Tag Archives: women and bicycling

May’s Women-Who-Bike Brunch

Last Sunday, the Chicago Women-who-bike gathered for our monthly brunch at Revolution Brewing in Logan Square.  This meant we got to enjoy their signature beermosa.  :)

Overall, our group size was about 30 people, all at one long table.  Special thanks to our excellent waitress, Jessica, for taking such good care of us.

Molly and her husband Piet joined us while visiting Chicago from Ann Arbor, Michigan.  You may remember both of them from their Summer Games participation and especially Molly from her 2010 Roll Models profile. 

After brunch, we spent time outside – as always – talking about bikes.  I like how April strapped her Kate Spade bag to her front rack.

Alison took Jen’s bakfiets for a spin.  Love the look on her face.  :)

But she soon went back to her own cute orange ride.

The day was a little rainy and I saw lots of different rain coats.  I particularly like this teal one!

Jenny showed how casually stylish a skirt with sneakers can look.

And Megan wore cool red sneakers!

Saya and Laurie, her friend visiting from Boston, struck a pose for me.  :)

This is only a small sampling of the great group of women who came out.

If you’re a woman and in Chicago and you bike (or simply want to learn more about biking!), email me at LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com to be added to the list.  Our next brunch will be Sunday, June 3rd – a picnic on the lakefront.

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February’s Women Who Bike Brunch

Yesterday the Chicago Women Who Bike Brunch descended upon Haymarket Brewery in the West Loop.

Tab: Bikers

Haymarket is a great place for big groups and easily accommodated our table of 25.

The food was delicious, especially for a brewery, and I enjoyed some of the best French toast ever.

The mimosas each came with their own mini bottle of champagne!

After a long and luxurious meal, we headed outside to chat and slowly unlock our bikes.  The weather was partly sunny and 40 degrees, so there was no big rush.

A few of us decided to go back inside and embark on some Haymarket beer taste-testing at the bar.  Such a good idea!  Their beer is as good as their food.  (Thanks, Sara!)

I always look forward to celebrating a new month with this great group of women!

If you’re in the Chicago area and would like to join us, email me at LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com.  Our next meet-up will be a happy hour this Thursday.

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Ladies: “Don’t” scandalize yourselves on bikes!

Reader David Pertuz thought LGRAB readers would be particularly interested in a post on the Detroit blog m-bike.org written by Todd Scott, called 1895: Don’ts for women riders.  (Thanks, David!) That’s right – 41 “don’ts” to be exact, from an 1895 article in New York World.  The list is both hilarious and horrifying.  We are lucky to be looking at this from 115 years in the future.

A few of my favorites:

  • Don’t be a fright.
  • Don’t faint on the road.
  • Don’t boast of your long rides.
  • Don’t refuse assistance up a hill.
  • Don’t imagine everybody is looking at you.
  • Don’t ask, “What do you think of my bloomers?
  • Don’t go out after dark without a male escort.
  • Don’t appear in public until you have learned to ride well.
  • Don’t ignore the laws of the road because you are a woman.
  • Don’t scream if you meet a cow. If she sees you first, she will run.

In his post, Todd makes a good point:

For those who get nostalgic for that 1890s golden era of cycling, it’s important to realize it wasn’t golden for everyone.  Major Taylor can vouch for that.

Yeah, really. I enjoy Tweed Rides, but there’s no way men would have “let” me join them back in the day for a drinking ride from pub to pub, especially with all my fainting, screaming, and bloomer talk.

Full list of “don’ts” at the original m-bike post.

What’s your favorite “don’t”?

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Women in Motion

Streetsfilms created this wonderful short film, Women in Motion: New Lady Riders Reflect on NYC Cycling. The film highlights women who started riding their bikes only recently, inspired by the new infrastructure and growing number of other everyday cyclists.

Meanwhile, Steven Can Plan highlights numbers showing that the frequency of Chicago women riding their bikes to work is down this year.

Trisha and I have been bicycling for 2.5 years now. I suppose we’re slowly but surely becoming members of the old guard, but our message remains the same: anyone can start bicycling for transportation right now, even if they have never done it before. And the goal of sharing our experiences is to encourage more women to start and continue to ride bikes.

We bloggers can’t do this alone. As the news above from NYC and Chicago shows, safe bicycle infrastructure is a major factor in whether people will ride their bikes. If you agree, make sure to contact your government representatives and let them know how important bicycle infrastructure is to you!

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