Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cindy, 1500 Block of N Leavitt, Chicago, IL

Cindy rides a Bridgestone from Japan that she got at Working Bikes.

Where are you going? I am going home.
Why ride? Mostly it's fun, but it's also so much faster than the CTA.

What are you wearing? A Free People dress I bought at Buffalo Exchange
Favorite ride? My fave rides are those after a nice time out with friends, where we're taking up a whole lane, riding slowly. Oh, and when it's warm. 
While riding you …? Daydream.

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? A public bike sharing system would be ideal. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Emily, 1900 Block of N Whipple St, Chicago, IL

Emily rides a Sekine road bike.

Where are you going? I'm going to my friends Dana's house for more wine after dinner.
Tell me more about your bike and where you got it? My off-white 30+ year old Sekine is a craigslist find from a nice guy in Oak Park. It weighs a ton but we've been through a lot together.
What are you wearing? A linen summer dress, Saltwater sandals (best for biking) and my Giro "skyla" helmet. 
Why ride? To get some fresh air, it's faster and more fun than the CTA.
Favorite ride? In Chicago, riding along Logan Boulevard in the mornings makes my day. Though I also love riding through Finkle and Sons, Kinzie/Fulton industrial area and all of Minneapolis is a biker's dream.    
While riding you …? When I'm not commuting, I love to explore and look at all the great buildings in this city. I could ride down Milwaukee avenue a million times and still find something new. 
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? I wish there was greater concern for bicycle safety. The city excels at ticketing drivers for red light and parking violations, but where are the cops in the along commuter routes?  And there is so much animosity between bicyclists and drivers (both perspectives I understand as everyone just wants to get home) but there is no contest! Two ton machine versus little ol' me! 

Friday, August 26, 2011

Megan, W Armitage & N Stave Ave, Chicago, IL

Megan rides a found and fixed Schwinn World Tourist
Where are you going? I am
headed home from work
Why ride? 
I couldn't afford to keep getting my boots re-soled from walking to
and from work, so I started riding a bike.  And it's better than

What are you wearing?  thrift store shoes, a skirt I got at a flea market in Paris about 5
years ago and a black t-shirt

Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it?  My bike
is a Schwinn World Tourist, faded blue, which I found out of the back of a friends house. It was abandoned with no seat, so I got it fixed up.
Favorite ride?  Any one I make it home alive from. 
While riding you...?  ... pedal?
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  Chicago would be more bike friendly if the bike lanes weren't also the
"pot-hole and broken glass" lanes.  Less pot-holes please!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

May, W Armitage Ave & N Stave St, Chicago, IL

May rides a fixed gear Nishiki rebuild. 

Where are you going?  I am meeting a few friends for dinner at 90 miles Cuban Cafe.  My friend Deren just got back from a research excursion in China all summer so it is kinda like a "Welcome Home" dinner. 

What are you wearing?  The shirt is from Buffalo Exchange in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  My bud is the manager there so she sends me all the good stuff.  I actually got the black jeans in San Fran and the shoes are from London.  Holy smokes, a pretty worldly outfit I guess.  I didn't even realize. Oh, and the belt, which I love, is from Family Discount Thrift Store right around the corner on Milwaukee. 

Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it?
Well, her name is Daffodil.  Daf for short.  It's a Nishiki frame.  She was sand blast and powder coded kinda a John Deere green.  I actually got her on Craig's List complete with the beautiful yellow wheels and yellow grip tape.  I just added on my old Brooks saddle and some new tires and waaah laaa.   The frame is a bit big for me, but I like it.  She's mine.

Why ride?
The freedom, the wind in your air (I just cut all mine off last week so maybe not so much anymore) , kicking cars and buses butts getting home in evening traffic, $4.19 gas prices, it's good for the body and soul, lots of time to think, you get to actually feel and experience the change in weather, the reasons are endless.  It's addicting.

Favorite ride?
My 6:15  am ride to work. It wakes me up and gets me ready for the day.  I also really like the ride up to the Chicago Botanical Gardens. 

While riding you …?
I sing Disney songs, most of the time out loud, sometimes just to myself.  I have been on a big Aladdin kick the last few days.

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?
I actually got pulled over on my way to work at the end of last school year (I am a teacher) for jumping the gun on a stale red light right before it turned green.  Not three minutes before, I was honked at by a driver that was behind me and couldn't get over and was upset because I apparently wasn't going fast enough.  It made me really think about how Chicago bike culture is in this strange limbo.  All the people in cars complain about bikers not following the rules, but then they give them no respect on the road.  In order for Chicago to become more bike friendly bikers need to follow the laws IN RETURN for cars making room for bikers on the road (that also means they need to watch where they open their doors).  I know I would be more apt to always follow bike laws if cars were less aggressive toward me.  Obviously, more bike lanes would be amazing as well. 

ALSO, I think the biggest thing, is just getting more bikers on the road.  If this is done, inherently bike infrastructure would (hopefully) improve.  I think there should be a big push in bike education in schools; with a focus on free or reduced lunch schools.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sherry, W Taylor St & S Loomis St, Chicago, IL

Sherry rides a a maroon Schwinn 1980 World Tourist from Working Bikes.

Where are you going? Heading towards the Roosevelt branch of the Chicago Public Library to pick up some books and then to Mario's for some watermelon Italian ice! 
What are you wearing? I got this blouse, skirt and shoes from the Village Discount Outlet. 
Why ride? For the independence and the freedom of being able to go anywhere at any time.
Favorite ride? Riding along a river in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, and seeing wild horses, sheep and birds with a dear one.
While riding you …? Listen to music, sing when no one's watching, and enjoy the sights and sensations of the city and weather.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  It can reduce the amount of potholes on the streets and increase the number of bike pathways. Air pump stations for tires would be a nice addition.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nicole, W Division and N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL

Nicole rides a teal 1965 Murray Jetfire

Where are you going?
I am  on my way home to bbq with my in-laws, after stopping by The Butcher and Larder for some of their homemade sausage!

What are you wearing?
My summer uniform (cotton skirt or dress), Bensimon shoes (great for biking - so grippy and no laces) and my Sawako Furuno helmet.

Make/model color of your bike, and where you got it?
"Jetty" is a 1965 Murray Jetfire obtained from Craigslist. She was a little beat up when I bought her, but I was instantly attracted to the petite teal frame with white lightning bolts. My husband rebuilt the wheels, and we added the white cruiser seat, white chain, and white basket. She's heavy, but I love her anyhow. 

Why ride?
Because it's fun. What's better than a leisurely weekend ride to deliver a basket full of cookies to friends? 

Favorite ride?
Any freshly paved road, the Boulevards through Logan Square & Humboldt Park, and the West Loop at night when no one is around.

While riding you …?
I'm totally on the defensive, but I will let my mind wander to thoughts of pastries or home remodeling when traffic is calm.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?
I think dialogue and community action is vital. I love that there's so much cycle-friendly energy from city government right now, but I feel the key to continuing and building upon that momentum is engaging cyclists, pedestrians and even drivers in the creation of that infrastructure (WE ARE the city). I'm involved in Bike/Walk35 - a committee trying to improve pedestrian and cycling safety in the 35th Ward. We're working as a group to come up with some ideas, but also reaching out to the community at large to find good solutions for improving our local "active transportation" environment. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kathi, Art Institure South Garden, Chicago, IL

Tell me about your bike, and where you got it?  My bike is a RED (favorite color!!) and black TREK 4100. It was a gift from my father for my birthday about 6 years ago.

Where are you going?  You caught me riding from lunch with a friend in the Art Institute south gardens back to work at Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts.
What are you wearing?  I'm wearing a long skirt and summer top, with bike helmet and Nike sandals.The skirt is easy to bike in if you clip it up with some binder clips!

Why ride?   Bike riding in the city is quick and direct. And I get to spend more time outside, in the park having lunch!

Favorite ride?  My favorite ride in the city is along the lakefront, to and from work. Second favorite is riding to visit friends in my neighborhood in the evenings.

While riding you …?  I find when I ride I daydream about people, places, situations... I often come up with solutions to problems while on a bike ride.

