Tag Archives: rain

Hyde Park Ride – Tinsy Tiny Adventure

Riding daily in Chicago can get somewhat stale – same old, same old – and sometimes I yearn to escape the city and frolic among wild flowers and cows and stuff. Unfortunately, a true country adventure would involve a rental car or train and a lot of planning. One city ride that always seems somewhat like a country adventure is the ride from my northside neighborhood to visit my friends in Hyde Park on the southside (Obama’s neighborhood!). A 30-mile round trip, the ride goes straight down Lake Michigan almost entirely on the Lakefront Trail. The first half is exactly my daily commute, but the second half is much more relaxing and scenic.

Flowers by the Lakefront Trail

Flowers by the Lakefront Trail

This weekend we made the trip to have brunch with friends. Continue reading

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Singin’ in the Rain, By Myself

After sharing the Lakefront Trail on my Thursday evening commute with hundreds of cyclists, on Friday I counted a grand total of four. What could have caused such a drastic change? An alert that H1N1 is spread by breathing Lake Michigan air? A pack of geese standing guard and demanding shrubbery? Tornadoes? Nope, just rain. The place was so empty, I was able to take this geektastic picture of myself without embarrassment.

Drenched and Wind-blown

Drenched and Wind-blown

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Singin' in the Rain, By Myself

After sharing the Lakefront Trail on my Thursday evening commute with hundreds of cyclists, on Friday I counted a grand total of four. What could have caused such a drastic change? An alert that H1N1 is spread by breathing Lake Michigan air? A pack of geese standing guard and demanding shrubbery? Tornadoes? Nope, just rain. The place was so empty, I was able to take this geektastic picture of myself without embarrassment.

Drenched and Wind-blown

Drenched and Wind-blown

Continue reading

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Mother Nature Rejects Ladies' Critical Mass

All day at work, watching the gorgeous weather from my office window, I was antsy to be outside on my bike.

Like a caged animal, I await my chance for escape

Like a caged animal, I await my chance for escape

I planned on riding in the Ladies’ Mass organized by Cycling Sisters, like critical mass but for grrrls and womyn only. I’ve never been on one of their rides before, but met a couple of them on the Tweed Ride. When the time finally came to leave my desk behind and go meet the group, the weather had changed – drastically.

Damn

Damn

Of course. So instead I had a wet and windy ride straight home by my lonesome. I wonder if the ride went ahead anyway? The next Ladies’ Mass ride is Sunday, June 7 and I plan on being there as long as the weather cooperates. If you don’t identify as male and live in Chicago, put it on your calendar!

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Mother Nature Rejects Ladies’ Critical Mass

All day at work, watching the gorgeous weather from my office window, I was antsy to be outside on my bike.

Like a caged animal, I await my chance for escape

Like a caged animal, I await my chance for escape

I planned on riding in the Ladies’ Mass organized by Cycling Sisters, like critical mass but for grrrls and womyn only. I’ve never been on one of their rides before, but met a couple of them on the Tweed Ride. When the time finally came to leave my desk behind and go meet the group, the weather had changed – drastically.

Damn

Damn

Of course. So instead I had a wet and windy ride straight home by my lonesome. I wonder if the ride went ahead anyway? The next Ladies’ Mass ride is Sunday, June 7 and I plan on being there as long as the weather cooperates. If you don’t identify as male and live in Chicago, put it on your calendar!

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Jammies As Rain Gear

I admit that if it had been raining at the time I left for work this morning, I would have taken the EL train. But since it was only dark and gray with a 100% chance of rain, I went for the bike. Of course, it started raining two minutes into my ride. I figured it would, though, and I’m glad that I took the bike. The rain was not a downpour, but the wind was quite nasty. No bother – still better than public transit.

Woman v. Nature

Woman v. Nature

What do jammies have to do with this?

Continue reading

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Weather Woes


Hillsboro Flash Flood
Originally uploaded by Joshua Stafford

Not sure if the rest of the continent (or world, for you non-North Americans!) is feeling this, but instead of coming in like a lamb, and going out like a lion, March decided to keep us on our toes by giving us half a dozen of one and six of the other just about every twelve days. So far, April is proving equally indecisive. Last week, the weather alternated between cool, rainy days, and warm sunny days, culminating in a deluge on Thursday that turned spawned a tornado on Nolensville Road and turned Hillsboro Road into a river, as this local Flickr user video documents.

Not a fun day for that poor barista! Fido is one of my favorite coffee shops.

I did bike home after the worst had passed, but still ended up getting pretty soaked. Here’s an example of the type of “debris” that ended up in the bike lane.

Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

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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.

Continue reading

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First-Time City Cyclist + Rain, Wind, Cold = FUN

What is the absolute worst way to introduce a friend to cycling in the city? Perhaps by taking her through heavily trafficked streets in the freezing rain. What is evidence of the lure of cycling? When the friend still has fun.

Innocent and Unknowing of What Lies Ahead

Innocent and Unknowing of What Lies Ahead

My best friend Melissa is in the city from the suburbs this weekend, and we wanted to check out some thrift stores in Wicker Park. Melissa agreed to travel by bike on Smurfette. I was a little worried about the route because it requires us to go over a big bridge and through two huge intersections, but Melissa was up for it.

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Headwindy City

Crashing waves. Howling winds. Seagulls. Had I gone to sleep in Chicago and woken up in North Carolina on the eve of a hurricane? Nope. Just another morning commute in the windy city.

Untitled from Dottie White on Vimeo.

Chicago could be many things – the laid back city, the deep dish pizza city, the pothole city, the small live music venue city, the Obama city – but the windy city is as accurate a nickname as any.

Continue reading

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Headwindy City

Crashing waves. Howling winds. Seagulls. Had I gone to sleep in Chicago and woken up in North Carolina on the eve of a hurricane? Nope. Just another morning commute in the windy city.

more about “Headwindy City“, posted with vodpod

Chicago could be many things – the laid back city, the deep dish pizza city, the pothole city, the small live music venue city, the Obama city – but the windy city is as accurate a nickname as any.

Continue reading

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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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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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Fenders Are Your Friend

Fenders are your friend – don’t be the guy or girl with a brown stripe up your backside! That’s exactly what will happen if you ride in the rain or slush with nothing between you and your tires. Fenders are essential for those who want to ride in all weather conditions and keep themselves clean and dry. My oma has huge fenders and mudflaps that keep all dirt, grime, slush, and other city road nastiness off of me. I wear this cream colored coat a lot while riding and it is totally clean. I’d probably get it dirtier sitting on the el train (I have a fear of one day sitting in a pee-soaked seat – ick).

Clean Coat

Clean Coat

Riding your bike doesn’t have to mean getting messy if you’re prepared. My bikes came with fenders, but most in the States don’t. Planet Bike has some great ones that my husband added to his bike (and hopefully Trisha’s Pinkie will have soon have her own pink pair). There are some that snap on and off easily, but don’t offer full protection. I recommend the full fenders with mud flaps, which will keep your shoes clean and reduce spray for the benefit of any cyclists riding behind you.

Happy (rain/snow) riding!

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