As I mentioned before I left, in March I went to Scotland for a week with my friend Tanya and my husband. I had not gotten around to blogging about the trip, since it was no epic bicycling adventure. In fact, quite the opposite: we traveled all around Scotland via rental car with the express purpose of visiting as many whisky distilleries as possible. We were successful. :-)
We flew into Glasgow and immediately picked up the car and set out for the countryside, traveling to a different town every day, staying at a different B&B every night. I would not necessarily recommend this itinerary for a week’s trip because driving time was much longer than estimated (and scary! with being on the left and curvy roads and cliffs and all) but we got to see a lot of this beautiful country and meet lots of very friendly residents.
Slowed down a bit by a flat tire…
And now prepare for gobs of photographs, showing our daily adventures. I hope no one still has dial-up internet! (All photos by me, unless I’m in them.)
I think sheep are so funny and awesome and I was thrilled to see them everywhere in Scotland. The sheep roam entirely free on the Isle of Skye, since the only way off is a bridge, and the shepherds separate them at the end of the season based on color markings on their wool. The result is a bunch of punk-rock sheep wandering around, with hot pink and bright blue and neon green tufts sticking up.
While in Edinburgh, we were thrilled to meet up with Jennifer both nights, a fab woman and LGRAB reader whom I hung out with when she visited Chicago two years ago. So handy to have a local to bring us to the best restaurants and bars! :-)
Attention Chicagoans! This Tuesday, June 5, 6:30-7:30, I will be teaching a class, The Lady and the Bike, at Next Door community center at 659 W. Diversey. This class is part of the Chainlink Bike Semester and is totally FREE.
There is so much information to share in one hour and I’m sure people will have lots of questions, so I’ll be hitting a nearby bar afterward for anyone who would like to continue the conversation.
Right now I am still working on my presentation. (Well, not right now, obviously right now I’m procrastinating by blogging.) I will use photos to illustrate several of my points, which means I’ve been looking through my archives all morning. I came across a series of photos that shows the challenges I face when taking timed self-portraits. I have to wind the timer on my old film camera and then run in place before it goes off. As you can see, I do not always make it.
…and, finally made it!
Looking back at these pictures 1.5 years later is pretty funny. Thus concludes this exciting behind-the-scenes look at the making of LGRAB. :)
Hope to see some of you Chicagoans on Tuesday!
The next class in the Chainlink Bike Semester is Racing 101 on June 19 -taught by a woman!
Chicago’s annual Bike Winter Fashion Show will take place this Friday, as part of the closing party of the Bike Winter Art Show.
I will be participating in the fashion show for vintage shop Lucite Box, owned by bicycling-and-brunching lady Holly. Last week, the group got together for a dress rehearsal, complete with hair and makeup magic by Christopher Conner. Then we had a photoshoot by bicycle style photographer Martha Williams of Bike Fancy fame. She is the best!
Model Lisa, Photographer Martha, and Vintage Clothier Holly
In Chicago? Great! Come out to the Bike Winter Fashion show this Friday night, 7-11:30, at Gala Gallery, 1000 N. Milwaukee.
The official description:
The 15th Annual Bike Winter Art Show closes on March 9th at the Gala Gallery located at 1000 N. Milwaukee Ave. Join us at the Bike Winter Art Show for a night of bicycle enthusiasm, cycling camaraderie and rider revelry that’s sure to shake off the winter blues. The benefit kicks off at 8 pm with a family fun puppet show performed by Jabberwocky. The main event, a runway fashion show, starts at 9 pm and is sponsored by Rapid Transit Cycles. After the fashion show, deejay Montay spins the beats. The event is free and open to the public.
Bright red seems like the best color for city cycling, getting drivers’ attention while still looking stylish off the bike. Chic, classic, and bold.
For this reason, I’ve been searching for the perfect red coat for two years, especially since seeing this post on Copenhagen Cycle Chic. Yesterday, the miraculous happened: I finally found “my” red coat. I was walking through Anthropologie during my lunch break, which I often do to torture myself because I usually can’t afford their beautiful clothes, when I spotted this unique red trench for half off.
Everything about the coat is perfect for me. The bright red “hi-vis” color. The classic trench styling. The length. The cinched waist with a bow.
And the laced back! Just the kind of quirky, personal touch I love.
Best of all, the coat will get me through three Chicago seasons: fall and spring over whatever I happen to be wearing, winter with a cashmere or wool sweater and my lightweight windbreaker underneath. There’s a nice lining that makes it a bit more substantial than the usual trench.
Plus, the red matches my other Oma accessories.
