Friday, December 2, 2011

Kelly, W Chicago Ave & N Wells St, Chicago, IL

Kelly rides a vintage Motobécane Mirage single speed road bike named Bucky

What are you wearing? Boots are from a thrift store in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Dickies Girl Jeans are band swag passed on by my musician coworker (thanks Alison!) My helmet is from Working Bikes, glasses from D/Vision. The bag is from LL Bean, a gift from my dad given with bike use in mind.
Tell me more about your bike and where you got it? 
My bike's name is Bucky, because when I got it I had previously owned a cruiser, and getting on a road bike felt a little like riding a spirited colt after a complacent trail horse. It's a silver single speed road bike I found on craigslist. The frame is vintage Motobécane Mirage, but the handlebars, wheels, and seat are's kind of a Frankenbike.
Where are you going? Home to Ukrainian Village. I just finished shopping and have a bagful of wine & groceries!
Why ride? It's often the best way to get anywhere in this city. Plus I really enjoy it, and love the perspective from a bike.
Favorite ride? Grand Avenue. It runs through some really diverse chunks of the city, and there are long, uninterrupted stretches the further west you go. It's also wider & less congested than some of the other main roads.
While riding you …? Alternate between daydreaming and paying serious attention.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? More protected bike lanes like the new one on Kinzie would be nice. That demonstrates a real dedication to safer conditions for cyclists, and a validation of our presence on the roads. I think Chicago is generally a comfortable place to ride, though.

*** Look who else rides a vintage Motobécane Mirage!


  1. With some notable exceptions (like certain Chicago made Schwinns) most bikes are "Frankenbikes" brand new in the box.

    Many bikes even come with what are called "demo" parts. Parts of the lowest possible quality to take a "demo ride" on, intended to be disposed of by the owner in favor of their choice of higher quality stuff (particularly saddles and pedals).

    Motobecane only made the frames, then assembled purchased parts onto them, just like anyone else can. Except to a collector any part that fits is just as "proper" as any other and the original parts were selected purely on economic and marketing grounds.

    Nowadays most bike "makers" don't even make the frames, or even the logos (there are specialist firms just for that now)

    Think of your bike as "customized," it's not only more accurate, but pseudo-classier.