Tag Archives: vintage bikes

Jack White at Nashville Bike Brunch

OK, so I’ve taken advantage of the headline writer’s prerogative to get your attention. To clarify: Jack White did not attend our brunch, but he was totally at the same restaurant. So clearly, if you want to see a celebrity, you have to hang with us. :)

Christina and Kim

Vintage buds

Lauren & me

 

Whitney and Christina

 

Sweet rides

You can see pictures from our first Bike Brunch on July 10 here. Nashville brunches are always on the second Sunday of the month. Our next one is on September 11—check out the calendar here. Cyclists of all types welcome.

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A New-Old Bike

Last Sunday I went with my friend Whitney to take  a look at a vintage bike.

After a few saddle and stem adjustments, this 1972 Raleigh 3-speed was a perfect fit—a lighter, sportier complement to Whitney’s Jamis that should be able to cope with Nashville’s hills. This was my first time seeing/riding a Raleigh and I was amazed at how light and quick it was.

Whitney and her Raleigh

We celebrated with a brief vintage bike ride — brief because of intermittent rain and looming evening plans. Raleigh and Le Peug were a good match! Probably because they’re about the same age.

Vintage bike buddies

In other vintage bike news, I’ve suddenly become obsessed with getting an Ideale saddle for Le Peug. They seem to be very hard to come by—anyone have any tips?

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A Bicycle Named Millicent

Hello very lovely Let’s Go Ride a Bike readers! This is Maria, of Lulu Letty, here to guest blog for Dottie and Trisha while they’re off exploring France. I am very honored to be chosen as a guest blogger and have the chance to chat about my lovely bike, Millicent. Dottie is a bit of a superhero to me – saving the planet while informing people about the joys of bicycling. Reading her posts and seeing that she could still wear her everyday (or even work) clothes while cycling, truly inspired me to finally buy a bicycle of my own.

While my dream bicycle has always been a Pashley Princess Sovereign (Regency Green), I knew that unless I would be commuting I didn’t want to make that financial investment just yet. So being a lover of vintage and thrifting, I started rummaging through Craigslist in the hope of finding the perfect bicycle. I was pretty lucky that within the first hour of searching, I found my dear Millicent. She was a vintage Sears bicycle from the 70’s and was in great condition. So I went to check her out and take a test drive. I knew immediately that, even though she was burgundy and not hunter green, she was the bike I was looking for. After a paint job and the purchase of a straw basket, Millie and I were ready to start the first of our many adventures together.

Visit the fabulously stylish and smart Maria at Lulu Letty.  For more Millicent photo shoots, see Millicent with breeches , with shorts and brogues,  on a picnic, and during her first ride.

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Emotional Bicycle

Today’s beautiful guest post is from Velouria of Lovely Bicycle, who really needs no introduction.

Earlier this month I tried to sell one of my bicycles – a vintage mixte that I no longer need because a new one has been custom built for me. I say “tried,” because in the end I could not go through with it and decided to keep it. There were just too many emotions tied to this bicycle, too many personal experiences associated with it.

If there is anything I have learned in my year and a half of cycling, it is that a bicycle is more than just a bicycle. When cycling is a part of everyday life, our bicycles become integrated into our memories of everything meaningful and exciting that happens to us. Over time, the bicycle attains the intimate, emotional features of the events and memories it represents.

When I look at my old aqua blue mixte, I see more than just a bike. I see winding paths with overarching trees, I see sunsets over the river, I see the endless sand dunes of Cape Cod, I see familiar Boston street scenes changing with the seasons, and I see events of the past unfolding around me. Those are all things this bicycle allowed me to experience in a new and unique way, and the experiences will always be associated with it.

Some will say that it is foolish to form attachments to objects. After all, it is experience that matters. But experience is fleeting, and since the dawn of time people have sought to keep mementos of meaningful events – something to look at or touch, that would evoke a welcome memory of a favourite moment. Whether we realise it or not, I think for many of us the bicycle plays this role.

Visit the enchanting and informative bicycle world of Velouria at Lovely Bicycle.

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Neighborhood Group Ride

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.

For more on 12South, see my Google Map of the area here.

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Vintage Beautiful Bicycle: A New-Old Raleigh Gran Sport

Once upon a time in a far away land, there lived a shiny new bicycle named Raleigh Gran Sport.

The Beginning... 1973

The ravages of time, evil stepmothers, poisonous apples, etc. caused Gran Sport to become a bit shabby.

Before...

Until one day a prince came along to whisk him off ebay (this is a modern fairy tale).  No mice or crustaceans helped with this transformation: it was all the prince, other than the wheel building.

After...

Now Gran Sport is way cooler than ever before, complete with internal hub gearing, roller brakes, generator lights, mustache bars, Schwalbe tires, and the ultimate classy-bike-combo of Honjo fenders, Nitto rack and Brooks saddle.  And they lived happily ever after.

More pictures and a complete list of parts used after the jump.  The bar tape has been shellacked and the cables more nicely secured since these pictures were taken.

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Brooklyn Tricycle Chic: Vintage Style III

My favorite online vintage shop is Market Publique, where the sellers are vetted, the pictures are well-styled and the selection is a top-notch mix of designer duds and affordable finds. Imagine my delight when I saw that the intrepid entrepreneur behind the site, Pamela, uses a vintage trike to get around and haul cargo for the shop. She was gracious enough to talk with us for Part III of our Vintage Style Series. Read on to hear about the traumatic event that stopped her from cycling for so long, her return to pedal-powered transportation and the intersection between chic cycling and vintage style.

Pamela's first vintage trike

Pamela and her Vintage Trike

Hi Pamela. Thanks again for taking the time for this! We love to profile real women who use bikes for transportation, and you and your trike are perfect for our vintage series.

Tell us a bit about your history with cycling. When and why did you start, and how do you use cycling now in your life?

I didn’t really start cycling until this summer. I knew how to ride a bike when I was a kid, but I was pretty bad at it, and once crashed into a small bush outside this lady’s driveway because she was backing out and I had never learned to use my backpedal brake. As I was lying amidst the bush, under my bike, the lady backed up more, rolled down her window and said: “Can you please be more careful with my bushes?” then she rolled up the window and sped away… I was stunned, hurt, scarred for life and never rode my bike again.

My husband Jon has always been on my case about how awesome it would be if we could go ride our bikes together around Brooklyn. I was also walking many many blocks with tons of packages from the Market Publique office to the Post Office, and we had just signed up for a CSA, where I would have to pick up our vegetables every two weeks – it seemed like I really needed a bike then.

(Yikes.) So what is the story of your awesome vintage trike?

I hesitated getting a bike because of my childhood experiences, so I jokingly said that maybe I should get a Big Wheel or some kind of tricycle so I could carry a bunch of stuff and not worry about falling over.

I didn’t really know adult tricycles existed, but after some googling, we found a few. I got super excited and was trying to decide between a blue and a red model on Amazon, when a few days later, Jon surprised me with an early birthday present: my awesome vintage trike, found on Craigslist. My birthday is actually in September, but that way I could ride it around all summer and really enjoy it.

Unfortunately, knowing little about bikes, I bought the wrong lock and my trike got stolen before my birthday even came. We instantly searched Craigslist and eBay, to see if the thieves were up to no good, and lo-and-behold, we found a very similar one, which we bought instead.

Pamela's Second Vintage Trike

Do other cyclists and drivers on the road treat you differently because of your bike and clothes?

Ummm, yes. I think people think I’m weird (it’s true). Some cyclists get very excited, and ring their bell or yell “awesome bike” (I like those). Others give me dirty looks and complain I’m taking too much of the bike lane or going to slow (not so keen on them). About the clothes, I do live in Williamsburg, so I don’t stick out as much as I would in other places.

Is there a link between your passion for vintage clothing and your passion for cycling (aesthetic, environmental, economic, etc.)?

I think biking is a great way to get around without having a carbon footprint. It’s much better than driving a car to go 10 blocks away, and great exercise!

It is very much tied to my vintage lifestyle, as the main reason I got it was to be able to take the packages of clothing I’ve sold on Market Publique to the Post Office. We also love to eat local, so we joined a the Southside CSA. I ride my bike to pick up our veggies all the way from the Northside, and take my reusable bags in the basket with me.

Aesthetically, I love how my trike has recently become my signature accessory, it’s really fun! And the fact that we were able to get a vintage one is even better.

Vintage style seems to be having a moment right now. What do you attribute that to?

People are wanting to be more eco-friendly and sustainable without sacrificing style. Vintage achieves that, because you can get something fashionable and one-of-a-kind, that’s also eco-friendly. You’re not only reusing, but there’s less waste created when the fashion you buy is stylish but not necessarily trendy: you can wear your vintage season after season, since it won’t really go out of style, instead of buying things made in China that won’t last or will be out of fashion in a few months.

Plus, vintage tends to be a better value, as the quality is often higher than that of new items at an equal price point. If a dress has been around for more than 20 years, you know it will hold up for a few more years – unlike the new things that you wash once and get destroyed.

Pamela and her Topshop cruiser

Pamela and her Topshop cruiser via Chictopia contest

The online vintage shop you co-founded, Market Publique, is a huge success. Tell us about the concept.

Well thank you! I think we’ve had the success we’ve had because we solved a problem.