I also purchased something else on sale that I’ve been searching for: a digital camera. I wanted an affordable compact camera with manual controls and sharp photos, which I found in the Panasonic Lumix LX-5. I love shooting film, but for blogging purposes digital is faster and cheaper. I (and my huge gloved hands) will be able to post more daily photos of my commute, more quickly. Yay!
Moving beyond consumerism to talk about actual biking, I had a lovely commute this morning. I took the Lakefront Trail for the first time in a while. I’m going to make a video of this route (with HD video on my new camera!) because it’s so beautiful.
Pure bliss = rolling on Oma down the quiet trail, listening to Jill Scott, enjoying the sun in my face and the wind at my back. Makes me wonder why I ever bother riding to work among car traffic.
Now is the best time of year to bike the trail – the crowds have left, but ice is not yet encroaching from the lake.
The weather today is suddenly colder, in the low-20′s. Winter is pushing its way through, slowly but surely. At least I have my red coat.
This is the Barcelona model of a Citizen Folding Bike. I am not familiar with the brand, but the $399 sale price is right. Check out those cream balloon tires and wicker basket! What a beauty! Both of them.
Folding bikes are an excellent choice for city-dwellers who have to carry their bikes into their apartments every night. As Jamie notes, this one fits in her tiny apartment.
I am enjoying watching Martha’s Bike Fancy archives grow, with a new photo every day of the week showcasing Chicago’s “people looking good on bikes.” Chicago women are awesome and have an overall aesthetic that is very different from Copenhagen Cycle Chic.
Martha on the left, a featured cyclist on the right
My favorite aspect of Bike Fancy is that all of the photos are posed portraits with a bit of information about the rider, sometimes a mini interview. Hearing from the women themselves and knowing that they agreed to pose for the pictures adds another dimension to the site. While stopping a stranger on the street and asking if you can take her photo to put on the internet may sound awkward, if anyone can get someone to agree to this request, it’s Martha. :)
Martha at work
In the photo above that I took after the last Women Who Bike Brunch, Martha is writing the contact information of the woman she flagged down. And this is the beautiful picture that resulted:
Image (c) Martha Williams of Bike Fancy
That’s how we roll in Chicago. Check out all the rest at Bike Fancy!
Hey, hey – it’s Guy Week at one of my very favorite internet places, Bike Fancy!
Pro photographer and stylish cyclist Martha is turning her lens on the men of Chicago. Although the majority of Chicago’s cyclists are men, I’m not used to seeing them without their backpacks and rain pants, track standing and running red lights. (I poke fun because I love!)
So this is a treat.
For those not interested in pictures of guys per se, there’s also an offer off of locally manufactured menswear company Nonetheless.
Commuting update: Yesterday I biked to work wearing a pinstripe pants suit with a white puffy down vest over the suit jacket and that kept me warm enough in 18 degrees, although I may have looked a little funny. Today I’m heading for the L train, as a blizzard is expected to start this afternoon and dump 1.5 feet on Chicago. Later!
This is a quick note about the photography I’ll be using to illustrate my posts.
When I started this blog, I used a point-and-shoot digicam and about a year later I bought a DSLR as I grew more interested in photography. Last spring I began shooting with vintage film cameras and posting film photos here often. In October, I sold my DSLR to buy an awesome old camera and nearly all of the photos I’ve posted here since have been film photos. I’m now taking an intermediate film photography course, where I shoot, develop and print black and white film.
This is relevant to LGRAB because you will be seeing a lot more black and white photos from me. Also, you will see more photos that I may not have taken the same day. For example, I may use a picture from a week ago to illustrate a story about my commute today because it’s not realistic to shoot and develop a roll of film every day. I develop at least 2 or 3 times a week, though, so the photos will stay fresh.
I wanted to point this out so you aren’t wondering what the heck is going on. I hope my little photo adventures add to and don’t detract from my writing here.
One more thing: this week I launched a collaborative photo blog with two other film photographers. The concept is three people in three different cities (Chicago, New York and Vancouver) shooting with the same camera, lens and film. If you’re interested, check it out at Triple Exposure. And yes, that brings my grand blog total to three, including Dream Camera.
Now back to regularly scheduled bikey programming.
Yesterday a few inches of snow fell in Chicago. My friend Elizabeth and I headed out to enjoy the winter wonderland and take some pictures (I used my new 50-year-old camera). Although we’re both year-round cyclists, we didn’t feel comfortable riding with the falling snow, so we hopped a bus to Lincoln Park and then walked around for an hour. A cozy underground pub and some Guinness warmed us up when we’d had enough.
Afterward, we went separate ways and I headed downtown to drop off my film for developing. I could have taken the bus, but the snowy night was so pretty, I chose to walk an hour to my destination. Then I took the L train home, but got off early to walk the final mile. Walking is such a great activity and I’m lucky to have so many transportation options in Chicago.