Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mary Clare, W Division St & N Damen Ave, Chicago, IL

Mary Clare rides a Miyata Three Ten road bike

Where are you going?
Riding home from Myopic bookstore

Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it?
Miyata Three Ten, I bought it off one of my old roommates, it was too short for him.  

What are you wearing?  I got my bag about 7 years ago from this place in Philly called Reload bags.  the scarf is from my friend who got it from the salvation army on Devon. It's pretty handy for drying off my seat after its been sitting out. BDG Jeans, T-shirt, Jacket, Frye Boots, and, most importantly, Smart Wool socks and my Triple Eight Helmet.
Why ride?
Even on these rainy days, still faster than walkin.
Favorite ride?
I really like this protected bike lane business on Kinzie, so I'd say my ride to work.
While riding you …?
Catch flies. I really have to stop riding with my mouth agape...
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?
It'd be nice if everyone wasn't so angry all the time.

***Just had to share the rad vintage photo of Mary Clare's bike.  Looks almost identical to hers:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sophia, S Racine Ave & W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL

Sophia rides a Schwinn step-through that she got at Play it Again Sports.

Where are you headed?  I am going to ballet class at Lou Conte Dance Studio.
Tell me more about your bike and where you got it: My bikes is a Schwinn step-through, bought at Play it Again Sports
What are you wearing?  I am wearing leggings, Ugg boots, cotton sweater, Winter coat
Why Ride?  I love the peace and exercise of riding my bike, I avoid traffic jams, and get a good workout. I picked up the habit living in Berlin, Germany where everyone bikes year round!
Favorite ride?  My favorite ride is to and from classes and appointments, also along Lakeshore bike trail
While riding?  I listen to music while riding
How can Chicago improve Bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  More bike lanes!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Clare, W Randolph St & N Wells St, Chicago, IL

Clare rides a burgundy Bianchi "Super" road bike.

Where are you going?
To the Goodwill in the West Loop after my dentist appointment.  Trying to offset the pain of dental picks with (hopefully) some sweet finds.

Make/model color of your bike, and where you got it?

It's a burgundy Bianchi "Super" from what I assume is the 70's.  I found it at a garage sale a few years ago and upgraded the wheels (hand-built Phil Woods-DT Swiss-gold Velocity Aeroheads) and added a Brooks B72 and Soma Sparrow bars.  It's my favorite bike ever.

What are you wearing?
Thrifted Joe's Jeans, awesome Nau winter jacket, RavX biking gloves, Linus bag/pannier, sweet new Onitsuka Tigers, scarf I bought in Thailand last year.

Why ride?
It's hands down the best way to get anywhere in the city!  Way faster and cheaper than any other form of transit.  And, as I've heard: biking in the Winter is one of the things that makes Chicago's Winter bearable.  Amen.

Favorite ride?

Bronzeville.  All of the old mansions are amazing, and I like to imagine which one I'd buy and fix up, if I had a spare million.

While riding you …?
Listen to my iPod.  It adds a soundtrack to my regular commute, and often gives me a beat to ride to.  That said, it's never so loud that I can't hear what's happening around me, so don't worry.

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?
I think that the new bike lanes are a step in the right direction.  Any added infrastructure or legality that's pro-biking helps to add more bikers.  And more bikers makes Chicago a better city to ride in.  I have yet to ride anywhere in the US with a better bike culture (yes, I'm biased).

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Martha, N Leavitt St & W Ferdinand St, Chicago, IL

Photo: Andrea Bauer
Fresh from Asia, where folks carry all sorts, of crazy, things on their bikes, I've been feeling a little more daring with what I will strap on to my bike.  I've been saving up for a new ride cymbal, found myself up by Guitar Center after work, and had to check out their cymbal selection.  Of course, I fell in love with the new AAX Sabian Memphis ride cymbal, and had to get it right then and there.  Bull horn handlebars have some unexpected perks– like enough width to carry a dozen Doughnut Vault doughnuts, or a 21 inch ride cymbal, and after a some jerry-rigging, the Memphis ride was not-so-securely attached to my bike.  It was slow ride home, and I got more than a few chuckles from my fellow cyclists, but rider and cymbal made it home safe.

