Friday, December 14, 2012

Laura, 500 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL

Laura rides a custom re-build mixte frame from Lugs

Sometimes I diligently write down someone's email, and then I just can't find it.  That is what happened with this young lady, but [hopefully] I remembered a few details correctly—  

#1 her bike is a custom rebuild from Lugs.  I'm convinced the folks over a lugs are as interested in people looking good on bikes as I am, so mad props!  I'll be hitting them up when I can throw down some cash for a custom rebuild. 
# 2. Her name was Laura and she was headed north.

Sorry for loosing your email Laura.  Please comment if you see this and have anything to add.

*** Side note: There is cause for celebration today— Chicago is getting a protected bike lane near my office!  I have been patiently watching the construction of the Dearborn protected bike lane and I'm excited to go for a test ride.  I'll be spending lunch here so come by and celebrate!
When: Friday, December 14 at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Printer’s Row Park, 700 S. Dearborn St.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Nora, W Jackson Blvd & S Dearborn St, Chicago, IL

Nora rides a bike that was custom- built by her husband Shawn Quaid.

Where are you going? I'm finishing up lunchtime errands and returning to my music studio Ossia Musical Forum (where I teach and perform violin and viola) at the Fine Arts Building.
Why ride? Quickest, healthiest, most economical way to gets around downtown and I always find front-row parking!

What are you wearing?  Michael Kors leopard print skirt, Italian peep toe pumps from Sienna, Italy, hose and cape from Nordstrom.
Tell me about your bike, and where you got it? It's a custom- built bike from new and used parts that my husband,Shawn Quaid, built for me. He has his own side-business rebuilding bikes from recycled parts-- very reasonable and super environmental. For anyone interested, email
Favorite ride? I love triathlons, especially BigFoot at Bigfoot park in Wisconsin
While riding you …? Often wear a skirt and heels and have a violin or viola on my back.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly?  More bike lanes and racks.
And other cool, funny tips or stories? Can't count the number of times I've been in the bike lane and someone has leaned out the car window and said… "Biking, in heels???!!" And I usually reply: "It's easier than walking in them!"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Jessica, N Milwaukee Ave over‎ I-90/I-94, Chicago, IL

Jessica rides a yellow Schwinn cruiser from A Nearly New Shop in Uptown

Where are you going? On my way home to wear out the new roll of drawing paper I bought. I'm experimenting with wallpaper designs. So far, it's not looking too hot. 

What are you wearing?  Levis high-waisted jeans, Zodiac USA boots a la Buffalo Exchange in Wicker Park, my brother's jogging beanie, a Sundance bag my mom bought way back when and a vintage Giants sweatshirt that my dad says my mom stole from him when they were first dating. 

Tell me about your bike, and where you got it? It's a yellow Schwinn cruiser I bought at A Nearly New Shop in Uptown, or somewhere just as far. Not sure of the year but I'm pretty sure there're a few different parts...

Why ride? To get lost. I love adventures. And parking downtown is expensive. 

Favorite ride? Along the lake from Oak to Montrose at night. No one's out, it's a little scary, but everything is so peaceful. 

While riding you …? Hand jive when I get the chance. 

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly? I'd say more bike lanes on streets like Kedzie and Ashland. Ashland especially, it's super busy, but it gets you to a lot of neat places. Also - more bike stands! I hate locking up on a bus stop.
And other cool, funny tips or stories? 
The folks at the Kinzie Chop House are super wonderful. I was on my bike just across the street waiting for the light and I guess I didn't hold my balance too well because I totally ate it and my bike fell beneath me. Then some chick told me I was bleeding inside my foot. I looked down and was like "Oh man, I am bleeding, huh.." and went flush upon closer examination. (I'm stupidly squeamish). 
So I went into the Kinzie Chop House and was all like, "Uh, I know this is unorthodox, but I'm bleeding, I was wondering if I could use your bathroom.." and nodded at my foot. The lady at the host stand took one look at it. Her eyes widened and she offered to get me a napkin. She came back a minute later, "I wet it too.." I thanked her and proceeded to fiddled with my shoe. She did that awkward shrug thing and set her hands together as if to clap, "Um, would you mind doing that outside?" I guess I was pushing my luck. But hey, she was a total doll for getting me a damp cloth! I mean, it's better than a toilet paper tourniquet...

