Thursday, March 31, 2011

Katlin,1500 Block of Milwaukee Ave , Chicago, IL

Katlin rides a Blue Schwinn Le Tour Luxe single speed that she bought in Minneapolis four years ago.
Where are you going?
To run some shopping errands on Milwaukee, but I'm coming from lunch at Sultan's and watching a Settlers of Catan tournament

Favorite ride?
Running errands on a weekday when its sunny and I don't have to go to work! 

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?
It would be great if the city provided consistent opportunities for discussion between stakeholders representing all types of transportation in the city (cyclists, CTA drivers/conductors, taxi drivers, car owners, pedestrians, etc) to share knowledge and come together to develop solutions and educate others.

*** Thanks for the feedback Katlin.  I love your idea of a city forum to discuss transportation issues.  Check out the Active Transportation Alliance website.  They do great work advocating for cyclists, pedestrians, and public transportation.  With a new mayor entering office, its a great time to support organizations like Active Trans, that are pushing for safer and better streets and transit.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Anne, Wacker Ave, and Wabash Dr, Chicago, IL

I ran into Anne while she was biking from home to a Church service, and she said, "Why ever would you want to take my picture."   She had no idea how adorable she looked with her yellow bike.  I hope I'm still as spry as her when I'm older!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Lindsay, 1600 Block of N. Damen, Chicago, IL

Lindsay rides a Cranberry colored Schwinn Suburban she bought at a garage sale for $15.
What are you wearing? I got my super soft pink puffy coat in Malaysia this winter from Uniqlo... on sale of course because it was like 100 degrees there! My hat is from a thrift store in Tokyo and my boots are Campers from City soles, right across the street! 

Where are you going? To Lululemon for some yoga clothes (early Bday present to myself). Damn them for having so much cute stuff! 
Why ride? I ride my bike to work almost every day (not in the snow) and although I have a car, I much prefer biking. Riding makes me feel so much better.  I am always in a good mood on my bike and I love that usually I beat the traffic! 
Favorite ride? Along the lake of course, I also love the Green Bay Trail up north, and riding through Fort Sheridan down to the beach.

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? More bike lanes of course, I wish Chicago ave had a bike lane because there isn't a great path going East from Wicker Park.

*** Thanks for the tips Lindsay.  I'm definitely going to try the Green Bay, and Fort Sheridan trail this spring!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cory, Milwaukee and Western, Chicago, IL

Corey rides a Gary Fisher simple city 3 that she got at On The Route Bicycles in Lakeview.
Where are you going?  I'm 
on my way home after an (early) birthday dinner out with my husband! It is my first time on my bike since the birth of my second son in October.

Why ride?  Well, we don't have a car, so it's either ride, take the public transportation, or walk. Riding is definitely more fun than the other options, and usually faster too (though the baby's still too small for the trailer, so I'm usually on the bus right now, sigh).

What is you favorite ride?  There's a block of Blackhawk behind Jewel (between Paulina and Ashland) that rarely has cars on it (since it's a loading zone and also has partitions in the middle), so it's pretty fun to go as fast as possible for that small stretch. I have to add I miss just riding at all - I'm definitely counting down the months until my second son is big enough for the trailer. 

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?
Have wider bike lanes on shared streets or, better yet, separated bike lanes. I rode most of last summer with my son in a trailer, and when we were on busier streets, it wasn't fun to have cars crowd me with him in tow.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bike Fancy Spring Break

Bike Fancy is on Spring Break.  Please browse the archives.  There are tons of photos to look at.  Be back posting soon!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Sarah C. at Fullerton and Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

Sarah rides a Cannondale road bike.
*** Check out the trailer for Sarah's Documentary Grow

Where are you going? Heading home after some thrift shopping
What are you wearing? vintage white beret, vintage legwarmers
Why ride? more exercise, puts you more in touch with the space you're going through
Favorite ride? LSD, While riding I listen to music and try to breathe deeply to get the fresh air in my lungs
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?
Make it more clear to drivers that bikers have a right to the road and that drivers can get fined or in charged if they do not share the road properly with bicyclists.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

April, Campbell and Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

April rides a Champange colored Pugeot called Jolene
What are you wearing? I thought I looked pretty ridiculous on my way out was too warm for a jacket but cold enough for Smartwool socks and lobster-claw gloves, apparently. All my clothes are secondhand except for the Tour de Fat hat, comfy knit neckwarmer my lovely friend Julie just made me, Seagull messenger bag, and Aldo (sale shop) shoes. I'm also wearing a Major Taylor button that I made, because he was pretty much a badass. Got these pants from a West Town Bikes women's night clothing swap, by the way, and I think I found this sweatshirt on my friend Jeff's porch? I'm not usually this color-coordinated, but I ALWAYS wear my helmet while riding.

