Tag Archives: fall cycling

Bike Commuting is Fun!

After starting a new job, I’m reminded of the fun of bike commuting.  A few main points:

  • Riding a bicycle every morning and evening keeps me sane, especially because I spend 10.5 hours of my day sitting at a desk in front of a computer.
  • Co-workers are always surprised and impressed and want to talk about it.  I try to make it sound fun and easy, while at the same time secretly being proud of the one trait that makes me interesting.
  • Businesses are really catching on.  The new sky scraper where I work has a lovely secure bike room directly off the lobby.  I was locking my bike up outside the building when a man from security saw me through the window and came outside to walk me to this magical bike room.  Very nice!
Oma at Night

Oma at Night

My commutes continue to be dark and rainy, but I’m having fun. I’d better get used to the dark, as the days are only getting shorter.  The rain will soon become snow, though.  I say bring it on!

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The Last Week of October

Fall weather in Chicago this year has been up and down, with brief periods of sun amid days of cold rain. Today we seized upon one of the warm and dry periods to enjoy a ride up the lakefront. A lot of Chicagoans had the same idea, so we detoured off the crowded main trail to amble through secondary dirt paths.

Autumn Ivy

Autumn Ivy

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An Autumn Commute

The morns are meeker than they were,
The nuts are getting brown;
The berry’s cheek is plumper,
The rose is out of town.

The maple wears a gayer scarf,
The field a scarlet gown.
Lest I should be old-fashioned,
I’ll put a trinket on.

-Emily Dickinson

Oma in Grant Park

Oma in Grant Park

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A Perfect Fall Day

What started as a rainy and gloomy Saturday suddenly turned into the perfect fall day. The sun came out to warm everything, and we got the bikes out for a ride to the Farmer’s Market. I was riding a bakfiets, not my own bike: I borrowed the bakfiets from Dutch Bike Chicago (thanks!) last night to haul tables and chairs for a fundraiser that I helped organize, and had to return it reluctantly this morning.

Candy Apple!

Candy Apple!

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Frigid Fall

Brrr, there is a chill in the air now. Chicago temperatures are hovering around the 30’s and 40’s. Tights, boots, wool socks and wool sweaters are serving me well thus far. My heavy duty gloves from last year are wrecked, so I ordered these goose down gore-tex mittens and silk glove liners. Hope they do the trick this winter.

Below is a typical outfit for this weather, except I took off my Ibex wool sweater (a present from Mr. Dottie) to show my pretty dress (a present from Trisha).

Took my wool sweater off for photo op only

Me, Betty and the El Train

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Real Life in the Rain

In the interest of full disclosure, I must show that my cycling lifestyle is not all red bows and ruffled dresses. Sometimes there is cold rain, and then I pull out the jeans, sneakers, and trench coat. The worst part of riding in the rain for me is the sound of car tires as they speed by: WHOOOSH! Louder and more intimidating than usual. Better than staying inside, though, and the Wicker Park thrift stores beckoned.

Rainy Oma

Rainy Oma

10-1 sneakers 10-1 rain

As some of you requested, we will have a full “how to” on riding in the rain. Look for it in the next week or two.

Happy October!

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The Red Shoes

Yesterday I attended a party at De Fietsfabriek, a Dutch bike shop, to celebrate the fall line of Po Campo stylish bike bags. I wore my lucky red velvet Marc Jacobs shoes and a vintage red bow.

The red shoes are lucky because I wore them when I met Tori Amos and the first thing she said to me was: “I love your shoes!” Then she hugged me. This is the kind of outfit I wear simply because it makes me happy like a little girl. RED BOW!

what's black and white and red all over?

what's black and white and red all over?

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Autumn Dress

The temperature this morning in Chicago was 48 degrees, with a high of 57. A perfect day to put in action my How to Dress for Fall Cycling advice. Two weeks ago I wore this strappy summer dress alone with sandals. Today it became an autumn dress with the help of knee-high wool socks, tall lace-up boots, a cardigan, and gloves.

Boots!

Boots!

Dresses make up the bulk of my wardrobe, so I will be performing this trick a lot during cold weather. Eventually, I’ll pull out my three pairs of jeans, which I like wearing only in fall and winter.

I’m getting more and more excited about fall!

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How To: Dress for Fall Cycling

Welcome, Autumn! This is my favorite season with the best cycling weather.

Fall cycling: light jacket and tights

Fall cycling: light jacket and tights

Incomprehensibly, when summer ends bike commuters begin dropping off as if they were flies and the crisp autumn air were infused with Raid. I’ll never understand why so many people think the best days to cycle are the insufferably hot ones. In light of this phenomenon, we’d like to discuss how to keep on cycling in the fall. The main trick is using light layers to combat the chill that you can remove easily if your body warms up. I am writing this from my point of view cycling in Chicago. If you live in an area with mild weather, consider this your how to dress in winter advice, or pick-and-choose what works for you.

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