Betty Loves Shakespeare and Dresses

Today I cycled to the Shakespeare Theater at Navy Pier to see Twelfth Night, a 12-mile round trip.  This is probably my favorite way to spend a Saturday. I do it quite often (see here and here). (This is amazing theater and younger folks in Chicago should know that they can get tickets for only $20 by using the code UNDER35 when purchasing online.)

Betty Loves Dresses

Betty Loves Dresses

If you look behind me, there’s another great example of how not to lock your bike – only a u-locked back wheel left.

The show was hilarious – I laughed out loud more than at any SNL-alum movie (though Baby Mama comes close). The fact that it was first performed in 1601 is mind-bendy.

Twelth Night Stage

Twelth Night Stage

The stage setting was innovate as always: a big pool with wooden planks on it, and the actors went from wading and diving in the pool to hopping up the planks seamlessly. This is genius theatre. And as always, out of dumb luck, we were in the first row inches from the stage, close enough to get a bit wet from the pool splashes and the spittle (boy, do those Shakespearean actors spittle!).

Here is the view of Navy Pier from the theatre’s lobby. I covet Greg’s thick gauge wool zip-down sweater that he found for $20 at the thrift store. Perfect for cycling on a brisk spring day. At the same time, I wish I could grab that Blackberry and throw it into Lake Michigan.

Step away from the Blackberry

Step away from the Blackberry

Now a few words about Betty Foy. Love! I was worried that my outfit was a little too Oma, but I wanted to ride Betty because we were running late and the wind was strong. Turns out, Betty loves dresses. As long as the dress is not too long and willowy, she is actually better than Oma for skirts not flying/riding up, I think because of the angle. This outfit turned out to be perfect for cycling – my boots have rubber soles that made good contact with the pedals and my dress is heavy enough linen not to fly up. I had absolutely no wrist problems on this ride and I’m hoping that means the problem is resolved.

Which gear am I in?

Which gear am I in?

I’m getting used to the friction shifters. They’re smooth and nice, but I’m always looking down to figure out which gear I’m in. After another week of riding, I’m sure I’ll get it. Having 24 gears to work with is a real benefit, but that’s a subject for a post all its own.

Betty Loves Dresses

Betty Loves Dresses

I hope everyone else is enjoying their Easter/Passover/Pagan/Atheist weekend. Any bikey adventures? Tell us about it in the comments!

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15 thoughts on “Betty Loves Shakespeare and Dresses

  1. Trisha says:

    I’ll be telling you about my bikey adventure in the next post. :) Yours looks fun and stylish, as always. We must do Shakespeare on bikes next time I come to visit. Twelfth Night is one of my favorites too.

  2. anna says:

    No real bikey adventures so far. Yesterday I went for a coffee with friends from Germany I haven’t seen for ages.

  3. Well done, Dottie. You and Betty are smashing together.

  4. dadabean says:

    Went fishing with the boy. Packed all the fishing stuff in the trailer, and carried Tal on the rear rack. Went well. We even did some light off-roading on some well-groomed forest trails. The trailer is much better on that stuff without Tal in it, and he enjoys the bumps better. We didn’t catch anything, but had a good time. My feet burned because I was wearing a new pair of OP sandals I got at a thrift store. Will have to remember sunblock on the feet next time!

  5. Rode Harvey out to my mothers in the suburbs. It was a beautiful day. These heavy bikes build your legs up real good. You see a lot more in a more upright position, too.

  6. scott says:


    Are you getting chain grease on your clothes? I am looking for good chainguard for a single-chainring mixte riding friend.

    Is that a new brooks? I hope the break-in is going well.

  7. dottie says:

    I love reading about your good bike times!

    Scott, no chain grease yet, since my chain is still clean. I hate having to tie up my pants legs, though! The Brooks is being broken in – not the most fun time.

  8. Ashley says:

    I totally hear you on the Blackberry comment!

  9. Missy says:

    I’ll be blogging about my weekend biking adventure in my next post tonight, after I download the pictures. I was riding my bike and got hit by a car! I can’t believe it! I’m bruised and sore, but miraculously OK.

    That was more adventure than I expected out of my bike ride!

  10. Elisa M says:

    The Bikeskirt ladies rode 66 miles on Chief Ladiga trail yesterday! we will be posting about it soon. It was an incredible day with 5.5 hours of pedal time and a lovely picnic lunch, interesting characters and girly/bike bonding time.
    I ride a plain old road bike (mens) every day in a dress and so far have not had any major issues. the chain grease situation requires me to be careful but I am getting used to it. (but I don’t look nearly as cute as you do on Betty!)

  11. eric says:

    you and that bike look beautiful together…

  12. Scott says:


    Hang in there with the saddle; nothing is more comfortable than an old brooks. You may already know this, but brooks has a product called proofhide that you may want to try. It protects the leather and makes the break-in period go faster.

    I ordered a nice chain guard from the Velo Orange website. Hopefully it works on my friend’s mixte!

  13. Mitch says:

    Hi Dottie,

    I like your blog! I think I stumbled upon it a week or so back when researching the Oma (or was it the Betty Foy?) for my wife.

    If you’re still experiencing any hand pain on the Foy, you might try installing a tall, angle-adjustable stem so you can experiment easily without having to go through the headache of numerous handlebar swapouts to fine-tune optimum stem extension.

    By varying angle and height on the adjustable, you can simulate stems of different reaches (and of course height). When you find perfection, you replace it with a “real” Nitto stem, or simply do as I do and leave it be, with the bonus of future adjustability if you ever want or need to experiment further.

    If you need still more height, there’s also the option of a stem extender, but that starts to offend my own (already liberal) bike aesthetic sensibilities.

    One final thought, perhaps the grips are a contributing factor.

    Anyway, just throwing some thoughts out there in case they might help. FWIW an adjustable stem has worked for me (Surly LHT with Albatross bars).

    Best regards,

  14. sara says:

    Love Twelth Night. Love seeing snaps of you dressed up riding your bike(s). Confirms that I can pull off nearly any outfit I own on my bike since you are a far better dresser than I…

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