Tell me about your bike? This is Jolene, my mostly-Craigslisted, currently-mustachioed Peugeot. I believe the color would be "champagne". She's sporting a cardboard basket-stache in honor of 826CHI's annual "Mustacheathon" fundraiser. The event has been over for a few weeks now but you can still support my favorite nonprofit's excellent free writing programs for Chicago youth, and see Jolene in her fully mustached glory, at

Where are you going? Home from downtown to pick up my other bike/panniers to go grocery shopping. (the snickerdoodle cupcake in my basket isn't going to cut it)

Why ride? Well...Because it's Fun. It's Exercise. It's good for the Environment. And it's free Transportation. And if you take the first letter from each of those reasons it spells FEET, which is exactly what you use to ride your bike! (Sorry, did I mention I got paid to teach fifth graders that for two years?)

While riding you …? Stick my tongue out a lot to relieve road rage.

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? More enforced education of bike laws: I honestly wonder why there are signs for every other parking restriction but nothing telling drivers that parking in a bike lane is illegal.

*** Check out April's Homemade buttons on Etsy.  She takes custom requests at
She also has a blog: 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Megan, Milwaukee, Damen, and North, Chicago, IL

Megan rides a 1970's free spirit Step-Through.
I stopped Megan walking home with her brand new/used bicycle just in time for spring.  Happy Biking!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Thrisa, 1600 Block of Halsted, Chicago, IL

Thrisa rides a red Viscount fixed gear, which is a craigslist find.
Where are you going? To observe rehearsal at Steppenwolf.
While riding you …? check out other bikers.  I swear one of these days I am going to be injured, not from a car, but from me checking out a cute bike boy :)
Favorite ride? North Channel Bike Trail along the river.  I also love riding North on Damen from Belmont.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jennifer and Family, Cortland St and Paulina St, Chicago, IL

Jennifer rides a Bakfiets Cargo bike when she riding her kids around.

*** Check out Jennifer's blog for great information on family riding.

Why do you choose to bike around with three kids?
When my oldest son figured out how to ride on two wheels it was almost instantaneous. After using a balance bike for a month he jumped on a friend's bike and tore away. He had this amazing look of total freedom in his eyes as he burst ahead and rode off. I ride, even though I have to take my kids everywhere, because that’s how I still feel when I’m on my bike.
Staying on two wheels with kids takes a little creative thinking in the city, but it’s easier than you might think, and lots of fun. It can be tricky with more than one child, but it works, and they mostly love it. Other family riders in Chicago I know are like me - they use quieter streets and routes to make their way around. You don’t need a fancy bike. For a smaller child and little bigger one try an old tandem from one of the used bike places like The Recyclery or Working Bikes with a child seat. When people who see us, ask about riding together with kids, I say "give it a try, and take it a little at a time, find ways to get where you go the most the most comfortable way."  It takes a little experimenting.
What would improve cycling in Chicago? 
I’m totally excited about cycletracks coming to Chicago. Cycletracks are paths for bicycles separated from other traffic- cars! The city will be testing a track out on Stony Island but I think we need more. Imagine having cycletracks in the center of the city and through the neighborhoods keyed to how each different community most uses shopping, libraries, parks and schools. Could we could get everyone from 8-80 out on a bike? Yeah-scrawny kids and old ladies want to ride too. 

Favorite ride?
In Chicago, my favorite morning ride takes us over the river, near the lake, under the skyscrapers, and then home. I always love to ride to a delicious coffee shop, but the kids' favorite ride is one that includes spotting a Rat Patrol bike!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sarah, Willow and Halsted, Chicago, IL

Sarah rides IRO Phoenix three speed with parts from Ciclo Urbano on Division. 

