Friday, July 29, 2011

Belinda, W Kinzie St & N Canal St, Chicago, IL

Belinda rides a stainless steel fuji absolute frame from the 80s with custom alterations.

Where are you going?
I'm going to The Lab, my yoga spot. It's not new-agey, and the stuff we learn is comparable to the circus classes I used to take.  I also think it will help me to eventually be a b-girl.  Yoga poses and breakdancing freezes are actually really similar.

Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it?
My husband made my bike for me. It has a stainless steel fuji absolute frame from the 80s, but we took all the logos and color off, and painted it taupe. I wanted a boring bike in contrast to the trendy bikes that are really flashy; I don't like my front wheel though.  We could have gotten good money reselling it to hipsters, but I needed a replacement wheel, didn't want to buy another one, and this was the extra we had. Now it's all scratched up because of my brake.  The velocity sticker is still there though. Maybe they'll think it's like that on purpose.

What are you wearing?
I'm wearing my A-gear aka workout type clothes because I'm running late and need to be comfortable with my knees and elbows out flailing about, looking clumsy and sweaty like most Chicagoans who speed bike.   A cropped t-shirt from target, high school girl shorts,  and sneakers.   If I have time and want to look cute, I have to prep myself to be ok w/people passing me so I don't break a sweat or ruin my clothes.  Oh, and I always wear my riding helmet. I hate how bike helmets looks, so i figured an equestrian one would work ,and might even be safer. Horses are like 6 ft tall and jump and stuff.  I also did the research on the most flattering style. A lot of show helmets will have a huge dome where you'll have mushroom head. The IRH Windsor has the lowest profile that I've found and the tan straps match my handlebar tape.

Why ride?
So many reasons!  I make better time. It takes me 40 min on the 'L' to get to work whereas biking is about 25 for a 6 mile trip.  It's like being a kid.  I probably bike more now being a 27 year old than when I was 7.   I also feel really alive because I have to be hyper-aware to not get killed or taken out by a car door.  Being on a bike awakens my spidey-sense.
While riding I either think people are going too slow and pass their ass or that people need to chill out and just enjoy the ride.  I'm bipolar on my bike.

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?
I think bicyclists should have better etiquette and be more polite.   People on bikes know what they're doing, so cutting someone off, or going through a red light when it's a really close call would be a conscious decision, and it's a reckless one at that.  I don't think people in cars are as attentive when they're on the road.   I mean you can't get angry at the idiot,  because he has asperger's or something and that's a disease.  I would like to be the bigger person.
I also don't go on critical mass because I think people who drive just find us more obnoxious when we hold them up.  I think a major part of bike awareness is making people who don't get it, get it, and get the right message, and not think we're sweaty rogues who make them late to stuff.


  1. Classy chic. Love her style!

  2. I agree with this lady that CM sends the wrong message and that it's all about being the bigger/safer person :)

  3. love her attitude, and the helmet! i've been looking for a riding helmet like that but not sure i have the cojones to rock it!

  4. Hannah, you could totally rock that helmet!

  5. Fore more helmets see these posts: