A couple of Sundays ago, my Women-Who-Bike and Brunch group met up for a lovely picnic at the Logan Square Farmer’s Market. Summer picnics are the best – I love sampling all the delicious food everyone brings.
My friend Ash, who writes about some of her bike adventures at One Less Minivan, was there with her two daughters and badass bike set up. She has a Joe Bike bakfiets fitted with a baby carseat in the front and a child’s seat in the back.
While out and about on my bicycle yesterday, I noticed some definite signs of early spring.
For example, after brunch with my women-who-bike friends Catherine, Christina and Maria, the sun was high and bright, making Maria look particularly angelic…
And casting a strong shadow for Betty Foy…
And slowly but surely melting the patches of snow…
And causing icicles to drip at a fast pace.
I noticed that these early spring sights had accompanying early spring sounds – notably, the sounds of melting icicles and birds chirping. Here is your one minute of meditation for the day:
I’m already daydreaming about the long recreational rides I will take on my bike in the coming months. Maybe a trip up to the Botanical Gardens or down to the Indiana border. Until then, I will wear the Road Holland jacket I have for review (and that would be perfect for such rides) while hanging around the house working. And daydreaming. :-)
Of course, as I type this early Monday morning, the forecast calls for half a foot of snow on Tuesday. Such is life.
Have you noticed sights and sounds of early spring in your neck of the woods (or of early fall for Australians)?
On Sunday morning, our group of awesome women got together for some brunching. :-)
I must give a special “thank you!” to the new restaurant, Southport and Irving, which was especially welcoming (see that looong table below? that’s all us on a busy morning) and served delicious food (duck confit with caramelized onions, scallions, duck fat potatoes, poached eggs and mustard sauce – I had to hold myself back from licking the plate).
(The duck confit was gone before I got to my camera, so here is a photo of my tea bag.)
I was so distracted by eating, I failed to get photos documenting everyone who was there. I managed to capture only a few stragglers. :-)
Chika! looking so fab in orange.
Sara with her sparkly gold helmet, blue Pashley, and orange Chika.
Sarah rocking the fur hat.
Her front rack is conveniently equipped with a bottle opener!
Rachel just moved to Chicago from Atlanta and brought this amazing cat helmet with her (kids’ section at Target!).
I threw on jeans, boots, and a trench. Forgot my earmuffs but lucky for my poor ears, I did not have far to bike.
Interested in joining our brunch group? You should be! We’re friendly, smart, and fun – if I may ring our own bell. We love new people. Email me at LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com to be included on the evites.
Thanks so much to everyone for your support this week! Every comment and email means a great deal to me.
I have not told anyone outside of my bicycling circle about the hit and run. I want to avoid hearing – from now until the end of time – “I can’t believe you’re still riding your bike” and “OMG be careful!!!” This would come from a place of kindness and concern, but I just don’t want to hear it. So I am very grateful for all of you and for my women-who-bike group: people who really get it.
Here are some photos from Decembers Women-Who-Bike Brunch a couple of weeks ago. Strong, fabulous women who are leading the charge and having fun doing it.
If you are in Chicago and would like to join our Women-Who-Bike brunches, please email me at LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com. If you’re not in Chicago, I encourage you to join – or start! – a local social bike group. The benefits of community cannot be understated.
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.
On Sunday, the Chicago Women-Who-Bike gathered for our April brunch. Although we had to cancel a planned picnic at the last minute due to the weather (never trust a Chicago forecast), a great group of both regulars and first-timers gathered at the back-up location.
Beth (on the left below), a first-timer, is preparing for a charity century ride in June and learning how to use clipless pedals. My hat is off to her! Those are two bikey things that I have never tried before. I love how her Fuji manages to be both utilitarian and attractive while primarily being sporty. You can follow her adventures at YAY BETH!! (tagline: “cheer me on, damn you.” ha!).
Jenny (on the right below) is a regular and she rides the most lovely Globe I’ve seen. The Carolina blue frame and cream tires are so gorgeous, right? Especially with her brown leather boots. I’m impressed by how far the Globe has come as a utilitarian and classy bike in the past few years.
Araidia and her lovely vintage Raleigh are regulars. I swooned over her shellacked cork grips for a bit (she shellacked them herself and they look so much nicer than my pre-shellacked ones) and we noticed that our 3-speed Sturmey Archer shifters are almost identical, even though hers is over 30 years older than mine. Ariadia designs and creates beautiful Love Letter Slips and we made plans to go thrifting together soon!
Chika (on the left below) joined the group for the first time. I was amazed to learn that we both grew up in North Carolina, went to the same college (the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), and graduated the same year, 2003! Meeting a fellow Tarheel in Chicago is so rare, let alone one from my class. Very cool!
Lucy (on the right) lives near the restaurant, so she walked and I got a photo of her with her cool shoes, instead of her bike. :) Cute skirt plus leggings plus sneakers = perfect early spring outfit.
Ann was another first-timer. She rides a WorkCycles Fr8 with two child seats, one on the front and one on the back. This badass setup is rare in Chicago and I realized that I spotted her one morning in Lincoln Park last year, biking her children to school. I blogged about the sighting at the time, saying this:
I passed a woman going the other direction who was riding a Dutch bike with flowing hair, carrying a baby on the front and a toddler on the back. It was so beautiful, I could have wept. She must be Dutch or something, although I would love to be wrong. Anyone know a regular Chicago mom who throws down like that? I was tempted to turn around and catch up with her to snap a picture, but figured that would be weird.
I love that I ended up meeting her all this time later at my brunch, and I’m happy to learn that she is American!
We also had a very special guest visiting from NYC, Kim of Velojoy, a “growing online resource for city cyclists and those who may be considering riding in the bike lanes for the first time,” written by an all-female team. Connecting with people from around the country and world through the love of bicycling is the best. I’m so glad Kim contacted me and and now I’m excited to visit New York again soon.
I pulled out Coco for the morning. I’ll be riding her a lot this spring, I’m sure. Such a sweet and happy bike. :)
Unfortunately, I did not get a picture of everyone who was there (Seri, I’m looking at you!).
Of course, the women-who-bike brunch is also about food. My favorite dish at Ann Sather, a Swedish diner, is the Swedish pancakes with lingonberries. Yum!
Our next brunch will be the first Sunday of May and we’re also having a happy hour next Wednesday, April 11. If you want in, email me at LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com and I’ll add you to the mailing list. Don’t be shy – we’re a friendly bunch!
The Women-Who-Bike Brunch tradition continued this month. March’s brunch took place at Tweet in Uptown with a great group of 15 women (and the restaurant hostess wants to join us next time!). I did not get as many photos as I would have liked, but here is a sampling of the awesomeness.
My biscuits and gravy!
Cool quirkiness: chicken hat and baton twirler jacket
Chic knit hats
The next brunch will be April 1st – that’s right, April Fool’s Day. If you’re interested in joining us, email me at LGRAB@letsgorideabike.com.
Is anyone out there organizing brunches or other get-togethers in their own cities? It’s such a great way to meet cool new people – highly recommended!