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.
I missed the past couple of Critical Lass rides, so I was happy to catch up with the group for May’s ride. Coolest bicycling group in Chicago, for sure, including a couple of baby-bicyclists. We started in Roscoe Village and enjoyed a leisurely ride through Lakeview and Lincoln Park, ending at a Mexican restaurant for margaritas.
Many thanks to our fearless leader Ash, pictured first below.
We got rained on a little during the ride, but hail and lightening waited until we were safely at the restaurant and finished by the time we departed for our rides home. The goddesses were on our side.
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!
The first Women-Who-Bike brunch of the new year marked an excellent start to 2012! The lure of beautiful weather and the highly-acclaimed new restaurant Nightwood drew 23 women, including several first-timers.
Because the restaurant was in Pilsen, about 8-10 miles from my house depending on the route, I met up with a group of six to bike together. Sunday morning is the best time to cycle and low traffic allowed us to ride side-by-side and chat most of the way.
After a delicious meal, we all spent a good amount of time outside, chatting and bike-gawking.
Martha took some photos for her fab blog, Bike Fancy. Other highlights: Purple!
On Sunday, Chicago’s lovely bike ladies got together for the final brunch of 2011. The weather in Chicago is unseasonably mild and I was able to get by without a coat, wearing a sweater dress ($2 from Salvation Army!) and glittery Cynthia Rowley tights (a gift from Trisha last Christmas).
About 15 of us met at The Southern in Bucktown and boy was it good!
I had to get the fried chicken, biscuits and gravy (hey, I’m from North Carolina!). There was enough left over for yummy dinners on Sunday and Monday.
Martha seems to be taking her benedict seriously in this photo, but she liked it. And Ash her donuts. :)
For real, these cinnamon donuts with fruit and coffee dipping sauce looked amazing.
After a leisurely meal, we headed outside for our usual bike talk.
Maria, Samantha and Seri showed off their wintery white helmets.
Jen, Ash and Holly modeled their oh-so-lovely jackets. ;)
Catherine made a strong case for purple and green together.
Martha’s bright red scarf and Samantha’s neon yellow gloves were great pops of color (visibility!) next to their black coats.
And check out Martha’s new Yakkay helmet cover. Swoon!
April and Holly brought some spring colors into the mix. (Stay tuned for a full review of April’s raincoat coming later this week.)
So cheerful on a grey winter day!
I think I managed to get everyone’s photo this time except Stef and Carrie, so I’m posting these that I took at prior gatherings. (A bit underdressed for December, aren’t we, ladies? )
The Women-Who-Bike group has been coming together for brunch every month for over a year now. November’s brunch was number 13. There were 20 of us, a great mix of regulars and new faces, plus Trisha. I was especially excited to have a group of teenage girls and their mentors from West Town Bike’sGirls Bike Club. (Much more about them in a future post!)
I was so busy eating and gabbing, I managed to take pictures of only a few of the women, so this is merely a sampling of the awesomeness. :)
I must give thanks to Bleeding Heart Bakery and Cafe on Chicago Avenue. Even though they don’t take reservations, they accommodated our large group, plus the food was delicious and our waitress was super sweet.
If you are in Chicago and interested in joining us for brunch, we meet on the first Sunday of the month. Email me at LGRAB [at] letsgorideabike.com to get on the mailing list for the details.