*** On that note, I am asking for photo submissions!  I'd love to see all of the crazy shit other people carry on their bikes.  So please send me your photos to, and they just might get posted.  Of course, I will be stalking the bike lanes as well. 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Jana, N Milwaukee Ave & N Damen Ave , Chicago, IL

Jana rides a Motobecane Grand Touring road bike from Working bikes

A love letter to Working Bikes
Dear Working Bikes,
     I have been photographing cyclists in Chicago for about 1 year now, and I am constantly amazed at how many people you provide bikes to, and how many bikes you are able to save from the waste stream.  I've see your sticker on bikes from Rogers Park, to Pullman, to Hermosa, and everywhere in between.  The fact that you can do that AND send bikes to Africa is truly astounding. Thanks for providing Chicago with a low cost way to get a bike and support a good cause.
~xoxo Bike Fancy

Tell me more about your bike and where you got it? It's a Motobecane Grand Touring, from Working Bikes. The good fellows at Boulevard Bikes helped get it in working order for me.
What are you wearing?   The tag says it's from Cole Haan, but I got it at a flea market. My hat's from Una Mae's, and my scarf was a present.
Where are you going? Meeting a friend at Big Star for some lunch. (okay I'm going to be totally self-referential and link to one of my food photos)
Why ride? I don't like to exercise, but I like getting places quickly. And it beats public trans, time-wise.
Favorite ride? Getting caught in the pouring rain is the best, if you have no need to be dry wherever you're going. 
While riding you …? Mostly just look out! 
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? We're doing alright. The more bike lanes, the better, but I think everyone needs to just be very aware that when you take to the road (by car, bike, on foot, stroller, or however) that your actions are affecting the safety of you and the people around you.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Maria, N Milwaukee Ave & W Belden Ave, Chicago, IL

Maria rides a Soma mixte custom built at On the Route

What are you wearing? Ruffly sundress from the Gap, vintage denim jacket, Po Campo reflective pin and houndstooth riding gloves (from Giro, just picked up at On the Route Bicycles this spring). The gold pannier is a Po Campo prototype so I have the only one. :)

Tell me more about your bike and where you got it? My ride was custom made for me by my pals at On the Route on Lincoln Ave. I fell in love with the Soma mixte frame at first glance and was in the market for a spritely upright bike anyway and what they built far surpassed my expectations. It's beautiful to look at and an absolute joy to ride.  
Why Ride? Because it is fun!!!!!!!!!!! 
Favorite ride? My commute to work is actually my favorite because I pass through so many cityscapes on my way there. Old neighborhoods with elm trees and greystones, an industrial metal forgery, downtown views, the's so pretty and makes me fall in love with Chicago every day. 
While riding you …? Daydream. 
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? I like the little stoplights for bike lanes that you see in some European cities. It makes cycling feel like a legitimate mode of transportation. And they're so cute.

*** Maria founded Po Campo the super stylish bike bag company from Chicago.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Grid Chicago interviews Bike Fancy

Check out this interview John Greenfield did on Bike Fancy's anniversary.  Thanks for the Velo Love John!

Margaret, W Grace St & N Ravenswood Ave, Chicago, IL

Margaret rides a 1982 Yellow Huffy Timberline 3 Speed from Carlos & Sarah's Surplus of Options

Love her metallic accents.  Brass necklace and key earings

 Where are you going? To get a coffee at Delicious Cafe and then on to work at Trader Joe's.

What are you wearing? Earrings made from my old house keys and boots that were a gift from my mother.  Necklace, coat, hoodie, slip and skirt were all thrift store finds.  I love that feeling of putting in the patience and time and finding something really great for $3.

Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it? 1982 Yellow Huffy Timberline 3 Speed.  I found it at Carlos & Sarah's Surplus of Options when I was looking for a winter bike last year.  It was stripped of all it's cables and covered in rust so it seemed the perfect bike to put through a winter.  After fixing it up though it has become my favorite ride.

Why ride?  I started bike commuting when I moved to Chicago to save money and take time off my daily travel.  Now it's a full blown obsession.  I love how active and adventurous life feels when you ride everywhere.  It's neat to think about the freedom such a simple machine can give you.  I also appreciate the camaraderie I feel with other riders. 

Favorite ride?  Coming home from work late at night when I'm bundled head to toe against the cold and it's snowing that really big fluffy snow that has covered everything and sparkles amber in the streetlights.  It's so incredibly surreal.  Also, the moment when you reach the top of any bridge.  The rivers look beautiful and that wonderful feeling of getting to ride down the hill you just came up.

While riding you …?  Constantly look and listen for cars/pedestrians/cyclists/doors/potholes/construction.  If the ride is stress free enough I like to people watch and check out architecture. Language podcasts and books on tape have been a fun multitasking thing to listen to.

