Saturday Sun

A text message from Elizabeth suggesting a coffee ride got me out of the house this morning. She recently got her old bike, El Toro, professionally fitted and has a fantastic set up. You can’t see in this picture, but her saddle matches her light pink bar tape. We went to Asado, a newish place with the best coffee I’ve had in Chicago. Each cup is individually drip brewed. This is where I would take coffee-bike pro Meli, if she ever visits Chicago. There and Intelligentsia.

Elizabeth and I rode home slowly to enjoy the sun. Mr. Dottie, who chose to run, actually beat us home.  Betty Foy enjoyed the fresh air; I also rode her to work yesterday. Spring has not arrived yet, but the weather no longer feels like winter, if that makes sense.

Now I plan to finish reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, which is a surprisingly enchanting and high-quality book.  I’m usually hard on current fiction – often I come away from a new book feeling robbed of time I could have spent reading a great classic – but this one is different, though I’ll have to re-read Anna Karenina next as much as this book refers to Tolstoy.

I hope everyone else gets some Saturday Sun.

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28 thoughts on “Saturday Sun

  1. Carolyn I. says:

    Oh, I am definitely getting lots of Saturday Sun! It is incredible outside. I’m just in for a snackbreak, and then back out to bicycle in the sun…best weekend ever! :) Hope it lasts all weekend…

    Here’s to an awesome Sunny Weekend of riding Dottie and Trisha!


  2. Dottie says:

    @Carolyn – Sounds lovely! I’m glad to hear that the weather in your part of Canada is nice.

  3. Dottie says:

    An addendum to my post – Looking at my bookshelves, I’m reminded of quite a few modern novels I’ve enjoyed reading lately: The Gravedigger’s Daughter, The Graveyard Book, We Need to Take About Kevin, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Prep, American Wife, Persepolis, Fun Home and (don’t laugh!) Austenland. The high number that I disliked must have overshadowed the good ones in my mind.

  4. Dave says:

    I’ve been meaning to read Anna Karenina too – I tried years ago and stalled about halfway through, but a friend read it recently and really enjoyed it, so I’m going to give it another go :)

    I got up this morning, went and got us pastries and brought them back, made some coffee, and then we dug up our flower beds to prepare for planting veggies. Really excited about gardening this year.

    I hope the rest of your weekend ends up as lovely as your Saturday morning! If you ever come to Portland, we could give you a coffee tour of the city :) Cheers!

  5. Sarah says:

    Spring has not arrived yet, but the weather no longer feels like winter, if that makes sense.

    That makes perfect sense! It is a glorious sunny day in the 50s here in Boulder, CO, today, and it feels different from the few days in the 50s that we had back in January. Much more spring-like.

  6. Dottie says:

    @Dave – I will hold you to the Portland coffee tour! I really want to visit Portland one of these days.

    I have read Anna Karenina three times. If you get stalled halfway through again, try skimming the working in the field parts. But you didn’t hear that from me.

  7. Dave says:

    Ok, if you come to Portland, my wife and I will give you a coffee tour :) And a beer tour, if you want, though not all at once (we have 31 breweries in the city) :) Just let us know if you’re coming, we’d be happy to help out with accommodations and such too.

    I’ll make note of that Anna Karenina tip :) In general, I’ve been a bigger fan of Dostoevsky, but I did really like Tolstoy’s book Resurrection.

    Happy Saturday!

  8. Dottie says:

    @Dave – It’s a deal! We love beer just as much as coffee.

    Dostoevsky is my preferred Russian writer, too. I wrote my thesis about Demons (er, that would be my undergrad honors thesis – I don’t have a fancy PhD). Resurrection is one I have not read; I’ll have to put it on my list.

    @Sarah – I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels it. The temperature’s only in the 30’s here, but it feels different somehow. Must have something to do with the placement of the sun.

  9. welshcyclist says:

    You are truely gifted with cycling style, your outfits are very becoming, and your lifestyle seems to be great. Keep them posts coming, and the picture too.

  10. Dave says:

    Well, sounds like you’re going to enjoy Portland then :D Did I mention it has the best food in the country too? :D

    I actually haven’t read Demons yet, but it is on my list. Did you specifically study Russian Literature, or do you just enjoy reading it?

  11. Amy says:

    I’m so jealous! Everyone is out riding today and I got stuck rescuing basement junk from the water heater that refuses to hold water. *pout* Better the flood than the fire, I suppose. I do have plans to go out riding tomorrow, wether we have water or not! :)

  12. Lorenza says:

    I complete agree with you on modern/current fiction ; ) I love the classics… lately though I would highly recommend the writer Neil Gaiman.

