Friday, September 30, 2011

Allison, W Cornelia Ave & N Hoyne Ave, Chicago, IL

Where are you going?? I am headed home. Tell me more about your bike and where you got it?  I ride a Trek 7500 Dark Green & Silver w/leather finishes on handle bars & seat; Village Cycle Center on Wells.
What are you wearing?  I'm wearing two old sweaters that for some reason stay in my closet year after year; Tunic from Target w/t-shirt underneath; La Canadienne Boots that I live in.
Why ride?  Even though my car is a hybrid, I love the true eco-friendly & economical approach to riding my bike. I love the idea that my foot print (or should I say my tire track) is much smaller when I set out on a ride. If only all of us could ride a bike, one day a year, I can only imagine the environmental impact that could make . . . I can dream . . .
 Favorite ride?  My favorite ride is any ride ~ but if I have to pick a favorite, I’d have to say the bike ride I took last year while I was in St. George UT. It was an early morning ride through the Santa Clara River Valley & it was AMAZING! The weather was perfect & the scenery was gorgeous. The first hill I went down was scary as we were probably going about 30 – 40 mph, but after I got my bearings, it was awesome. Of course, climbing the hill was another story!
While riding?...  Smile!!!
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  Chicago has to create a bike infrastructure first, then we can talk about how to improve it . . .

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mia, 1900 block of W Division St, Chicago, IL

Mia rides a Bianchi Pista Via Brera in cream from Boulevard Bikes

Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it? My Bike is a Bianchi/ Pista via brera in cream. I bought it this past spring at Boulevard Bikes in Logan Square. I walked in there looking for a basket and came out with a new bike. the guys there are super friendly and are really good sellers!
What are you wearing? I'm wearing a necklace by Pound Jewelry, coat from Zara, sweatshirt from Target, leggings, and Steve Madden flats.
Where are you going?  I am on my way to get smoothies with the singer from Frances with Wolves, a band i like from St. Louis.
Why ride? Riding puts a smile on my face, its environmentally friendly, and its a good way to explore the city. Not to mention my bike is fucking awesome!
Favorite ride? My favorite ride consists of moonlight, freshly paved road, laughter, and good company (usually my boyfriend, unless if he is yelling at a driver for something I did not see).
While riding you …? While riding I find inspiration from the people and things I see for my art and films.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? more bike lanes and mutual respect for all of those who are commuting would be a good start.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Mandy, N Damen Ave & W Cornelia Ave, Chicago, IL

Mandy rides a green Trek 720

Tell me more about you bike, and where you got it? My bike is a green Trek, model 720. It was actually a gift from my parents when I was about 10 years old. Our family spent a lot of summers riding on Bike Across Kansas (BAK), and I've been riding the same bike since!
Where are you going?
I'm going to work - helping clean/set up for a new Italian restaurant opening in Wicker Park this month.
Why ride? 
I've discovered that riding my bike is the most convenient, economical and efficient way to get around Chicago.  Also makes me feel good inside that it's environmentally friendly and gives me some exercise.
Favorite ride?
Favorite ride...would probably be anytime I get to ride along Lakeshore.
While riding you …? 
While riding I listen to music and have a dance party in my head.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? 
Chicago feels very bike friendly to me, but one improvement I'd be happy to see is some sort of reminder (signs, perhaps?) for drivers to look behind them carefully before opening car doors into a bike lane (or anywhere, for that matter). I've seen/experienced a couple close calls!

Friday, September 23, 2011

N Wells St & W Goethe St, Chicago, IL

This rider prefers to remain anonymous, but she wanted to say that she loves all of the new divided bike lanes in Chicago.
*** On a side note, after nearly a lifetime in Chicago, I learned that this street Goethe is pronounced "Geerta," really!  I guess when you name a street after a person you kind of have to pronounce it right.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Annie, W North Ave & N Leavitt St, Chicago, IL

