. Even non-bike owners can participate, since two of the events don’t necessitate having a bike of your own. My bikes are especially excited at the prospect of me performing a maintenance task. I am especially excited about test-riding a different type of bike: drop bars, here I come. Ladies and gentlemen, your challenge awaits.
June 7-June 27: Learning Experiences
Perform a maintenance task — big or small!
Decorate your bike
Read a book about cycling
Carry a load on your bike — groceries, etc.
Test ride a different type of bike than you normally ride
Ourpostsaboutgrouprides nearly always draw comments like “I wish we had one of these in my city” or “I’ve been wanting to organize something like this, but . . . [insert excuse here].” I used to be one of those commenters, until the Garden Party Ride here in Nashville showed me that yes, Virginia, we could host our own cycling event.
The Nashville Garden Party Crew
You can, too! And you should. Group rides like these are a lot of fun, and in my opinion they’re even better than Critical Mass for raising community awareness of city cycling. Here’s how to get started.
We’ll meet at a cocktail lounge in Wicker Park at 7 p.m. The ride will meander around the north side and stop at a few fine places for refreshments. Check back here for more details.
But wait, there’s more! Missy of Cyclin’ Missy will be in Chicago on Saturday. Too many badass bike bloggers for one city! Any other female bloggers, bike or otherwise, want to join us for brunch? Sorry, girls and grrrls only for the brunch. Saturday just happens to be my birthday: the big 2-8
Yesterday I rode with Chicago’s second Tweed Ride. I can’t resist calling it a jolly good time. It felt kinda like a reunion of the first Tweed Riders, along with many new faces. Lots of style and bicycle eye candy. Due to my packed schedule, I was able to stay only long enough to drink a half liter of Oktoberfest, take pictures, and ride a bit. Enjoy the results!
Today was Chicago’s annual Boulevard Lakefront Tour, organized by and benefiting the Active Transportation Alliance. The tour, Chicago’s longest-running bike ride, journeys along Chicago’s extensive boulevard system and parks in either 15, 27, 35, or 62-mile routes. A festival followed, with plenty of food, beer and music. This is the second major ride that Active Trans organizes. The other ride is Bike the Drive, which I wrote about here.
Well, it’s over — and our first LGRAB-organized group ride was officially a success. Despite camera malfunctions, a last-minute venue change and me running my usual five minutes late, we made it to all three restaurants right on schedule and enjoyed delicious drinks and food. Oh, and the cool and breezy weather couldn’t have been better. I’m not sure Nashville has ever seen this many bikes in one place.
Being job-free has forced me to seek out new types of cultural events with an emphasis on free, free, free and cheap. I love living in the city because there is so much to choose from and so much of it is free. Or cheap.
On Friday night we met up with Elizabeth of BikeCommuters for her friend’s show, musician Javier Mendoza. The show was free, although contributing to the tip jar and drinking a beer required a bit of money. Still a deal for a great night out.
A picture of Elizabeth taking a picture of Greg taking a picture of us
Saturday was jam-packed with freebies and I traveled from place-to-place on my bike, of course.