    Weather in the UK is very similar… still bitterly cold (although never as cold as Chicago!), but somehow the air smells different, sounds cliche` but spring is in the air!!!

    Happy week end! x

  13. Amy says:

    *whether, not wether. There are no castrated rams in this house. Water logged fingers are no good for typing. ;)

  14. Step-Through says:

    Hedgehog is a good book but I hated the ending! You’ll see. Right now I’m reading modern Russian – “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch”

    It’s good to have friends who ride bicycles.

  15. Dave says:

    Oh, I forgot, the other Tolstoy I really liked is The Death of Ivan Illych :)

  16. Tinker says:

    I used to brew with a tedious Aeropress coffee maker from the inventor of the Aerobie, now I just use an insulated double wall Stainless Steel French press, and separate filter to make my coffee. Yes, 1 cup at a time, though I think they call it a 6 cup press. The insulated double wall container means you CAN keep your coffee warm throughout the wait for breakfast! (You don’t have to be anal about your coffee but it DOES help…)

  17. Emma J says:

    Bikes and books – I love this! Hedgehog was enjoyable, though that ending . . . It’s still worth reading.

    Anna Karenina I have to re-read every few years just for the skating scene between Kitty and Levin and Kitty’s first ball. But then I LIKE the working in the field chapters. War & Peace is even better – the characters are especially rich – especially the women. (I do skim some of the battle chapters though.) I’ve never been able to get into Dostoevsky though.

  18. darren says:

    ahh… that’s what’s missing here in singapore… affordable freshly brewed coffee and a chill out place…. all we have here are the starbucks and the like, which are way over priced if you ask me…..

  19. Mmm that coffee shop looks really nice. The lack of good independent coffee places in Boston is scandalous. I actually prefer Starbucks to most independent coffee shops I have tried in Boston so far. At least Vienna, thankfully, is another story. It is freezing and snowing here this weekend, but at least I can have good coffee!

  20. this looks like such a lovely day!! it is warming up down here, too, and it is so nice to hop on my bike without my industrial sized mittens and balaclava.
    i’m also really particular about what i read! i’m unlikely to read something i might later think is silly, but there’s lots of current fiction that will be classics soon (ian mcewan? zadie smith? salman rushdie?) and those i love!

  21. Dottie says:

    My degree is in Russian literature. I love The Death of Ivan Illych. That novella was the first work of Russian lit I ever read, in high school, followed by Family Happiness.

  22. Doug says:

    We had a unseasonably warm day with endless sunshine here in Northeastern Minnesota. I made the effort to get out for a wonderful, relaxing, sun filled ride.

  23. Dottie says:

    Okay, I just finished Hedgehog and I loved the ending. Cliched plot device, I must admit, but used effectively.

  24. Milo says:

    Dottie and everyone,

    I’ve found myself wondering recently if a love of bicyles and a determination to prevail against winter snows doesn’t lead to a reverence for Russian literature? Does one enhance the other? A cycling journey is elemental, I think?

    I read that Dervla Murphy – now almost 80 – is still cycling and travelling, by bike, bus and train, to Russia and Cuba and places in between and still writing books about her travels. In 1964, following the death of her parents she rode alone on an Armstrong Cadet, weighing about 37 lbs, from Dublin to India, taking 6 months. Before the age of spandex, GPS or mass-tourism, on a man’s 3-speed bike (which she still has), down through southern Europe, thru’ Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan,Pakistan and India. Underneath her saddle a four-shot Derringer (which got used!). Her favourite country was Afghanistan – she loved the primitive purity of the place. A 19th century lady, I suspect.
    Her book is called ‘Full Tilt’, the publisher is John Murray and when I read it years ago, lying on a beach in Australia, I felt exalted and embarrassed in equal proportions.


  25. whet moser says:

    You should check out Backstory Cafe in Hyde Park. Great drip coffee.

  26. meligrosa says:

    awwww this makes super smiley smiley – cant wait to visit chicago -you all-viceversa-
    this is very sweet, thanks dottie
    looks like a lovely place and yes, intelligentsia, i love you so <3333

  27. Qi says:

    I enjoy looking at these pix as much as I enjoy reading your blogs. I just love the way you capture it. May I ask what is your camera setup?

  28. Milo says:

    Er.. “Full Tilt’ anyone? Written by Dervla Murphy, published by John Murray.

    Ireland to India on a 1964 3-speed.


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