Annie rides a Specialized Globe Carmel all white from Kozy's

Tell me more about you bike, and where you got it? I ride a Specialized Globe Carmel all white w/ black fenders-  bought 3 years ago at Kozy's (her name is Audrey)
Where are you going? Commuting home, but I stopped at Goddess and Grocer for dinner so I can catch the season premier of Glee (yep)
What are you wearing? Loft button down, BCBG skirt and Fluevog's
Why ride? First, I don't own a car, so biking makes getting around cheaper, easier and frankly, faster. Plus, I always see things that I wouldn't if I were taking mass transit
Favorite ride? I did a Frank Lloyd Wright bike tour through the suburbs a few years back and it was great to see all of those amazing homes, but for the city, any route on the boulevards is a great one.
While riding you …? hmm, usually I am singing songs in my head, but mostly I am thankful to not be on the bus.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? Infrastructure, fill potholes.. easy.
In terms of culture - I think better signage would be a great start and not your typical signs, but something more witty, like "We have to share the road, lets' respect each other" or signs that read "before opening your door, check for bikers" 
I wish bikers would stop hating on drivers and vice versa. Honestly, I really wish bikers would take it easy, slow down, stop racing each other (no one is in that much of a hurry) and stop yelling at drivers, those bikers give all of us a bad name.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kaye, W Armitage Ave & North Point St, Chicago, IL

Kaye rides a Schwinn step-through from craigslist

What are you wearing? Teal dress from Target, sweater and belt from sweater swap with girlfriends, Tom's gray slip-ons, and of course my trusty gray helmet, I never bike without it! 
Where are you going? I've just reached my destination of Twisted Scissors to get my haircut by the fabulous Jamie! 
Why ride? Bike riding gives you the flexibility to go anywhere in the city and to do so in a very environmentally friendly way. I do not own a car so bike riding is my main mode of transportation.  I also feel like you get to experience the city in a whole new way. 
What is your favorite ride? My favorite ride this summer was with a group of great friends on a Bakery Bike Crawl.  Basically we get a route and map and stop at bakeries along the way.  This summer we went from Logan to Evanston up the North Shore Channel Trail My favorite ride ever was riding along the streets of Amsterdam- such a bike friendly city! 
While riding you...? Have a lot of time to think if the traffic is slow.  If it's busy I am constantly on the defensive, another reason to always wear a helmet. 
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? I think continuing to educate the public that bikes are a great way to get around the city and also that we have a right to be on the road.  Chicago is a very bike friendly city, but creating more bike lanes and filling in pot holes would be appreciated.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sara, W Lake St & N Canal St, Chicago, IL

Sara rides a dark gray Fuji road bike.

Where are you going?  On my way home from work...this is my daily commute route.  
Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it?  It's an old Fuji bike in dark gray.  I got it second-hand from an ad in The Reader about 7 years ago for $50 bucks.  
What are you wearing?  Long sweater made of bamboo material from a yoga studio (and yes! I am wearing shorts), knee-high socks I got for $3 from JCrew.
Why ride?  Besides being green, it keeps me feeling healthy and active.  It puts me in a great mood before I arrive at the office, and by the time I get home I feel refreshed.  It's the best way to get to work.
Favorite ride?  Critical Mass' Halloween Ride, because I get to be creative with my bike, check out all kinds of interesting costumes, and cheer at the top of my lungs.  
While riding you …?  Think about the future...and watch out for cars!
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  Put the bike lane between the sidewalk and parked cars.  This creates a better buffer, and the bike lane is no longer an option for cars to drive on.  Finish the Bloomingdale Trail project!
Any shout outs of something you want to add?  Read this interesting article about bike safety in a recent issue of The Economist magazine (  Hope to see you all at the Critical Mass Halloween Bike (especially, Katie-bear, Schicky, Toril, Ju-Ju, and Asta)!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Beth, 2600 Block of N Halsted, Chicago ,IL

Beth rides a Red Electra Amsterdam 3i with Alexander Girard "Madonna" graphics
Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it? My bike is a Red Electra Amsterdam 3i with Alexander Girard "Madonna" graphics. I bought it on a business trip to southern California, and my boss and co-worker helped me drag it home on the plane.
Where are you going? I'm headed to a thrift shop in Uptown where my friend Kelly tipped me off to a fresh crop of vintage dresses.

