Well, it had to happen one day: On Tuesday, I left work to discover that I had my first-ever flat. Poor Le Peug!
I considered going inside to ask my coworkers for a ride home. I considered calling a friend. But it was a beautiful spring day—the first we’d had in a while—and I had some time before I had to be at the farmer’s market in Sevier Park, so I decided to lock Le Peug back up and walk.
Once I was three blocks away, I remembered that my shoes, while not the least comfortable heels I owned, were not really the best for this sort of activity.
I was jealous of ALL OF THE BIKES that went by. And even one skateboarder, at whom I would have ordinarily scoffed. (Since when has that become a legit form of transportation?)
But I made it to the market, albeit a bit footsore, and partook of an Izzy’s Ice as a reward.
The next day, I drove to work. Afterwards, Le Peug and Minnie got to know each other on the way to Halcyon.
When we got there, Andrew offered to show me how to fix a flat myself. Never one to say no to the pursuit of knowledge, I agreed. I’ve always been a little embarrassed that I have never changed a bike tube, because when I first started driving, my dad made sure I knew how change a car tire, change and check the oil, replace the fluids, etc—it was part of being a responsible vehicle operator. Maybe I should be a more responsible bicycle operator? After all, they’re much simpler, right?
Well, changing a tire might be a simple task, but it’s not necessarily easy. It took me a good 30 minutes at least, and there was a lot of awkward fumbling and possibly some moderate swearing. Andrew would demonstrate a 10-second task (like separating the bead of the tire from the rim) and then I would struggle for 10 minutes. My long nails and short dress made it a challenge, and I felt especially inept since there was an appropriately dressed and extremely skilled female bike repairer working at the station next to mine…but eventually I had a new tube in a new tire and that new tire was on my old bike.
While I’m glad I have given changing a flat a shot, I don’t plan to start carrying tools with me on my bike. In an urban environment, when I’m biking short distances, there are too many other options for me if something goes wrong with a bike—calling a friend, taking the bus home and yes, walking, are all preferable to me than changing a flat in my office parking lot. That said, I really appreciated that my LBS offered me the chance to learn something even though I was a woman in business attire—a lot of people would have taken one look and automatically assumed I wouldn’t be interested. Maybe I’ll at least keep a tire lever and some extra tubes at home…although if it takes me four years to get another flat I will have forgotten everything I learned on Wednesday!
Anyone else have a flat tire story? Do you carry tools with you on your bike? Why or why not?
Earlier this year, Trisha and I opened a Formspring account and welcomed you all to ask us questions. We’ve been answering the questions on Formspring individually as they come in. Now we’re putting the answers together as a cohesive FAQ section, although some of the questions are not so frequent. :) This is the second half. Read the first half here.
Amsterdam is flat. Chicago is flat. Is Nashville flat? What effect does topology have on how bike-friendly a city is? I suppose Portland is not flat.
I don’t think Portland is flat, no. And Nashville definitely isn’t! IMO that is not the biggest consideration for bike-friendliness, although it may be an obstacle in developing a large bicycling culture since hills can be intimidating. You will develop the necessary muscles, and there’s always the downhill stretches! And hey, as Dottie pointed out in a recent post, there’s no shame in walking your bike up a hill if you need to.
Don’t your feet get sweaty when wearing heels? Even when I wear just flats its definitely not as comfortable as when I wear socks + some sort of sneaker
No, my feet are actually cooler when I’m not wearing socks and sneakers. Maybe you could throw a bit of talcum or baby powder into your heels before you set off and see if that makes a difference.
Earlier this year, Trisha and I opened a Formspring account and welcomed you all to ask us questions. We’ve been answering the questions on Formspring individually as they come in. Now we’re putting the answers together as a cohesive FAQ section, although some of the questions are not so frequent. :) This is the first half. We’ll post the second half soon.
How and when did Dottie and Trisha meet?
Trisha and I met through our mutual friend, Erin, at a group happy hour. The first meeting I really remember was at a Russian dinner party I threw at my apartment. Trisha showed up with a shirt that said, in Russian, “I love Russian.” Awesomeness. Soon after, we went to a midnight showing of Gremlins and I drank too much beer and had to leave before the movie ended (beer buzz + crowded theater + gremlins driving Barbie cars = overwhelming). From then on, we were fast friends. :) That was, I think, about 4 years ago when I lived in Nashville for law school.