Friday, October 5, 2012

Marianne, S Wabash Ave & E Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL

Marianne rides a late-80's Trek rebuild
Where are you going? I am just coming from teaching piano in the loop, and I'm meeting my two visiting cousins for some Al's Beef. For the record: delicious fries.
 What are you wearing? This old thing? A trusty sun dress from Old Navy (ca. 2005), barefoot Merrells, and a decrepit helmet that was recently replaced by a sweet Bern lid! 
Tell me about your bike, and where you got it? It's a bit of a franken-bike. The frame is from a late-80's Trek (Reynolds 531), and the components are from a Fuji road bike. I bought it through Craigslist from a man in Logan Square who rehabs bikes.
Why ride? Faster, healthier, more economical, trendier, way more fun...
Favorite ride? Well, right now I'm mainly a commuter. And this sounds silly, but the curvy stretch that connects Diversey to Logan Boulevard is an oddly open, fast little nook to ride. I utter an internal, "Weeee!" every time. My boyfriend and I are planning a trip down the coast from San Francisco to San Diego for next summer - I'm sure that will trump my little Logan stretch!
While riding you …? ...I try to keep good posture. Chiropractors can get expensive. 
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly? The obvious answer is to follow through with creating more protected bike lanes. The loop, in my opinion, should have more safe route options, too, since it's the hub of a city that aims to be a top bike city. One more: bike theft is also way too prevalent, and there is little to no consequence for it. Chicago needs to crack down on these thieves!
And other cool, funny tips or stories? Enjoy your ride! I often have to catch myself when I get too focused on where I'm going, or on that car that got a little too close to me - how lucky am I to be able to experience a city like this by bike!

N State St & E Washington St, Chicago, IL

Sometimes I write down someone's name and email and then just can't find it again, which is the case with this photo. Anyone know her?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lizzie, N State St & E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL

I am very excited to have time again to work on Bike Fancy. I had to take the month of September off from blogging but I am back, so please check back and comment often!


What are you wearing?  The dress I've had for at least 5 years, it comes from a company called Sweetskins, which does organic cotton clothing. The shoes are Fluevog. I started stalking the sales page when I saw some super cute Fluevogs in the "Thought You Knew" bike calendar.
Make/model color of your bike, and where you got it? It's a Trek which I inherited after an old housemate left it in the basement after she moved out. After 5 years of languishing there I fished her out, fixed her up, and claimed her for my own.
Where are you going? A dive bar!
Why ride? I'm not super patient and I love the constant motion. I've never owned a car, and it's often faster and with less waiting around than the CTA.
Favorite ride? Lakefront path.
While riding you …? If I'm on the lakefront trail I listen to music and sing and dance. If I'm street biking I've got my helmet on, my ears open, and if there's heavy traffic I'm usually muttering "please don't kill me" under my breath.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly? More protected bike lanes and/or lanes with fewer potholes. I got the opportunity to go all over Stockholm last summer on my bike and they have miles and miles of protected lanes, it was glorious.
And other cool, funny tips or stories? I started biking more (and heard about Bike Fancy) because of my bff Kellie, who you photographed back in 2010!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Rue Sainte Catherine, Bordeaux, France

So I've been a bad little blogger and have been sitting on a bunch of new photos, but between regular work, freelance work, and marathon training, I have been SLAMMED!  So  I'm just dropping five photos in one day.  Not to worry, I am still taking pictures, so look out for lots of new Chicago shots soon!  Meanwhile, check out how cool Bordeaux France is.  It is a fabulous city for cycling.  It has about 1.1 million people, and is fairly flat.   There are long stretches of pedestrian only streets that allow bikes, and have a street level train.  Of course the wine is good too, but because of the name recognition, its a little more pricey than the rest of France (where wine is seriously dirt cheap!). 

Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux, France

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bicing bike share, Barcelona Spain

Here is a Barcelona local using a bicing bicycle.  The design reminds me a little bit of the 70's Raleigh Chopper.  They are intended to be used by locals (not tourist) for short to medium rides around the city and require a yearly subscription. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Martha, El Raval neighborhood of Barcelona, Spain

Rental bike from Barcelona Rent a Bike. Photo: Jeremy Bolen

Barcelona is an ideal city to explore by bike.  Not only do they have well established cycle tracks and bike lanes— they have a massive bike share system with the coolest looking shared bikes on the planet.  Check out tomorrows post to see what I am talking about.  We opted to rent bikes at Barcelona Rent a Bike because is was the closest place to our hotel, but there are many good bike rental spots scattered throughout the city.  We managed to pop our "puncture-resistant tires" by running over glass, and I learned a universal truth: No matter what country you are in, bike shop employees have the power to make you feel like and idiot.  "Geez bike shop guy, I have ridden a bicycle before, and I know you should avoid glass, but it was just everywhere."
 ** Side note– my bike shop, Boulevard Bikes, doesn't make me feel like an idiot.  

For the sartorially minded I am wearing a thrifted navy and white striped shirt, American Apparel high-waisted shorts, and Worishofer 251 Sandals.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Songbird, W Illinois St & N Franklin St, Chicago, IL

I'm back from vacation! Europe was wonderful and has lots of infrastructure elements I would love to see brought to Chicago.  Look out next week for travel photos!  

Lauren rides a 1960's Schwinn Jaguar cruiser rebuild from craigslist.

What are you wearing?
This dress is a resale find and the flats are from Diana's shoes
Make/model color of your bike, and where you got it?
This is Bruiser the Cruiser.  It's a 1960's Schwinn Jaguar frame - a good craigslist find that I powder-coated and re-built.  I started riding it when I resolved to stop living my life as a teenage boy on a fixed gear with a giant messenger bag, and started embracing adult womanhood.  I've never looked back.
Where are you going? I'm on my way to work.
Why ride? There are a million reasons - I'm no Republican. 
The best thing about a biking commute is getting a chance to be outside and get a little wild before and after the tameness of sitting at work all day - I strongly recommend this ritual to anyone concerned about becoming a work zombie!
Favorite ride?
My favorite ride is any ride where the wind is at my back.  A rare and beautiful phenomenon.
While riding you …?
whistle, get a good look at things.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly?
I think the city needs to take a little more responsibility for raising awareness.  Post signs about the separated bike lanes - people don't realize they're about to cut off a bike when they turn across them.  Actually, more signs about watching out for bikes in general.  There should be a sentence on every parking sign about looking before you fling your car door open too.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bike Fancy- European Vacation

Bike Fancy is on vacation, but look out for some great new photos in a week

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Boo, W Kinzie St & N Franklin St, Chicago, IL