I was selling vintage on eBay and then on Etsy for a few years before we started Market Publique, and was really frustrated with both options. eBay changed their policies, fees, and feedback system to a point where it no longer made sense for me to sell my vintage there. Plus, it’s overrun with fakes, vintage reproductions not listed correctly, and a lot of irrelevant items, which made it hard to find the true vintage or trust any of the sellers.

I tried Etsy, but items sat on the virtual shelves for way too long without moving, and the lack of auctions made pricing difficult. You could also have very little creative control over your shop and branding, which is essential in conveying your message and presenting your items in an attractive way. Plus I felt that vintage should not have to be a second-class citizen on a handmade site, but should have a marketplace designed and built for it.

Since my partners and I are designers and developers, we decided we should start a site that fills in the gap, and gives vintage buyers and sellers a focused environment where vintage is truly appreciated – thus, Market Publique was born about six months ago.

We’re truly grateful to everyone who has supported us in our short existence. Because of them, our budding new site is now competing with eBay (10 years old!) and Etsy (5 years old!). We are thrilled at this quick start, and excited to finally bring the vintage community together, giving them the place and attention they deserve.

What is the vintage outfit of your dreams to ride your bike with (or perhaps you already own it!)?

Hmmm… I have so many dream outfits! Some I do own, like many of my 50s dresses, which pair excellently with some flat sandals and a picnic basket on the trike. I would love to have a swimsuit by Rudi Geinreich with a cute little skirt that I could ride to Brighton Beach and go sunning in (with a big hat and SPF, of course!).

Do you have any guidelines you apply to yourself when dressing to go somewhere on your trike, or do you ride in any outfit without giving it a second thought?

I try to ride with any outfit, but that has gotten me into trouble before, so now I give it a little more thought: Rompers usually work the best. Too short skirts or skirts that tend to twirl and blow in the wind require bike shorts or cute little tap pants. Long skirts are a no-no. Shoes are better without a heel, but hey, it all depends how far you’re going! And no shoes that are too precious to get scratches, as that’s almost inevitable.

The aforementioned "trouble"

The Aforementioned "Trouble"

The Aftermath

Is there any advice you would like to pass on to women considering city cycling?

I would say, stay on the bike lane and wear a helmet. I go to http://www.nycbikemaps.com/ and plan my route if I don’t know where I am going. I also bike with other people if I am going long distances, so we can help each other out if necessary – although they don’t like to wait for my grandma trike… hehehe. I try to only bike around Brooklyn, and not go into Manhattan so much, as it is mighty crazy over there.

Plus, get all your gear: a good helmet that fits properly, lights for night riding, a bell, and most importantly – a mighty good Kryptonite lock – they will steal ANYTHING in big cities.

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Thanks, Pamela! What an interesting and inspiring story.

If you are a vintage lover, check out Market Publique. You can find everything from this amazing 80’s Chanel dress (with price tag to match) to this much more affordable floral polyester shirt dress, this well-priced plaid and velvet YSL dress, and this sexy Dior cocktail dress. Also check out Pamela’s blog for fun fashion inspiration and trike spottings.

You can read Part I and Part II of our Vintage Style Series at those links. Stay tuned for the final series post, Trisha’s guide to buying and owning a vintage bicycle.

Anyone else out there have a trike? Love vintage? Both? :)

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Sir Raleigh and Betty Foy

In celebration of the mild weather, Sir Raleigh and Betty Foy went for a date ride today – chaperoned by me and Mr. Dottie, of course. I think they are a perfect match. (Tip: you can now see a bigger version of each picture by clicking on it.)

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Vintage Fun

Trisha and I are working on a short series about vintage and thrifted style – bicycles and clothing!  In the meantime, here’s a taste of my vintage fun for today. I wore an outfit centered around a vintage ’80’s (yes, ’80’s is now vintage and we are all old) skort I recently acquired. This is the kind of clothing that I love and that my sisters would wrinkle their noses at in disgust and ask why I insist on dressing like mom.  Oh, and I got a haircut – bangs!

here

Outfit for toodling on bike
Vintage '80's skort
H&M t-shirt
Marc Jacobs flats
Marc Jacobs sunglasses
Fairy necklace from Celtic street fair
Nutcase Starburst helmet

I stopped by Haystack Vintage, one of my new favorite shops, and spotted this extensive collection of vintage bikes outside. So cute, but they all look so small!

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Beautiful Lugged Steel Mixte

Check this beauty out!

ebay-betty.

Lynn of Bike Lite – an expert at stumbling upon great old bikes – found this 1950’s lugged steel mixte on eBay and noticed that it looks a lot like Rivendell’s Betty Foy. Intriguing! Is a bike like this a show piece or a viable everyday travel option?

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