Bike Fancy: Chicagoans Looking Good on Bikes

I am enjoying watching Martha’s Bike Fancy archives grow, with a new photo every day of the week showcasing Chicago’s “people looking good on bikes.” Chicago women are awesome and have an overall aesthetic that is very different from Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

Martha on the left, a featured cyclist on the right

My favorite aspect of Bike Fancy is that all of the photos are posed portraits with a bit of information about the rider, sometimes a mini interview. Hearing from the women themselves and knowing that they agreed to pose for the pictures adds another dimension to the site.   While stopping a stranger on the street and asking if you can take her photo to put on the internet may sound awkward, if anyone can get someone to agree to this request, it’s Martha.  :)

Martha at work

In the photo above that I took after the last Women Who Bike Brunch, Martha is writing the contact information of the woman she flagged down. And this is the beautiful picture that resulted:

Image (c) Martha Williams of Bike Fancy

That’s how we roll in Chicago.  Check out all the rest at Bike Fancy!

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11 thoughts on “Bike Fancy: Chicagoans Looking Good on Bikes

  1. Simply Bike says:

    I love Bike Fancy and for the same reason that you listed too… a very unique aesthetic and I LOVE the mini interview with the cyclist accompanying each photo. l love hearing how they’re riding their mom’s old bike from the 70s or that their friends all pitched in to buy them a trike… such lovely mini-glimpses into someone’s life.

    Great work, Martha!


  2. Nicolas says:

    Tote bag on the handlebars and no “helment”? That’s illegal! In nyc at least…

    Also: gorgeous.

    • Dottie says:

      Ha, luckily the “crackdown” has not come to Chicago yet.

    • dukiebiddle says:

      It should probably be pointed out, for those not picking up on the sarcasm, that it is perfectly legal to ride in New York with a tote on the handlebars, and to ride “helmentless.” It’s just that sometimes New York police will write tickets for perfectly legal things if there’s enough pressure on them to ticket against cyclists.

  3. cris says:

    one of the things that I’ve been enjoying about Bike Fancy is that, more than any other cycling blog that I’ve followed, it’s been really illustrative about how anybody can enjoy riding a bike. I think a lot of blogs, by virtue of being specialty blogs, can’t help but convey the idea that the writer is some kind of fanatic. Bloggers have the need to publish something on a regular basis, and thus talk about cycling with a frequency that most folks would avoid. No matter how many times a blogger say, “I’m just like you” the simple choice to start and maintain a blog already sets them apart.

    Bike Fancy figures out how to split the difference. There’s frequent content, but it’s about ‘ordinary’ people who are just riding whatever bike they got at a flea market or was handed down to them by a friend or relative. It’s a neat daily peek into all of the little stories that everyone has. I only wish that other bloggers in other cities would do the same, so we can see similarities or differences between Chicago and, say, Austin or Charlotte or Philly.

  4. eva says:

    I love the fact that Martha’s pictures are posed. It makes me feel more comfortable and they come across as warm and inviting as opposed to their voyeresque counterparts [which at times make me feel like a stalker :-/ ] Great work and great post. Would love to have Martha visit SoCal sometime!

  5. Maureen says:

    Great post, great site. I just discovered this site, through your blog – and thought it was terrific. And I remember I while back reading a post about friends who chipped in and bought a woman a bike for her birthday. I didn’t realize it was this same site. The story really stayed with me. TFS!

  6. Martha says:

    Thanks for the shout out Dottie, and all of the positive words from your readers. I love the behind the scenes photos you got. The crop on the black and white shot is very cool and dynamic. In my fantasy world, I’ll get a grant to travel the world and take bike fancy photos ; ) If any knows of grants like that let me know.

  7. Man says:

    I love the Bike Fancy blog in large part because the pictures are posed and we learn something of the riders, but more importantly her blog style makes them “real”. I Love CChic as well, but the non posed does seem unattached. I have tried to stop and take pictures as well of bicyclists buts something about a guy asking to take a picture of women on bikes doesn’t come across as “comfortable” to most unfortunately…

  8. Goodtimesroll says:

    those heels, on a bike? seriously?

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