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make the city more bike friendly?  improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?
Mark the lakefront paths for BIKES/SKATERS and PEDESTRIANS. Many pedestrians don't use the nicer paths designed just for them. For some reason they continue walking on the bike sections, even though it's hard for them to walk when people on wheels are whizzing by. I think it's because they are not aware the pedestrian paths are often nicer for strolling, and they are located ONLY about 16 feet east of the bike path, closer to the water.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pisey, W Huron St & N Wells St, Chicago, IL

Pisey rides a1979 Chicago-built Schwinn Collegiate Sport that she got from Mike’s Bikes of Oak Park

Where are you going? I'm going to the post office to send my sister a care package, that's the shoe box I'm carrying in my basket!
Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it. My bike is a 1979 Chicago-built Schwinn Collegiate Sport.  I got her from Mike’s Bikes of Oak Park.  He's a little under the radar but has been collecting, reconditioning, and competing Schwinns for decades.  Not only was he extremely nice and helpful, he was also very passionate about his bikes - you don't meet people like him often these days!  I highly recommend his bikes, you can find him at 708-522-9208.
Why ride? it makes me feel like the best kind of bitch.
Favorite ride?  I love riding along the lakefront, especially the southern part near the planetarium and museums; its not crowded and the view from there is surprisingly tremendous every time.
While riding you …?  Smile, wink, blow kisses, pop wheelies, ring my bell, hike up my skirt.
What are you wearing? I'm wearing my favorite shirt, a skirt that shows just more than enough thigh, gold jewelry, and Chanel perfume.  Bag is vintage Fendi. I'm embarrassed you caught me in flats.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? My only gripe is that drivers are not more cognizant of bikers, other than that, I think Chicago is relatively bike friendly for such a big city.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

First Time Stitches

Yesterday, in a weird twist of fate, I almost got run over by a car and ended up with stitches after impaling myself on a part of my bike (the fenders?) .  I was just sitting at a fresh red light when a car came careening straight towards me through the red light.  To avoid a collision, I threw myself (with my bike) to the left.  Sheer adrenaline kicked in and after the narrow miss I realized I had impaled my leg on my bike down to the bone, yech. I'm doing fine, and only needed five stitches, but so far I think August should be National Bicycle Crash Awareness month.

Don't want to be a downer, so I promise no more graphic injury photos after this ; )   I have lots more Bike Fancy photos waiting in the wings.

*** Northwestern Urgent care center is the BEST.  In and out in about an hour, and all the doctors are dreamboats. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Regina Update

I got some terrible news last night.  Gina, who's photo I posted yesterday was hit by a car last night on the northside of Chicago.  It was a pretty major accident and she was hospitalized. I have very little details but just wanted to send some well wishes her way.  Get well soon Gina.

Gina's accident really has made me reevaluate my blog.  The main reason I started this blog was to raise the visibility of female commuter cyclists inspired by this Scientific American Article.  
The Chicago Tribune also recently wrote about the same topic saying that women are the "indicator species" in urban cycling. As a population, women are more risk adverse, and they cycle more when they feel safe.  When I hear about friends and acquaintances getting hit by cars, I realize that Chicago still has a LONG way to go to make cycling safe for everyone.  The truth is that it can be very dangerous.  I've been doored, clipped, and ended up on the hood of the car, and it is terrifying.  To anyone that has been hit, Active Trans offers crash support Take care and be safe out there!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Regina, S Halsted St & W 21st Pl, Chicago, IL

Regina rides a rebuilt Dawes from the 80's.  The frame is from Working Bikes.

I photographed Gina for a story about her and her friend Keri’s cocktail blog Through the Liquor Glass.    Of course when I found out she rode her bike to the photo shoot, I just had to take a Bike Fancy picture.
Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it. My bike is a Dawes possibly from the 1980's. The frame is from
Working Bikes. A friend and I fixed it up last Summer with new components.
Where are you going? To work, in the Gold Coast.

What are you wearing? Worishofer sandals, Carin Wester dress from Urban and a fair trade bag from Ecuador
Why ride? It's the only thing I've done consistently in terms of transportation and exercise for the last seven years. Even in the dead of Winter, I'd rather ride.
Favorite ride? Diagonal streets and those with more room
While riding you …? Try to be courteous. There is a natural animosity between cars and bikes so this is not always possible. A certain amount of aggressiveness is innate in sharing the road.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? Chicago's a great city to ride because it's flat and easy to navigate. Driver acceptance of bikes on the road is key. Cars: don't get frustrated if a bike momentarily slows you down and stay off your cell phone. Bikers: anticipate, take out the head phones and wear a helmet:)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Green Bike, N Oakley Ave & W Lyndale St, Chicago, IL

On occasion, I take someone's email to interview then, and loose it.  Dang.  That is the case with this nice gal.  I don't remember her name, or email, but I DO know that this was her first time back on a bike since grade school.  She was still a bit spooked by heavy traffic streets, but was having a great time riding around the city.