What are you wearing? I'm wearing a well-loved reversible skirt from the Gap and Dansko sandals. Many of my tattoos are by Harlan Thompson of Pioneer Tattoo, Chicago.
Why ride? In addition to being faster, cheaper, good for your health, and great for the environment, I ride because it always puts me in a good mood. I'm never sad on my bike.
Favorite ride? On my way to work: 6:30am on the lakefront path, just after the grass has been cut. The sun is rising and all sorts of little critters and birds are starting to wake up. It's a magical place at that hour.
While riding you …? Smile. Always. There's so much aggression on the road. Be the exception.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? Support for cycling needs to come from the leaders in our community. If the mayor, our aldermen, the police force, etc. show support for biking, then the community will view riding a bike as a safe and reliable mode of transportation. This will result in more people riding bikes and more awareness from drivers and pedestrians sharing the roads.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Dana, W Armitage Ave & N Whipple St, Chicago, IL

Dana rides a red Schwinn Traveler III that she got a Working Bikes.

Tell me more about your bike and, and where you got it? I ride a red Schwinn Traveler III, it took a while to find a step-through that was tall enough for me. I got it at Working Bikes 7 or 8 years ago, and last year I had it rebuilt by the folks at the great bike shop on my corner, Smart Bike Parts.
Where are you going?  I'm going home.  My friend Emily and I just had dinner at Irazu, and we're on our way back to my apartment to finish our bottle of wine on the porch.

What are you wearing? I'm wearing J. Crew sundress and a pair of Danskos they don't make anymore. After I wore my first pair out, I tracked them down from some wholesale/overstock website.  And a helmet!
Why ride?  Riding a bike is one of life's simple but great pleasures.  And there's the added bonus that it's the easiest, fastest, most cost-effective way to get around.
Favorite ride?  Late at night or early in the morning, any route is a hundred times better when there's no traffic.  I have a soft spot for Grand west of Western, and I love winding through the side streets in Bucktown or Ravenswood Manor on a summer night. 
While riding you …?  Try to keep an eye on the parked cars.  I have no faith that drivers will look before they open their doors.  And the way you have to navigate traffic on a bike makes me feel like I'm playing a video game, except I'm the character in it.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? Can it be done?  There needs to be an attitude shift, more awareness of and respect for cyclists, and less cars.  Biking is the best way to get around, but it's not the safest.  Infrastructure-wise, the protected bike lane on Kinzie has made my morning commute so much better.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Cara, 1800 Block of N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL

Cara rides a Rivendell Betty Foy, built up by Roscoe Village Bikes

What are you wearing? A comfy jersey dress that I've had for years (perfect for riding), and Palladium mary janes
Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it? I ride a Rivendell Betty Foy, built up by Roscoe Village Bikes. I wanted a beautiful, girly bike that would be big enough for my 6' frame, and Betty is perfect.  
Where are you going? Heading home from work.
Why ride? It's energizing, exhilarating, and satisfying. I also love that I can experience the city in a different way than in a car or on foot.
Favorite ride? Anywhere through the city at night; I particularly like riding on Ravenswood. 
While riding you …? When I'm not being hyper-vigilant about traffic or erratic pedestrians, I let my mind wander and relish the fresh air. 
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? More cycling police officers.
I really appreciate seeing cops on bikes in Chicago; not only does it make the cops more sympathetic to the plight of city cyclists, but I think it also makes drivers more cautious and aware (because no one wants to side-swipe or door a cop).  

*** When I stopped Cara she said it was her week to meet Chicago bike bloggers. Earlier in the week she had run into Dottie from Let's Go Ride a Bike.  They both ride Betty Foys!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jamie, W Adams St & S Wells St, Chicago, IL

Jamie rides a purple vintage Schwinn step-through that is currently for sale. 

Make/model color of your bike, and where you got it? It's an amazing vintage Schwinn. I bought it in Minneapolis right before I moved to Chicago. It's for sale!
Where are you going? Heading home from work.
What are you wearing? Pants from White House/Black Market, shirt from Express, and the yellow bag is from Zia in Little Italy.
Why ride? It's 10x faster than walking!
Favorite ride? Anything in the early morning.
While riding you …? I'm still learning my way around Chicago, so usually I stay pretty focused on making it to my destination without getting run over and avoiding biking onto the freeway.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  The atmosphere for biking is pretty good here compared to places that I've lived before. I've never been able to bike this much and in such good company.