Boo rides a built out Republic brand frame road bike

What are you wearing?
Dress: H&M, Sweater: AKIRA, Shoes: ASOS, Bag: BAGGU, Turquoise Cuff: Vintage- It was my mom's. Watch: Seiko
Make/model color of your bike, and where you got it?
My bike is 85% Republic brand. Frame: Aristole, Color: Putty. The handles, peddles, axle, and front wheel all come from various other sources, all on ebay. I'm slowly customizing each piece but the frame and aqua back wheel will never change.
Where are you going?
Home! I've just finished work at the furniture showroom next door and I'm headed to dinner with friends.
Why ride?
So many reasons. For me, (besides being able to go anywhere without parking) I bike because it is enables exploration. Biking is the pace that I like the view the world in; Cars are too fast so you can't really take in the scenery, and when I'm walking I can't cover enough ground. I could ride around the streets of Chicago endlessly, scoping out new neighborhoods, restaurants, buildings, and parks.
Favorite ride?
I love to bike from my neighborhood (Fulton Market) to Wicker Park for dinner or ice cream on summer nights. The landscape goes from old warehouses to picturesque tree-lined streets and it is the perfect distance for a casual ride.
While riding you …?
I don't know. I think I hum sometimes, but mostly I just daydream and watch the world go by.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly?
Chicago is in the process of installing bike lanes all over the city and it seems like everytime I'm out riding there's a new lane up. It is definitely getting better, but there are still so many places where traffic gets scary. I'm eager for all the roads to have a safe space to ride in.
And other cool, funny tips or stories?
My husband always clips my bike light onto the back of my shirt for safe night riding but we both seem to forget it's there when I arrive at my destination, so I'm often walking through restaurants blinking red and wondering why I'm getting so many stares.
We actually registered for bikes for our wedding and had our friends and family pool funds to buy them for us. We just decided that what we wanted most to start our life together was a set of perfect new wheels. So consider that, if you're about to get married!
No matter how you get a bike, you wont regret it. I don't know how I lived without mine.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Paul, Rue Rachel Est and Christophe Colomb Ave, Montréal, QC, Canada

Of course I couldn't have a guys week without highlighting one of the snazzy gentlemen dressers in Montreal.  Notice the red felt square (Carre Rouge) pinned to his shirt, a symbol of solidarity with the Quebec student protesters.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Guys Week– Phillip, N State St & E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL

Phillip rides a Chicago-built Schwinn Suburban from Blue Moon Bikes in Sycamore, Illinois.

What are you wearing? Jos. A. Bank bow tie, Stafford pinstripe suit (jacket in pannier), Calvin Klein fedor dress shoes.
Tell me about your bike, and where you got it? My bike is a restored 1976 Chicago-built Schwinn Suburban, it was my project bike two years ago.  I purchased the frame from Blue Moon Bikes in Sycamore, Illinois.  Blue Moon is a hidden gem for bike enthusiasts.  The owner, Rod Griffis, is a Schwinn fanatic. He maintains the largest and most complete collection of Sting-Rays I have ever seen.
Where are you going?  I am in Chicago for the Midwest Political Science Association conference this weekend.  I am heading to Wicker Park to crash at my buddy's place for the weekend.
Why ride? There is no better way to experience Chicago than by bike.  You get to see the neighborhoods, meet the people, and witness what makes this city so great.
Favorite ride? The west branch of the Great Western Trail, the Lost Bridge Trail in Springfield.
While riding you …? I clear my mind, listen to the road, try to think about the traffic around me.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  Both Mayor Daley and Emanuel made improving bike infrastructure a priority.  I am thoroughly impressed with the Kinzie protected bike lane, and hope that Hizzoner keeps pushing to complete 100 miles by 2015.  Other cyclists need to be aware of their surroundings as well.  Be polite, pass with care, don't try to be a hotshot by flying up a crowded path at excessive speed.
And other cool, funny tips or stories?  Try commuting to work every once in awhile.  No need for fancy equipment, if you need to go over three miles, bring a change of clothes and deodorant.  Also, take care of your bike!  Simply keeping the chain clean and properly lubricated (no WD-40) can extend the life of a bike by years.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Jessica, N Milwaukee Ave & W Grand Ave, Chicago, IL

What are you wearing? Just a little dress from Anthropologie! Dresses are the best though. Instant outfit. And clogs...also a favorite and good for riding because the soles are not flexible!
Make/model color of your bike, and where you got it? I ride a Black Raleigh Gazelle from1956
I found it at Working Bikes while looking for parts for another bike. Great find I think!
Where are you going? To Lindsey's for drinks on the porch!
Why ride? It's fun and good for me.Favorite ride? Love riding to The Hideout for shows and Elston is my favorite street to ride. The North Channel Trail is also great.
While riding you …? at night, sometimes I sing :)
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly? We need bike lanes everywhere!!
And other cool, funny tips or stories? Riding in heels is much easier than it looks guys!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Jeannette, W Chicago Ave & N Sangamon St, Chicago, IL

