Tag Archives: music

David Byrne + St. Vincent

While some in the bicycling world may think “bike advocate” when they think of David Byrne, he is also a pretty big deal in the music world.  :-)  Last night, David Byrne and St. Vincent, along with a brass band, played a sold out show at the Chicago Theatre to promote their new collaborative album, Love this Giant.  They are the epitome of cool and the show was as energetic and wonderful as their album.

After the show, I biked into the beautiful Chicago night with my friends.  Too bad David Byrne could not join us – I think he would have enjoyed himself!

In Byrne’s 2009 book Bicycle Diaries, he talks of cycling in different cities when he is on tour, so I kept my eyes peeled for him around town all day, to no avail.  But I know someone who ran into him Monday in a bike shop – he was buying a basket!  I like a man who appreciates a good bike basket.

Here is the first single from Love This Giant, Who.  Great song, awesomely weird video.  Makes me want to booty dance like David Byrne and stomp my feet like Annie Clark.

I know Trisha plans to see them play in Nashville.  Anyone else catching the tour?  I highly recommend it!

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Bicycle Daydreams

Do you ever daydream while riding your bicycle? A benefit of taking side streets to work is the opportunity to let my guard down and allow my mind to wander a bit.

One of my favorite daydreams is of being in Paris. Since visiting last year, I consider Paris my favorite city (okay, Chicago, maybe my second-favorite city). The best way to evoke Paris is by listening to Coeur de Pirate while riding my bike and stopping for lunch at Leonida’s Chocolate Cafe for savory crepes.



I love the little patio with chairs and tables that look just like cafes in Paris.

Trisha sent me the Coeur de Pirate album and it is the sweetest, most magical music you could listen to while riding your bike. It makes me feel like I’m the protagonist in a cute French movie, even though I have no idea what any of the lyrics mean and ignoring the fact that they are from Montreal.

Here is my favorite song to listen to while cycling, Fondu Au Noir, with a handy translation.

When I’m not daydreaming about Paris, I’m very happy to be in Chicago. Yesterday I had a very Chicago evening, meeting up with some of my biking ladies, drinking Goose Island beer, eating pizza, and watching Ferris Bueller (John Hughes’ love letter to Chicago) on a rooftop with a beautiful view of the skyline. The occassion was a special bike-in movie event to benefit West Town Bikes. I don’t have any photos, but it was a lovely evening, despite the light rain.

What do you daydream about while bicycling?

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Bicycling to the Farmer’s Market

A bicycle trip to the farmer’s market is a perfect way to begin the weekend. Fresh air, exercise, a feeling of community and local food. Saturday morning, Greg and I met up with Arielle (of the newly-formed Bicycle Goddess Brigade) to ride our bikes to Chicago’s Green City Market.

What a happy scene – dozens of bicycles were locked up outside the market and many bicycling families went by with kids in bike seats, trailers and on their own bikes. In general, I think people who ride bikes are the type of people who shop at farmer’s markets. Also, a bike trip to the farmer’s market is a pleasurable weekend activity for people who bike only occasionally.

In the evening, we enjoyed rhubarb compote that Arielle made. We’d never eaten rhubarb before, which surprised her, since apparently it grows on the side of the road in her native Washington. Then we all biked to The Hideout, where Arielle played the fiddle and sang with the Bubbly Creek Bluegrass Band. So much awesomeness in one person! :)

Total daily mileage = 14.

How is the farmer’s market scene where you live? Do you have access to fresh local food and, if so, do you see a lot of fellow bicyclists there?

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Bikey music video

It wouldn’t have been a real girls’ visit if Dottie and I hadn’t spent at least one night last week dancing around the condo, singing at the top of our lungs to various songs. Need I say wine was involved?

After we got the cheesy music out of our system (I can’t be the only one who can’t keep from singing along to Nicki French‘s “Total Eclipse of the Heart”?), we found ourselves surfing YouTube for cool videos and uncovered Bat for Lashes’ “What’s a Girl to Do?” Deliciously creepy and slightly fairy-tale-like, it’s worth watching–enjoy, and bon week-end!

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I Love the City and Free Events

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

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.

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Ride Your Bike To A Rock Concert

Just another suggestion from Let’s Go Ride a Bike.

7-2 sonic youth t 7-2 sonic youth dot

Think about the money you’ll save that you can spend on beer instead of a cab or bus.  Think of how easy it will be to step out the door, grab your bike, and sail by all the traffic while singing, “Let’s go walking on water / now you think I’m Satan’s daughter!” Think of how cool the breeze will feel after hours packed in a hot theater. Bikes are so rock ‘n roll!

That concludes the adventures of Trisha’s visit to Chicago. The city misses her already!

P.S.

I love that Kim Gordon dances on stage like I dance at home when I’m alone.

I wanna be her when I grow up.

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“Sorry, I didn’t see you.”

Those were the words of the SUV driver who cut me off on Thursday. Really?? And whales speak French at the bottom of the sea, I’m sure.

