A Real Community

The best part of blogging is meeting (virtually and in real life) so many cool people who share my passion for cycling. A community of like-minded folks is invaluable: I may have been the only bike commuter at my office, but I was never alone. This weekend was packed full of visitors from the online cycling community, and I had a great time.

There’s so much for me to cover, including the people I met, the cocktail party ride, new Gazelles at Dutch Bike Chicago, and the temperature dropping into the 30’s. I’ll start with the visitors.

Velorbis and Elisa at Copenhagen Cyclery

Velorbis and Elisa at Copenhagen Cyclery

Of course, Elisa of Bike Skirt was in town. We met up with Braxton and Ashley and their baby girl Claire, who were visiting from Alabama to test ride Dutch bikes (on Twitter as @brax4444). They are super nice and impressive, getting by with only one car in a city not known for its bike friendliness. They fell in love with the Velorbis Scrap Deluxe at Copenhagen Cyclery. What a dashing couple they would be rolling around Alabama like this!

Braxton and Ashley with Velorbis Scrap Deluxes

Braxton and Ashley with Velorbis Scrap Deluxes

On Saturday Missy of Cyclin’ Missy and Elizabeth of Bike Commuters joined the group for breakfast. As with Elisa, I felt like I already knew Missy through her blog, and it was fun to meet her for real. That’s a lot of female bike blogging power all together!

Dottie, Missy, Elisa, Elizabeth (thanks to Trisha for my dress!)

Dottie, Missy, Elisa, Elizabeth (thanks to Trisha for my new dress!)

Missy was visiting from Michigan and brought her bike (carbon!), so after eating I took her on a tour ride down the Lakefront Trail. Elizabeth rode Oma, making her want a Dutch bike even more.

Elizabeth, Missy, and Dottie

Elizabeth, Missy, and Dottie on the Lakefront Trail

A real community is out there for bike commuters, even if they live in a city where few others ride for transportation. How has the online community contributed to your cycling lifestyle?

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37 thoughts on “A Real Community

  1. anna says:

    I love all bike bloggers, and all the different aspects of bike blogging (advocacy, infrastructure, lifestyle, practical guides..). It’s always interesting to see what other people do and think, especially if they are in different parts of the world. Also makes me get angry less and more focussed on the goals of sustainable mobility — make more people love riding their bikes :).

  2. Cyclin Missy says:

    The online cycling community has given me a place to learn from other people’s experiences – options to try, what works for some, what works for others… It has also made me feel that I’m not alone wanting to drive less and ride more. It means so much to interact with people that have similar values and interests. With a small (but growing) local cycling community, my online friends have really been my main source of connection in the human-powered movement area of my life, whether it be for transportation or fitness.

    • E A says:

      I agree! Lots of my non-cycling friends just “don’t get it”. But I love that my online (and now real life) friends/community support the cycling lifestyle. It’s fun to have this network.

  3. miss sarah says:

    Massive sniffs from me. Can we maybe just photoshop some Miss Sarah with Dougal in the basket?


  4. Sounds like a great way to spend your birthday weekend!

    Those Velorbis Scrap Deluxes look beautiful. I really, really want to ride one.

  5. vana says:

    Hi there!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. I can print that illustration for you. Contact me if interested. I know it’s not for sale on my shop but i can still do it for you.


  6. sigrid says:

    bike blog love. Hooray!

  7. Trisha says:

    So true! I love meeting bike blog friends, and the bike blogging community is really something special. Hope to be along for the ride next time.

  8. meligrosa says:

    this is such a happy post. lovely ladies and bikes. :D
    Here in SF is really cool to have people ask me (&/or adrienne, we are roaming together) about the bikes, blog or coffee etc.

    keep the good (and stylish) times going on my lovelies.
    much love from fog city central <3 /m

  9. Elisa M says:

    It was a lovely lovely day. The online bike community is oftentimes what keeps me motivated!

  10. philippe says:

    Is it me, or are you just wearing a summer dress and a light cardigan, when the other two are covered from head to toes in full winter clothes ?

    • dottie says:

      It’s a sweater dress with tights and a thick Ibex wool cardigan. I also have my winter helmet on with built-in ear flaps and wool knee socks under the boots. I stay pretty warm on my bike, all I need for the fall is some wool.

  11. 2whls3spds says:

    @philippe…several of those ladies are from the Deep South where 30*f is considered very cold! :-D


  12. Ghost Rider says:

    Wow…sounds like a fabulous time!

    Say, if any of y’all get tired of the cold weather, we’d be happy to host a bike-bloggers’ summit in the steamy environment of SW Florida (93 degrees and humid today). Just let me know and we’ll put something together!

  13. Stephen says:

    Frankly, if it wasn’t for the online community, I probably wouldn’t be riding a bicycle. I pretty much quit riding after my daughter came along. After riding almost continuously since I was a kid, I found that I didn’t have a lot of time, and perhaps more importantly, I felt that my style of riding old classic bicycles was just way outdated compared to what I found in the bicycling shops. However, I tripped across Rivendell on the internet one day a decade ago, and ended up becoming a certified retrogrouch with a fleet of wonderful, quirky bicycles, and learned to commute to work. Now, I’ve come full circle to be a utilitarian bicyclist, for lack of a better description, and haven’t worn Lycra in years. You’ve got to have a community of some sort, and the online community has been and continues to a wonderful source of inspiration, including LGRAB.

  14. Horace says:

    It’s not just blogs, of course. Online communities make us feel less isolated when we’re doing isolated activities such as commuting by bike. I’d probably commute by bike anyway, but the online communities make me feel like less of a weirdo.

  15. Yokota Fritz says:

    I think social media has been tremendously helpful in encouraging cyclists and demonstrating we’re not alone in the world. For years I thought I was the only nut case who rode my bike to work year round, but it’s so wonderful to see so many other people doing it like this!

  16. I was so depressed about not owning a car until I started blogging and got involved with the online bike blogging community. Connecting to like-minded and lifestyle individuals really helped me realize that I wasn’t alone and that it was okay for me to not own a car!

    Love the blog!

  17. Claudia says:

    That would be really interesting to read your site. i really enjoyed it to read. thanks for all sharing great info here.


  18. Bailey Singh says:

    when buying winter clothes, i always chose wool because i love the feel of it-;*

  19. i like to wear cotton and wool winter clothes, they are the best in my opinion”*.

  20. paul says:

    I also find this to be a very happy post site. Thank you.

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