Happy Anniversary to Us!

It’s now been officially one year of commuting for me and coming up on one year for Dottie. Even though the bikes we started out on are no longer with us (the late, lamented Janis and Pinkie), we’re planning on using two wheels for a very long time.

Curious about how it all began? We bring you these emails from the very extensive Dottie/Trisha email archives (biographers, get in line now!).

On Trisha’s first ride:

Just prior to beginning bicycle commuting, I’d been in Chicago for a taping of the Oprah show with my parents (not a guest, just an audience member). While I was there, Pinkie was being tuned up and getting new tires after her long stay in my grandparents’ garage, and as soon as I got back we went for a ride.

Jerusalem Cafe

Pinkie at Jerusalem Cafe, during one of her last lunch breaks.

On 5/2/08, Trisha wrote:

thanks so much for another lovely time in Chicago. I only wish I could have stayed for the weekend. : ) Hopefully I’ll be able to arrange a longer visit soon, or you guys can come hang out here. . . .

Did I tell you I’m joining in yours and Greg’s efforts to save the planet through alternative commuting [editor’s note: at this time the Dotties were taking the El train]? I hope to start riding my bike to work next week. Tomorrow I’m taking a test run. Last night I went to the grocery store and back…I had forgotten how fun riding a bike could be.

On May 5, 2008, at 3:46 PM, Dorothy wrote:

Thank you for coming!!  Lots of fun!  Too bad you missed all the Second City and Jameson :)

How’s the bike working out?

We adopted Chloe yesterday.  She is a sweetheart!!!!!

On May 5, 2008, at 4:46 PM, Trisha wrote:

Bike is good. I rode to work and back yesterday and will do it again tomorrow. Figured easing into it is better; plus I went home for lunch today so I didn’t want to use up all that time riding the bike instead of the car. Good news is, it only takes like 20 minutes to get here, which really isn’t much longer than it takes to drive. Well, double the time, but a 20-minute commute isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things.

On Dottie’s first ride, two weeks later:

Janis the Jamis - Dottie's first big-girl bike

Janis the Jamis - Dottie's first big-girl bike

From: “Dorothy”
Date: May 20, 2008 9:54:08 AM CDT
To: “Trisha”
Subject: chatting

Good Morning.

I am here to chat, despite my pile of work.  Because that’s how I roll.

I bought a bike Sunday!  This one, from my little neighborhood bike shop, Roscoe Village Bikes.  I’m going to totally copy you and try to commute to work via the Lake Shore Path, since the el takes me 45 minutes to an hour these days, with all the construction.  Plus, sometimes smelly people sit next to me.  First I need to get used to riding a bike after a 10-year hiatus. A little scared of riding in the city, but really excited about how much it will change my day-to-day life.  The path that follows Lake Michigan is gorgeous – a great way to start and end the workday. Remember that road we went down in the morning on the way to Oprah? The bike path follows that.  How’s your riding going?

On 5/20/08, Trisha wrote:

Ooh, I love your bike! And a bike path on the lake would be beautiful. So far, I really like riding my bike to work. You get to smell the honeysuckle, feel the breezes and sometimes see interesting urban sights, like burning cars. : ) OK, that only happened once (and in Hillsboro Village!!) but it was awesome.

from: Dorothy
to: Trisha
date: Mon, Jun 2, 2008 at 10:19 AM
subject: Re: your vacation, my staycation

I had a great weekend! Spent the whole thing with Greg on my bike. We biked everywhere – the dentist, best buy, brunch, downtown to the Gospel festival. And I biked to work this morning! Door-to-door it took the same amount of time as the el. My odometer said 7.1 miles and on lake path I was averaging between 14-15 mph, but much slower on the road with all the stop signs. It’s very hot out today, so it would have been nice to take a shower, but a wash cloth and bathroom stall worked out pretty well. Beautiful ride on the lake!! I took my bike back to the shop this weekend to get a rear rack, bell, lights, panier, and odometer installed. It’s so cute :) My bell says “I (heart) my bike.” I can carry all my work clothes and stuff in my panier (I think I’m spelling that correctly) that goes on my rack. Like a mule. I’ll have to send you a pic and you still need to send me a pic of yours!

Neither of us could have predicted how much cycling would become a part of our lives, but as you can see, we loved it from the start.

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16 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary to Us!

  1. anna says:

    Yeah, you’re bike addicts too. Get over it ;-).
    No, honestly, great work your doing here writing this blog. Interesting to read how you started it. Oh, if only it was that easy to convince everybody else to try it! (not asking for more cause generally trying it is enough to get addicted ;-))

  2. E A says:

    Happy Anniversary! Congrats on the 1-yr marker! Keep riding…

  3. sara says:

    Wonderful! Felicidades.

    I like the “I’ll send you a pic & you send me yours” exchange, and look at you now– publicly posting snaps for all the world (with internet access) to see. It is inspiring and fun to join along your journeys…

    • dottie says:

      Yes, funny about the picture and story swapping in emails. When we started the blog, I figured it would be a good way for Trisha and I to share our commutes with each other and keep each other motivated, since we live far away. I was surprised and thrilled when I realized other people were actually reading the blog, too :)

  4. Carolyn says:

    Congrats on 1 yr anniversary. You write a great bike blog, I’m glad I found it. Here’s to another entertaining year!

  5. Allison says:

    Happy Anniversary ;)

  6. MamaVee says:

    I love this. Mostly b/c it’s about my year anniversary for biking the kids around as well. I bought my townie last mem day and started out original with my 10 year old mountain bike and trailer. My first ride was so hard b/c all of my tires were FLAT. I almost cried at how hard it was. then a simple tire pump the next day made it so much better. I love that you guys were like me and kind of went from zero to sixty in the bike love addiction. I went from old cheap mountain bike, to townie, to townie xtra to crazy danish cargo bike. And now I covet and seriously dream about an ANT. 13 months ago I hadn’t been on a bike for reals in 10 years and thought bikes were for bike baths and didn’t really know how I would get my bike to a bike bath in order to use it.

    Viva la bike! congrats you guys- you’ve done great! and are an inpsiration!

  7. Trisha says:

    Thanks everyone! We have had so much fun in the past year. MamaVee, I love your story!

  8. Cyclin Missy says:

    That is so cool! Congrats on completing your first year of bike commuting! I respect you riding on those cold, snowy winter days, and envy the ride along the lake shore. I wish you many more years of safety and fun on your bikes!

  9. Jennie says:

    Congrats Trish and Dottie! I love your blog!

  10. Nico says:

    Congratulations! I wish you all the best for your second year. :)

  11. miss sarah says:

    Happy Anniversary! I am so happy for you both:)

    What are you going to do to celebrate? New shiny bell or straw pannier?

    Or… a new pair of shoes to mark this excellent date!


  12. Yeah, I like how you gals just jumped in, head first. And then you followed through on your desire to share the joys of bike with others. Very cool!

    Me, I’ve been riding, on and off, for most of my life. But it’s only been the last few years that I began developing bike consciousness. Your reports are encouraging people to think about riding because it looks like such great fun.

  13. Johnny says:

    Congrats! Once you’ve made it through winter, you’re in for good:)

  14. liran says:

    Hey , really like this post, cheers for that , may i put a link to it from goodmonth.com whice is my blog
    all the best

  15. […] 2009 Dottie and Oma rode in their first Tweed Ride. Smurfette found a new home with Melissa. We commemorated a year of commuting with a dive into the Dottie/Trisha email archives. The Batavus made it stateside and got her first […]

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