I was riding Oma in broad daylight with no sun glare. The narrow one-way street was ending and I was preparing to take a right. While I was moving over to take the lane, an old SUV started to pull around and squeeze by. I did the “back off” signal that Adrienne mentioned in an earlier comment – left hand out and pushing back with fingers splayed. Completely ignored. After he immediately swung in front of me and took a right, I called out, “Thanks a lot, buddy!”

We were soon stopped in a line of cars turning left and he said something out his window that I could not hear, so I said, “You cut me off back there.” Then he rolled down his window all the way and stuck his head out. I would have bet money that he was going to call me the B word and peel off. Instead he said, “Sorry, I didn’t see you,” smiled, and looked at me a bit too long. He was flirting with me. At this point I really had nothing to say except, “O…kay” and waved him on. Did he actually expect me to reciprocate? In the wise words of Lily Allen: “Not in a million years, you’re nasty, please leave me alone.”

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“Sorry, I didn’t see you”

Those were the words of the SUV driver who cut me off on Thursday. Really?? And whales speak French at the bottom of the sea, I’m sure.

I was riding Oma in broad daylight with no sun glare. The narrow one-way street was ending and I was preparing to take a right. While I was moving over to take the lane, an old SUV started to pull around and squeeze by. I did the “back off” signal that Adrienne mentioned in an earlier comment – left hand out and pushing back with fingers splayed. Completely ignored. After he immediately swung in front of me and took a right, I called out, “Thanks a lot, buddy!”

We were soon stopped in a line of cars turning left and he said something out his window that I could not hear, so I said, “You cut me off back there.” Then he rolled down his window all the way and stuck his head out. I would have bet money that he was going to call me the B word and peel off. Instead he said, “Sorry, I didn’t see you,” smiled, and looked at me a bit too long. He was flirting with me. At this point I really had nothing to say except, “O…kay” and waved him on. Did he actually expect me to reciprocate? In the wise words of Lily Allen: “Not in a million years, you’re nasty, please leave me alone.”

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Tori Amos Cycle Chic

This post combines two of my favorite things in the whole wide world: Tori Amos and bikes. Until now, there’s never been a public picture of Tori on a bicycle – trust me, I’ve looked.  Imagine my delight when these images showed up on the video of one of her new songs, “Fast Horse.”

you’ve got yourself a fast horse, darling / but all you do is complain it’s not a Maserati / you’ve got a soul that you left back in Memphis / but your momma ain’t New York, she is pure Tennessee.

Cycle Chic Tori

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Little Red Targ-ette (Baby you're much 2 fast)

Thanks a lot, Prince! You forced me to shop at Target for the first time in a long time.

Coveted end-of-the-aisle placement

Coveted end-of-the-aisle placement

The 2 miles surrounding my home has everything I would ever need to buy: bikes, books, music, wine – you know, the basics. So when Greg suggested that we swing by Target today, I was highly resistant. Once I heard the reason, however, I had to oblige. Prince is his favorite singer (he has fond memories of pedaling around his family’s farm blasting Sign o’ the Times on his Walkman) and the new album is being sold exclusively at Target. sigh. I don’t hold a grudge against Prince; he’s doing what he has to do and getting by without a record label, which is great. Good for him. But still – Target? I guess I should be thrilled he did not choose Walmart.

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Little Red Targ-ette (Baby you’re much 2 fast)

Thanks a lot, Prince! You forced me to shop at Target for the first time in a long time.

Coveted end-of-the-aisle placement

Coveted end-of-the-aisle placement

The 2 miles surrounding my home has everything I would ever need to buy: bikes, books, music, wine – you know, the basics. So when Greg suggested that we swing by Target today, I was highly resistant. Once I heard the reason, however, I had to oblige. Prince is his favorite singer (he has fond memories of pedaling around his family’s farm blasting Sign o’ the Times on his Walkman) and the new album is being sold exclusively at Target. sigh. I don’t hold a grudge against Prince; he’s doing what he has to do and getting by without a record label, which is great. Good for him. But still – Target? I guess I should be thrilled he did not choose Walmart.

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Saturday in Lincoln Square

Another beautiful spring day on bicycles. We enjoyed a few hours in the Lincoln Square neighborhood, visiting the bookstore, music store, Italian restaurant, coffee shop, and running store. Cycling there makes the whole day 100 times more fun, since it’s so much faster than driving or the el train, plus it’s impossible to find a car parking spot and the el is always sorta depressing. On bikes, the journey becomes part of the day, instead of a hassle to get through.

In Lincoln Square

In Lincoln Square

This morning I put the front rack and basket on my bike (it’s been off for a while to help combat the headwinds). The basket was stuffed full and the Oma handled like a charm. Thank goodness for those rear rack straps, which can hold pretty much anything, including my new yoga mat. The front rack is rated to carry 50 lbs and the rear rack 75 lbs, so I still have a long way to go before I run into cargo problems.

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Every Commute An Adventure

Today’s commute was a hodgepodge of scenery. As always, the gorgeous sunrise over Lake Michigan was the one constant. Will I ever tire of taking pictures of my bike and the sun? Probably not.