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? Maintained roads and abundant, well planned bike lanes would be amazing.  But until then, a little empathy from drivers would help.  I dare any daily drivers to bike commute for a week and not feel different about what it means to share our common rights to the road.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lyndi, N Milwaukee Ave & W Augusta Blvd, Chicago, IL

Lyndi rides a vintage Raleigh Super Course MK II restored by Lugs

Where are you going?  I am headed to a meeting before work.
Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it?  My bike is a vintage Raleigh Super Course MK II, I'm not sure of the exact year but i think its early 70's made in England. The awesome people at Lugs restored her for me.
Why ride?  I ride because I don't own a car and wouldn't own one living in the city and riding is so much easier that relying on public transportation.
Favorite ride?  I don't have a specific favorite ride throughout the city, but I do love my Sunday morning, with no particular place to go, rides with my boyfriend.
While riding you …? 
I never listen to any music or try and multi task while I'm riding. Its dangerous enough bobbing and weaving through the traffic and watching for car doors.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  The biggest problem i encounter are the pot holes, some streets are just littered with them and a flat tire is just a bummer on your day. I appreciate the bike lanes but would  appreciate even more would be drivers paying attention to bikers. It's so dangerous to bike in the city, you have to pay attention to so much, one wrong move could mean your life. So a little extra caution from a driver is much appreciated.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Laura, N Damen Ave & W Wolfram St, Chicago, IL

Where are you going? 
Heading home from friend's place after a feast filled weekend.

Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it?  My bike is a black Winsor Clockwork. I taped the make and model to deter theft, and I switched to straight handlebars with blue hand grips.
All purchased online
What are you wearing? I am wearing a mini dress from thrift store underneath with a splash painting leggings from the UK. A checkered jacket and leather boots purchased online.
Why ride?  Riding gives me a sense of freedom and also my means of getting around.
Favorite ride? 
Love riding during the night when the streets are empty and silence is my only companion.

While riding you …? 
While riding I am zoned out and immersed in my senses.

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  Chicago needs more safe and well paved bike lanes scattered throughout this city.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Katie, 1100 block of N Milwaukee Ave., Chicago, IL

Katie rides a vintage Marinoni road bike  built up and powder coated red.

Where are you going?  To my office in west lakeview.
Make/model color of your bike, and where you got it? It's a Marinoni that I acquired on ebay for a song.  a friend's dad powdercoated it red for me, and another friend built it up for me.  
What are you wearing? A Prana dress, tights of unknown origin and ancient Converse. 
Why ride?  it's a pleasing way to get from here to there, especially on gorgeous days like these.  
Favorite ride? Up milwaukee till it meets elston, then back down elston till it meets back with milwaukee.  it's particularly enjoyable in the wee hours of the morning.  the southside part of the path is another top contender.
While riding you …?   scheme!  
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  The city might consider fixing potholes in bike lanes instead of just painting over and obscuring them.  yikes!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Gianna, W North Ave & N Honore St, Chicago, IL

Gianna rides a pink Raleigh Capri 410 step-through.

Where are you going? I'm on my way to work at Buffalo Exchange!
Tell me more about your bike and where you got it? I got my bike from Nearly New on N. Broadway. They're super nice and helpful there. It's a pink Raleigh Capri 410. 
What are you wearing? A large, over-sized, retro blouse from Buffalo Exchange. 
Why ride? To save money! Buying passes for transit can get really expensive. Also, its just the most fun way to get from place to place. I find it exhilarating. 
Favorite ride? Right now I would probably say taking Milwaukee to downtown...especially at night! There's nothing better then the epic feeling of entering the magical metropolis that is Chicago. 
While riding you? Talk to myself/sing. 
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? More bike lanes on all the major streets so that its easier to get around without feeling like your in the way of cars or having to go out of your way for a bike friendly route.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Bike Fancy!

Its hard to believe that is only been 1 year since I posted my first photo and launched Bike Fancy.  Honestly, I had no idea if I would make it through the winter, much less a whole year, and find enough interesting people to photograph.  Well I have to say– Chicago, you have exceeded my expectations.  You are a wonderful cycling city, with friendly, interesting, good-looking people, riding bikes everywhere.  I only wish I had more hours in the day to spend exploring all of your neighborhoods on bike.  

I'm super honored to be partnering with Eskell boutique for our shared Anniversary party.  So save the date, November 12th, there will be cocktails, a dj, and lots of raffle prizes, more details TBD. Check out the Facebook invite here for more info.