Jeannette rides a single speed Murray Townie
What are you wearing?  
Minnetonka moccasins from a the 80s that I got from an antique store in Milwaukee, WI.
Pants that I ripped apart into shorts. My mom's African brocade top from her designer friend Koro in Burkina Faso (West Africa). H&M sunglasses I got in Bordeaux France. I love it when every piece of my clothing carries a story. 

Tell me about your bike, and where you got it?
Sparkly green single speed Murray townie. I found next to a dumpster underneath the California blue line stop 5 years ago. The wheels & the seat were missing but I fell in love with the sparkly handlebars & pinup girl stickers so I took it home & slapped on some wheels & found a matching bike seat. I also converted the bike to a back pedal brake which I absolutely adore.

Where are you going?
David Barton Gym for my weekly training. Gotta get back into shape after a busy school year finishing my Industrial Design degree.

Why ride?
I never learned to drive and never really gotten in the mood to ever try to and the exercise I get from biking helps me wake up every morning instead of drinking coffee. Plus I love weaving through cars and traveling faster than the bus.

Favorite ride?
Anywhere where there's a bike lane. lol

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly?
Chicago really needs to fix their pothole issue, for some odd reason the potholes are always in the bike lanes. They also need to have a separate bike lane apart from cars. The lanes are between traffic and parked cars and my biggest fear is getting doored into traffic. When people get out of their cars they never pay attention to the bike traffic. I recently watched the film Urbanized (by the same producers as Objectified and Helvetica) and the Mayor of Bogota, Colombia fixed that issue by creating bike lanes on the opposite side of the parked cars, away from the car traffic. If we could address this issue in our city, it would make biking a lot safer and we would see a lot less ghost bikes around the city.
It would also be really cool if there were bike racks inside the L trains like they do in Portland with their Max light rail system. I was fascinated when I saw that.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hélène, Avenue Christophe-Colomb Montréal, Canada

What are you wearing?  La veste et la jupe sont de chez NafNaf.

Tell me about your bike, and where you got it? Je suis à Montréal pour seulement 2 mois mais je voulais absolument y avoir un vélo à moi. Je l'ai acheté d'occaz pour quelques poignées de dollars dans le magasin d'un ami d'ami. (Atelier Mon vélo, avenue du Park, je ne sais pas si je peux faire de la pub !). Je compte le revendre ou le donner en partant. Les vélos ont plusieurs vies !

Where are you going? Avenue Mont-Royal pour faire un peu de magasinage en rentrant chez moi

Why ride? Pour moi c'est le moyen de transport idéal pour découvrir une ville (ok surtout au printemps/été !) : plus rapide que la marche, plus agréable et économique que les transports en commun, plus ouvert sur les bruits, les odeurs, les scènes de rues..

Favorite ride? Un parcours amusant à faire est celui de la piste de F1 au parc Jean Drapeau, quand il n'y a pas de grand prix évidemment ;-)

While riding you …? J'ouvre grand les yeux pour éviter les portières qui s'ouvrent, les enfants qui traversent, les voitures qui doublent etc..! Le vélo en ville c'est très agréable mais il faut garder à l'esprit que c'est dangereux !

How can Montreal improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly? Plus de pistes cyclables, car il y en a peu et elles sont parfois très chargées. Je n'aime pas devoir ralentir parce que je ne peux pas doubler les cyclistes devant moi...
Lutter contre les arracheurs de selle et autres actes de vandalisme !! Mais comment ?!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Catherine, Avenue du Mont-Royal Est, Montréal, Canada

Catherine rides a bike from Guarantee Bicycle in Montreal.

What are you wearing?  wedge sandals, blue skinny jeans, jean jacket, a helmet
Tell me about your bike, and where you got it? mmm not sure about the make got it at Guarantee bicycle because it looked solid and it is (and heavy:))
Where are you going? I am going to meet a friend at Casa del Popolo for a friday late afternnoon drink
Why ride? Why not? It's the closest I have got to flying, I always feel so free biking. and kinda tough actually.Scheduling things is much better in the months where I have access to my bike. It's good timing for getting around to a variety of places hassle free and it is sweet exercise.
Favorite ride? up the mountain (Mount Royal in the center of the city)
While riding you …? sing ( if I ride fast enough no one really has to endure!)
How can Montreal improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly? More parking spaces for bikes!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Suzanne, Rue Rachel Est & Rue de Brébeuf, Montréal, Canada

Suzanne Lareau, présidente-directrice générale de Vélo Québec
About one hour into my Montreal trip I stopped Suzanne who ended up being the CEO of Vélo Québec!  Of course Vélo Québec would have a fashionably dressed cyclist as their CEO.   I've included her answers in both French and English as she is a native French speaker.

What are you wearing?  
Une robe de la designer Michèle Poisson. 
A Michèle Poisson dress.

Tell me about your bike, and where you got it?
Un vélo Opus Nuovella 2011 de couleur turquoise. Je l’ai acheté à la boutique ABC Cycle. Il y avait peu de choix de vélo urbain avant la récente arrivée des vélos Opus. Avant de m’en procurer un cette année, j’ai eu le même vélo urbain pendant 26 ans !   
A turquoise green Opus Nuovella 2011 bike. I bought it at ABC Cycles. 
Before Opus brought their urban bikes to Montréal, there was not a large range of urban bike models. I got an Opus this year, and left behind my 26 year old urban bike!     

Where are you going?  
Je retourne à la maison après une journée de travail. 
I’m going back home after a day work.

Why ride?
Le vélo est mon principal moyen de transport. Il me procure liberté et plaisir en plus d’être un moyen de transport efficace.  
My bike is my principal means of transportation. I’m feeling free on my bike and it’s an efficient vehicle. I really enjoy to ride in the city. 

Favorite urban ride?  
— C’est toujours un plaisir d’emprunter le chemin Olmstead pour me rendre tout en haut du Mont-Royal, à Montréal.
— I really appreciate the Olmstead route that goes up to Mont-Royal, in Montréal.  

While riding you ?  
Je fais du vélo urbain 9 à 10 mois par année, depuis 1978. 
— I've been riding since 1978, and ride 9 or 10 months a year.

How can Montreal improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly?
  — Poursuivre le développement du réseau cyclable  pour encourager les déplacements utilitaires vers le centre-ville et les quartiers : axes nord-sud et est-ouest.
Ajouter des stationnements à vélo dans la ville.
Permettre au vélo de rouler dans les voies réservées aux autobus.
Permettre la circulation à double sens sur les rues résidentielles à sens unique.
— Continue to build up the cycling network to encourage the active transportation towards the city center and the neighborhoods : North-South and East-West ways.Increase bicycle parking spaces. Allow bikes to ride in the bus lanes.Allow the two-way bicycle traffic on the one-way residential streets. 

And other cool, funny tips or stories?  
— Il y a 33 ans ans, il y avait peu de cyclistes urbains à Montréal. Nous nous connaissions pratiquement tous. Aujourd’hui, c’est la multiplication des vélos en ville, impossible de tous nous connaître !
— 33 years ago, there was only few urban cyclists in Montréal. We knew each others. Today, there is so much cyclists that it’s impossible to know them all!
— Quand je voyage, j’ai l’habitude de découvrir les villes que je visite de la plus belle des manières, à vélo !
— When I’m traveling, I try to discover the best routes by bike !