Sunrise over Lake Michigan

Sunrise over Lake Michigan

But this sun is deceiving. Let’s go back in time half a day and see what Sunday morning brought …

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Smurfette and Blue Suede Shoes

The sping-like weather and vibrant blue bike inspired me to dig out my peep-toe blue suede shoes for a ride to brunch. My first real ride with Smurfette (Trisha’s brilliant name suggestion!) was very satisfying. She’s quick and light with a ride almost as smooth as my Oma, if you can believe it. Twice during the short ride, drivers who came to four-way stop signs first waved me on, perhaps catching some of my happy vibes.

Blue Suede Shoes

Blue Suede Shoes

Good thing, too, because the brakes were not in tip-top shape and the rain that started as soon as I set off was not helping. Mr. Dottie aka Greg fixed the howling sound, but the stopping power was still suspect. After brunch I stopped by Roscoe Village Bikes for a little help and they roughed up my brake pads and rim to help with friction. Unfortunately, poor stopping power in the rain is simply a side effect of steel rims, but improved after that.

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Smurfette and Blue Suede Shoes

The sping-like weather and vibrant blue bike inspired me to dig out my peep-toe blue suede shoes for a ride to brunch. My first real ride with Smurfette (Trisha’s brilliant name suggestion!) was very satisfying. She’s quick and light with a ride almost as smooth as my Oma, if you can believe it. Twice during the short ride, drivers who came to four-way stop signs first waved me on, perhaps catching some of my happy vibes.

Blue Suede Shoes

Blue Suede Shoes

Good thing, too, because the brakes were not in tip-top shape and the rain that started as soon as I set off was not helping. Mr. Dottie aka Greg fixed the howling sound, but the stopping power was still suspect. After brunch I stopped by Roscoe Village Bikes for a little help and they roughed up my brake pads and rim to help with friction. Unfortunately, poor stopping power in the rain is simply a side effect of steel rims, but improved after that.

Continue reading

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Bicycling Music

This week for the first time I’ve been listening to music while riding to and from work.  Yes, with earbuds and an ipod.  I would not do this on busy streets, but I’ve decided that it’s perfectly fine on the deserted lakefront trail and quiet side streets.  I keep the volume low and, conveniently, only one of my earbuds works, so I hear all around me. 

I LOVE music, although I have no special talent for it myself.  Music makes everything better!  So this morning was The Dresden Dolls and this evening was Arcade Fire, both perfect choices.  The Dolls really helped me through the mean headwind.  Tomorrow morning is wide open: maybe some Lucinda Williams, Neutral Milk Hotel, or Tori Amos.  My sweet friend Erin mailed me a new album that I’m digging – Rokia Traore, so maybe her.  Or an All Things Considered podcast! Limitless options. 

With a soundtrack I feel more like the girls in this video and less like a woman chugging along to and from work in the city.

Anyone else have some favorite bicycling music?  Anyone disagree with me about listening to music while cycling?  It’s not like I’m listening to Eye of the Tiger or anything awful like that.   ;)

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Warmth, Shakespeare, Friends, Beer – Bikes!

After cycling 80 miles from Sunday to Thursday (much of it in strong headwinds), I left the bike at home Friday due to some achey knees (don’t want to push them too hard). Saturday I was back on the bike, cycling to the Shakespeare Theater again, this time to see Sweet William, a one-man show about Shakespeare’s life and work.

Moon Over Lake Michigan

Moon Over Lake Michigan

The weather could not have been better for a February in Chicago! Mid-fifties and the lakefront trail suddenly sprouted hundreds of people.

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The Middle Finger

This picture, unfortunately, is only a set-up and I did not ride my bike with friends on my front and rear racks. But I do want to practice carrying someone on my rear rack. I know it can be done, but it’s a balance issue that I need to work on.

Bike Taxi

Bike Taxi

I rode my bike out last night to Schubas to see Lenka. Again, I was the only one in my group on a bike. I got quite a few comments from strangers, probably because I was in a pedestrian-busy party area. Riding down Broadway a guy said to his friend, That is the most awesome bike ever. While taking the picture above a guy in a van called out, Nice ride! While unlocking my bike, a guy walking by said, You’re not going to ride that are you? It’s a gorgeous bike, but it’s not safe. Ride on the sidewalk. I was all smiles and thank yous, but being told what to do by a random man is high on my list of annoyances. It was 2 a.m. but by then I was very close to home and there were plenty of people out and about. About 90% of the cars on the road were cabs, which means not many drunk drivers.

Bike Parking

Bike Parking

Even though my ride home was short, I broke my most sacred cycling rule – never flip off a driver. I try to stay positive and not sink to their level, which helps me enjoy riding a lot more and hopefully fosters a more positive relationship between drivers and cyclists. But I’m no angel. A cabbie passed me on a narrow one-way street closer than I’ve ever been passed before – a couple inches closer and he would have knocked me down. Before I knew it, my middle finger was up. Maybe it was the three pints of Bass I’d had; maybe he just deserved it. I’ll try to be better from now on. But overall, a fun night.

For Trisha’s benefit, I will tag this post “beer.” It fits.

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