Sarah is wearing a Faux Leather jacket from Forever 21, a Sparkle and Fade sweater tunic and Mission Workshop backpack.

Where are you headed?  I'm meeting a friend for lunch.
Why Ride?  It saves money, time, and is simply better than public transportation and a car. why not ride?
What is your favorite ride?  Every ride is enjoyable, except when the weather is cold and rainy.
While riding you?  I try to avoid impatient drivers . . . and nasty potholes. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

Erin, Lyndale and Kedzie, Chicago, IL

Erin rides a Surly Steamroller that she bought from Kevin at Boulevard Bikes.
While riding you...? like to brainstorm any problems that need serious thinking, and remind myself that it is a beautiful day.

Tell me about your bike:  My Bike has been transformed from a lightning fast track bike to a internal-hub three speed momma bike with new handlebars for pregnant riding and towing a trailer around town.  I would have just switched to a commuter, but I love how huge the frame is!  I can still go fast when I take the baby seat off.  The one thing I don't like is the color and the decals, they look like they were drawn on by a kindergartner.  

How did you get into cycling in Chicago?  My introduction to the Chicago cycling scene was at the Headless Horseman Alleycat race.  My husband and I had just moved up from New Orleans, and had no friends here, so we entered the the race with totally crazy skeleton costumes for both of us.  The costumes were pretty amazing, and we split the prize for best costume with Alexis and her riding partner for the day, Morgan.  The co-winners invited us out for tacos, and we became fast friends after that! 

***  Check out Erin's  clothing line Kozy Prery, for cute and functional hats,  neckwarmers, and much more.  

Erin is wearing a Four Square jacket, Seven Jeans, a cap and neckwarmer from her clothing line Kozy Prery, and Earth vegan boots.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Pamela, Damen and Division, Chicago, IL

Pink Electra Townie that she got deeply discounted at R.E.I two years ago
Where are you going?  Well, you caught me parking in front of a bank, a liquor store, a sex shop, and a taco joint...wherever I'm headed, I must be up to something good.

Why ride?
Why not ride? I haven't owned a car in 16 years and I'm hoping to keep it that way. And you wouldn't believe how much a pink bike makes people smile.

Favorite Ride? Definitely Milwaukee Ave during morning rush. Sometimes there's more bikes than cars!

While riding you?
Wonder if I want a faster least in the winter I do. In the summer I revel in this smooth, laid back ride.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Lynne, W. Polk St. and S. Loomis St, Chicago, IL

Lynne rides a 1960, Made-in-Chicago, Schwinn cruiser, in “Racer” blue, that she got from  Working Bikes Cooperative – it's great source for vintage, sturdy, affordable bicycles.
 Where are you going?  Riding home from Hubbard Street Dance School’s bi-annual open house of free intro classes.  I took a Pilates class and the Isadora Duncan Dance technique class.  I learned she is the “mother of modern dance,” who incorporated self expression beyond traditional ballet in the early 1900s.
Why ride?  For sustainable and efficient transportation and parking, exercise and empowerment.  I don’t mind riding in the winter as long as I’m dressed for it and can avoid ice.
Favorite ride?  Riding on the ancient wall surrounding Xi’an, China, (home of the terracotta warriors.)  Possibly the only city in China still completely surrounded by a wall.

*** Biking in Xi'an China looks amazing.  As if I didn't have the travel bug bad already.  Thanks for sharing Lynne.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lulu, 18th and May, Chicago, IL

Lulu rides a Bronze Schwinn Sprint, that she bought cheap off a pal who was moving to Miami
Where are you going? I'm heading to work.  I bike around 15 miles most days since I work in Wicker Park, live in Pilsen, and my boyfriend lives in Garfield Park (hopefully i don't break a leg anytime soon)
Why ride? It's the best! It's free, it's good for you, and it's good for the environment! And it's fun! 
Favorite ride? I love my long-ish work forces me to ride a bunch every day...I also love streets with bike lanes :)
*** Lulu's plays keys in the band Backs and has solo project Gel Set.