What saddles do you use on your bikes?
I (Dottie) have Brooks saddles, which I love. On Oma it’s the B67 with springs – the most comfortable saddle ever. On Betty it’s the B17S – no springs and took longer to break in, but still great. Trisha’s Batavus came with a Selle Royale and her Peug has a vintage saddle.
As I mentioned in my last post, we’ve been enjoying everyone’s LGRAB Summer Games entries–on Saturday I decided to join in the fun by taking a small group ride through my neighborhood. The ride started out at my friends Erin & Scott’s house near Edgehill Village. Destination? Local popsicle shop Las Palatas.
Katie and me, ready to go
Erin and Scott have road bikes (Scott brand!), but they got along just fine with Katie’s and my vintage wheels.
If you ever come to Nashville, be sure to seek out Las Paletas. This small local business is run by sisters who spent time in Mexico learning authentic paletas recipes; pure fruit & sugar deliciousness, along with flavors like Mexican Caramel, Hot Chocolate and Cucumber and Chili. They have a sign now, so they’re a little easier to find.
Girls and popsicles
The new 12South & Paris development also houses Greenlight Market & Deli, a small store full of local, organic–and reasonably priced–delicacies.
We browsed, then rode back up 12th to Erin & Scott’s. At the last minute, Katie and I decided the ride wasn’t over yet, so we rode back down to one of my favorite watering holes, the 12South Taproom. A beer was just what the doctor ordered at the end of a hot summer ride.
One of the things I love about cycling is the ability to really get to know your neighborhood. Every day I get on my bike I feel lucky to live in a neighborhood that is worth getting to know.
Ruffles? Check. High heels? Check. Bicycle? Hell yeah!
Anyone who knows Trisha would expect no less than for her to arrive at her birthday bash on Peugeot, looking perfectly chic and elegant. In the midst of the torrential downpours and flooding in Nashville this weekend, the sky cleared long enough to make this moment possible.
Girl can ride in heels like nobody’s business, and she is fast. No one should try to tell her that it’s silly or impractical to ride while dressed up. Nothing could be more simple, stylish and fun – plus, it’s much easier than walking in those heels!
For the last few weeks you may have noticed me riding Le Peug more often.
But I like to be fair (I was the kind of child who worried about stuffed animals being lonely if they didn’t sleep with me every night, which is why I only ever had one), so for the past couple of weeks it’s been the Bat’s turn.
The minute my butt hit the seat, I thought, no wonder I brought this bike back from the UK. Smooth, stylish, sturdy, easy to shift, built-in lights and zero maintenance. Why would I want to ride something else? Why have two bikes, again?
Funny thing is, I know I’ll feel the same way the next time I get back on Le Peug. Light, nimble, sporty and fast. Why would I want to ride something else? Why have two bikes, again?
Last week, my friend P. and I took Le Peug and the Dahon down to Centennial Park, one of my favorite places in Nashville, to see a performance of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged.
We both decided that we would have preferred an actual play, but it was still a nice night under the stars. Before the show, we had a quick ride around the park and admired the sun setting behind the Parthenon. Unfortunately I couldn’t convince P. to step out from behind the camera and make her internet debut—next time, I hope! Since brevity is the soul of wit, I’ll speak no more and simply draw the curtain and show you the picture[s].
This week I am in Nashville, vacationing at the Trisha Resort and Spa. Highly recommended, as it includes a pool, cats, bikes, alcohol and delicious home-cooked meals. Except for the ride from the airport on Tuesday, I’ve yet to get in a car. Here we are last night setting out for a Yazoo party in celebration of its new beer, Sue, a high-alc, cherry-wood smoked porter. Yumm.
To the beer party! Special thanks to photographer C
I must say a bit about the hills. And the humidity. Ugh. Very articulate, I know, but that pretty much sums it up. Trisha is a Southern warrior, I tell you!
Despite the arrival of the Batavus, Pepe le Peug is alive and well. The Bat is fantastically comfortable (review TK) but le Peug is nimble, like no other bike I’ve ridden. We still have fun together, especially now that the nice guys at Halcyon spruced him up for me (there was a rack issue and a problem with the bolt on the seatpost — but now we’re good as new!). Here’s some photographic evidence, courtesy of Ms. Kristi and taken last weekend: