Monday, January 31, 2011

Sherri, Franklin St and Randolph St, Chicago, IL

I ran into Sherri on her way to get cupcakes. I love how her boots and skirt give such a great pop of color.  They remind me of spring **sigh.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Diana, Huron St and Carpenter St, Chicago, IL

I stopped Diana on her way to a yoga class, and she was kind enough to let me take her picture.
Diana rides a Raleigh frame, single speed bike, built up from random parts, hand painted peruvian violet (by her) with a foam brush.
Diana Says: This bike is my love.   When I moved to Chicago, I had hybrid mountain bike that was about 6 inches too small for me.  I was a bike novice, but I knew I could bike faster than public transit (usually).   I didn't have a car so I trekked many miles on that old mountain bike.  I had no idea riding a bike could be so easy and fun until my friend's uncle built me this road bike.  

Biking winter was a challenge for me at first.  My first winter I had the mountain bike and no endurance.  My goal was a small 25% of the winter.  Last winter, with my new bike, and a lot more endurance, (and still a U-pass) my goal was 60%.  This winter my goal is 90%!   I love riding, but I don't ride when it's too dangerous.  My favorite thing is cruising past all the cars stuck in traffic!

**  Diana teaches yoga classes at Vessel Yoga,, and Corepower yoga in Bucktown  Check it out!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Saya, 2100 Block of Roscoe St, Chicago, IL

Saya rides a Locomotief Populair Linea that was a gift from her boyfriend after a trip to Amsterdam.
My mother was a non-conformist in many ways, especially when it came to material items - no microwave, answering machine, tupperware, vacuum cleaner, toaster, TV, couch, car - this last item meant I came to be known in Evanston as "the girl in the buggy," as my mother rode her bike everywhere, with a black buggy attached to the back, in which I sat, very recognizable with my uncombed biracial-afro hair and mismatched handmade clothes.  I've definitely followed in her independent, bohemian, entrepreneurial ways... she hasn't had a 9-5 job in 30+ years; an example of her unusual jobs, she used to ride us up the North Shore bicycle path to collect wildflowers which she'd then dry, press, put in frames and sell at craft fairs; I'm continuing the tradition of finding ways to make a living doing what one loves, with my Mac 'n Cheese Minglers and Fear Experiment - helping others make connections via unique and fun ways!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rachel, Wacker and State, Chicago, IL

Rachel Rides a 2008 Surly Steamroller Fixed Gear with all the fixings! Almost everything has been replaced on it, including the front wheel 4 times. It's her love!

Cycling Tip from Rachel: Spend the money on good gloves. It gets ridiculously cold in the winter and cheap gloves just won't cut it (who wants frozen fingers anyways??). Bike stores have great selections of winter gloves, like Gore and Pearl Izumi, that'll keep those hands warm 'n toasty! Try going in the spring or early fall to get discounted gear. Also, full fenders are a life saver. You can find them in different colors as well to add some fun to your bike. They help keep all the nasty road grime off of you and your bike, definitely an essential on sloppy wet days! 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Gin at Palmer and Kedzie, Chicago, IL

Gin carts her son Miguel around with her Bianchi Volpe.  Check out to see how she does it!
I used to save my Bianchi Volpe for touring and other long, fun rides. Now it is my every day bike, as most of my "touring" involves hauling over 50 pounds of Miguel and trailer around town. The bike is souped up with red fenders, and front and rear racks. I do sometimes have "4 pannier plus trailer" days. We have opted not to have a cargo bike, though, as my husband and I take turns with transporting Miguel. All too soon he will be getting around more on his own (ack!!). And, when I am cargo and trailer free,  I get to reconnect with the Volpe's quiet speed.

Year round commuting tips:
1) Embrace the learning curve. You will figure out what works for you, but it will take some trial and error. One thing that works for me:  rain pants on the messiest and coldest days. While they may not win me major style points, they help neutralize the wind and protect my "Bike Fancy" clothes within. See
2) Schedule spa days for your bike. I take mine back to Boulevard Bikes at least twice a year for some TLC. Stop by in Feb and March when the shops are slower and spring is just around the corner.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Margot, Division and Ashland, Chicago, IL

Margot rides a late 80's Peugot road bike which she has been riding since 2005. Despite the frankenstein mess of parts and upgrades, and all of the miles, she still rides like a charm.
Cycling Tip from Margot:  I gravitate towards brightly colored details on my ride, like yellow handlebar tape, because I think it makes cars see me better. Also, I'm a layering freak to beat the chill. Two pairs of tights and smartwools seem to do the trick so I can still wear a dress!

**Margot comes by her cute style honest.  Check out her design site:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Anne, N Hermitage Ave, Chicago, IL

Anne rides a Pashley Princess Sovereign with a locally made  Po Campo bag on the back. 
I had to ask Anne about her Adorable Tweed Jacket, seriously check out the pocket detail.  She said: "A friend of mine found the jacket at a thrift store and I got it through a clothing swap! Tweed is so great for riding."
Cycling Tip from Anne: I just found a great solution for keeping my feet warm - they aren't all that stylish, but I just got a pair of Neos over shoes. They fit over top of whatever shoes I'm wearing and keep my toes so warm (even with only 1 pair of Smartwool socks!). I've been really happy with them when I ride 5 miles downtown on really cold days!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Megan, Damen Ave at the Blue Line, Chicago, IL

Megan's bike is a Bianchi Volpe, in "Gang Green,"that she bought secondhand off Craigslist, and added a rack, Brooks saddle, and Chicago flag sticker.
Megan Says: The best thing about cycling is the autonomy it offers, and learning to do basic maintenance makes that even better. Visit or to find classes and open shop nights so you can fix problems for yourself.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Kara, Humboldt Park Blvd. and Armitage Ave., Chicago, IL

Kara rides a Windsor Clockwork road bike with flop+chop bullhorns.
Cycling Tip: It's hard to feel feminine in cycling gear during winter. It's all in the details! A fun scarf or a nice pair of mittens make all the difference on those bundled days.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Martha, Pierce Ave and Damen Ave, Chicago IL

Martha rides an WorkCycles Oma, first experienced in Amsterdam, purchased at Dutch Bike Chicago
 Martha Says: "Recently, I found a picture of myself from around 1982, joyfully riding my new silver Schwinn 10-speed (and wearing really, really embarrassing multicolored suspenders).  Part of my spine is fused now, so there is no way I would fit on that Schwinn, but when I am out with Oma, I get to be that girl again.  Without the suspenders."

Thanks for sharing your photo Martha.  I thinks some Chicago hipsters would like to borrow your outfit!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Amy, Honore St and Wicker Park Ave, Chicago, IL

Amy rides a Gary Fisher Simple City 3 step-through in aqua.

 Amy started biking when her and her boyfriend (now husband) would go on bike dates together. It is still their favorite way to go out.

Check out Amy's blog Two Pitties in the city 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ash, 1300 block of Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL

Ashley was photographed in front of a mural painted by Drew Griffith and Dustin Ruegger
curated by the Johalla Project

This Batavus is my  footloose and fancy-free bike. Though it maxes out at about 12MPH it is a speed machine next to my kid hauler extraordinaire, my Madsen KG271. Most of my commutes involve demands to use the potty, flailing limbs and sticky three year old fingers so getting out to ride solo on the open bike lane on my Dutch bike is a truly transcendental experience. All of life's problems melt away on two wheels."

Ash shared this photo of her with her other bike below.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Angee, 1500 Block of N. Damen Chicago, IL

I spotted Angee (hope I am spelling that right) as she rode by after our "Ladies that Bike Brunch,"
which you can read about on Dottie's blog   Lets go Ride a bike.  I love that she makes
biking winter look so effortless. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Nina, Elston and California, Chicago, IL

Nina Rides a Schwinn Traveler circa 1986, nicknamed The Little Mint Monster

I had to include this image because it reminds me of an old Atget store front photo.

Cycling Tip from Nina: Keep a close eye on your tire pressure when the temperatures are this low. It's much easier to lose air when temperatures are below freezing. And low tire pressure = flats! 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Amelia, Wellington and Lincoln, Chicago, IL

Amelia rides a Schwinn LeTour that she painted purple,  and changed out  parts on.
Cycling Tip from Amelia: don't be discouraged by the cold or snow. Get a cheap 
mountain bike and some good protection for your limbs and you're good to go! 
It can actually be more peaceful than biking in the summer if you're well prepared 
with warm clothing. 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Christy, Jackson and Clinton, Chicago, IL

Christy rides a KHS aluminum frame 8-speed for upright riding with maximum versatility and minimum weight

I ran into (okay stalked is a better term) Christy on her way to a meeting in the Sears
Tower.  Don't let the sun deceive you, it was a nippy 29˚.  I'm so glad I did, because
she is such an inspiration.  Read her story below: 

After I herniated two cervical discs in summer 2010 my physical therapist basically said
'Get a bike that puts your body upright, or never bike again.' Suffice it to say, I bought a
new bike. It was a tough transition, because I go a whole lot slower now than on my old
Bianchi hybrid, but I've come to appreciate the slow ride and the improvement in my
symptoms. For that I have to thank my KHS Cidi 8-speed, plus the guys at Boulevard 
Bikes who helped me to find exactly the right model for my riding style and recent
physical challenges.

Thanks for sharing Christy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Brittany, Lincoln and Southport, Chicago, IL

Brittany rides an ice blue Motobecane Mirage Road Bike.

Cycling Tip from Brittany:  Wear leggings - more pairs in winter, 
less in summer– they make riding more enjoyable!