EleanorNYC has a lovely little post today showing “women who look stylish on their bike and not afraid of a little snow.” This reminded me that to not be afraid of a little snow, I need studded tires. If there is snow on the ground that has not yet been totally plowed off the salted streets, I’ll only ride my bike with studded tires.
These are the bad boys on which I rely: Schwalbe Marathon Winters. I bought them five or six winters ago and they’re still going strong.
Because I don’t have the time, patience or interest to swap out the tires myself (a longer-than-usual process for my Dutch bike), I brought Oma to a local bike shop a few weeks ago for her yearly tire swap.
When it was time to pick Oma up the next day, I Divvied to the shop. (Thanks again, Divvy!)
My girl was waiting for me, still wearing her medical bracelet.
Oma was also wearing a note from my friend Dan, who saw her when he happened by the shop later to have his bike serviced. An inside joke involving karaoke and Justin Timberlake – fun! :-) Now Oma and I are ready to take on winter together and not be afraid of snow. A lot of Chicago bicyclists get by fine without studded tires – and in fact I never put mine on two winters ago due to the relatively mild weather – but I like having them as an option. What do you do to take on winter bicycling?
Many of you noticed that Oma has not appeared on LGRAB in a long time. Rest reassured that I did not suddenly decide that Dutch bikes are no longer cool. I continue to love Dutch bikes and Oma in particular. The only reason for the absence is that Oma fell over, messing up her crank and bottom bracket, and I was too lazy and cheap to get her fixed. Seriously, I’m a ridiculous procrastinator. It’s a problem.
A couple of weeks ago, I finally decided to walk Oma to nearby Heritage Bikes. I’ve enjoyedbreakfast at Heritage, but this was my first experience with their bike shop. I received good and affordable service, and luckily no new parts were needed.
Here’s Oma’s hospital bracelet:
The day I picked up Oma was hot, so I enjoyed an iced tea with Mr. Dottie in the people spot outside Heritage before heading home.
I’m so happy to be reunited with Oma on Chicago’s streets. Yes, she is slow and heavy, but also comfortable and strong and classy.
I promise much more Oma coverage in the near future. Happy Dutch-style cycling! ;-)
Today while riding Oma home, I started thinking about what a wonderful bike she is and how it must be close to our 2-year anniversary. I knew I got her sometime in October 2008. When I arrived home, I consulted the extensive Trisha-Dottie email archives to pinpoint the exact date: October 18! That is today, my friends.
As I’ve made very clear before, she’s the best bicycle a woman could hope for and has changed my life by making biking so fun and easy.
Don’t tell Ms. O that I almost forgot our anniversary; I’d never hear the end of it. She’s still upset that I ride Betty Foy so much.
Just before the mixer on Thursday, Mr. D and I discovered that Dottie’s 53-cm Oma could not be adjusted to fit me. The seat post was a bit too long for the tube, so the seat wouldn’t go down to the top of the seat post. That left those last two crucial inches that meant the difference between my toes grazing the ground and my toes having to stretch to complete the revolution of the pedal — not the safest method of riding in city traffic.
Contrary to what Friday’s post might imply, Dottie is more than willing to go the extra mile to share her bikes with friends. Once we got back to the condo, she gave the go-ahead for those crucial inches to be amputated the next morning. Ten minutes and visit with the handsaw later, and the extra seat post length was history.
Dr. Greg: "The patient is recovering nicely and will be ready to ride later this morning."
And I was able to spend the weekend on two wheels.