Friday, May 25, 2012

Gnat, Wicker Park, Chicago, IL

Gnat rides a white mystery bike from Working Bikes she calls Baby

Find some of Gnat's creations here.

Where are you going? Undetermined. I am cruising and thinking. I was actually hoping to hang out with Emily, the cutie in your previous post!
What are you wearing?  Some tight jeans a friend gave me, black tank-top, a sleeve of temporary tattoos, glittery sneakers, my girl's denim jacket, and a glitter-vinyl fanny-pack that I made. I'm a designer, and I make clothes, vinyl backpacks, fanny-packs, harnesses, and bondage gear! I sell my work in Chicago and on etsy.  (
Tell me about your bike, and where you got it? A mystery white bike from Working Bikes with glitter vinyl sleeves that i made for it. My bike's name is Baby.
Why ride?  Biking is freedom, sweating is healthy, and it makes me feel alive.  I think that a person is at their sexiest when they are on a bike.  Also, I don't want to pay for the CTA.
Favorite ride? The night I was rode home from Ruby Dee's Bondage-themed birthday party topless, in a purple glitter body harness!
While riding you …? Think about girls, talk to myself about decisions I need to make, and I sing a lot of pop music songs.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? Fill in that pothole on Kinzie before you get to that bridge where people are always taking wedding pictures!
And other cool, funny tips or stories? I'm going to start making some fanny-packs and bags specifically for bikers, because many people have requested little bags for their U-Locks.

Check out Gnat's artwork at

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Emily, S State St & W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL

Emily rides a Raleigh Carlton road bike from a Nearly New Bike Shop 
What are you wearing?  My roomie's black princess-sleeve shirt and thrifted Bloomingdales wool pants.
Where are you going? Visiting my friend at Merz's Apothecary after an interview at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum (I got the job! It must have been my fancy pants...)
Tell me about your bike and where you got it: I ride a 
Restored Raleigh Carlton from Nearly New Bike Shop
Why ride? Good for da soul, body and da earth. 
Favorite ride? Day trip to Three Floyds in Munster, IN.
While riding you …? Sing and whistle. 
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? Death to the car!!!! Or more realistic alternatives include: fill in potholes, offer bike fix-it stands, enlarge existing bike lanes and add more bike paths (hellooooo, Bloomingdale Trail!). Also, educate drivers about bike safety! I think all Chicago drivers should be required to pass a bike safety test before hittin' the road.
And other tips? A tip for all you ladyz and fellas out there: helmets are sexxxxy! Honestly, you look like a damn fool if your don't wear one. Protect your noggin!

Monday, May 21, 2012

NATO summit 2012– Chicago

Chicago has been on lock down since Friday to prepare for protests to the NATO 2012 summit.  Both police and protesters vehicle of choice: The Bike.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Erica, Lakefront trail at Division, Chicago, IL

Erica rides a Peugeot Carbolite 103 from A Nearly New Shop

Where are you going? I'm about to sit down with a book to read by the lake and enjoy the nice weather.
What are you wearing? A shirt I got at Forever 21, black skinny jeans from Gap, and my bleach-stained purple Vans sneakers.
Make/model color of your bike, and where you got it? I have a blue Peugeot Carbolite 103 from A Nearly New Shop.

Why ride? I got tired of having to rely on public transportation all the time. After two semesters of taking the red line to school every day, I grew very impatient with its unreliability. It’s also my first summer living in Chicago and my school doesn’t distribute U-Passes to students taking classes over the summer. I realized biking would be a good solution to my frustrations towards taking public transportation and would also be a good way to get around without having to pay for the CTA.
Favorite ride? I’m very new to biking in the city, but so far I really love the lakefront trail, especially when it’s not very busy.
While riding you . . .? I’m very careful about watching for any cars, pedestrians, potholes, etc. I just started riding in the city about a week ago, so I’m still getting the hang of things, including the gearshift on my bike, which is very new to me as a person who’s used to riding mountain bikes.
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? More bike lanes and paths would be great. And it would also be nice if they’d fix the potholes, especially the ones on the bike trails. They should also try to better educate drivers and bikers about road safety.
Have any tips for new cyclists like yourself? Google maps can really help you plan a safe route when you’re getting around in the city, especially if you're new to it like I am

Friday, May 11, 2012

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

Daphne won this Traitor Cycles frame at the Sadie Hawkins Style ride to benefit the CWHC

Where are you headed?
I'm on my way downtown. I work at the Obama Campaign Headquarters on the design team. It's a good day. Proud to work for a man that wants equality for all.   
Tell me about your bike, and where you got it? Two years ago I did the Sadie Hawkins Style Ride to benefit the Chicago Women's Health Center. It is a great partner race usually held in November and takes you all around the city to different check points. At the after party they have all sorts of prizes and a raffle drawing-- all to benefit the Chicago Women's Health Center! I bought a few raffle tickets and walked away with this frame and fork from Traitor Cycles and a custom paint job from Chester Cycles.
What are you wearing?  Anthroplogie Skirt, basic bright tee, and Oxford shoes from Aldo. Usually this time of year if I'm on a bike I'm in full spandex, racing for a local Chicago cycling team called the Chicago Cuttin Crew.

Why ride? I'm not sure I know another way! My ride helps me wake up in the morning and decompress on the way home. Makes places more accessible and life easier. 
Favorite ride? I've had lots of great rides. One of the most memorable is riding to Milwaukee, WI in the dead of winter for the Frozen Snot Century. 100 miles there and 100 miles back the next day, in February. Snot was definitely frozen, but it was worth it. 
While riding you …? Occasionally sing out loud, sometimes ring my bell, and always feel free. 
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? I think they are doing a hell of a job lately. But of course there can always be improvements. It'd be great if cyclists and drivers could co-exist a little better. Let's just all get along : ) 
Got any shout outs?  Shout out to the Monsters of the Midway criterium race happening this weekend in Hyde Park-- all day racing, come check it out! Northbrook Velodrome opening night of track racing May 17th. I encourage any women interested in racing bikes, or even just going on a nice ride, to reach out to me or Chicago Women's Bike Racing. There is a great community out there. And the Cycle World Messenger Championships are happening this August in Chicago!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lauren, S State St & W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL

Its been pretty rainy here in Chicago but there are still tons of dedicated cyclists riding through it, like Lauren who I caught yesterday afternoon right before a downpour.  

Lauren rides a grey cruiser purchased from Uptown Bikes
Where are you going? I am on my way to a dentist appointment on my lunch break. 
What are you wearing?   I am wearing a navy dress, violet military jacket, running shorts, and blindingly colorful running sneakers. 
Tell me more about your bike, and where you got it? I'm actually not quite sure what type of bike it is. It's grey; a cruiser.  I got it from Uptown Bikes, but by this point almost all of it has been replaced by parts via Johnny Sprockets.
Why ride?  I initially started biking because it was a time saver - I was able to be more efficient with my time since since I was no longer waiting for buses or trains or I could just bike to the train station thus saving me about 10-15 minutes. Now I ride because it saves so much money, I  have freedom to come and go as I please, it's a great way to be active, and of course, it's still much more efficient than any other mode of transportation especially if transfers are necessary. Rain, shine, or blizzard, I am biking year round. I guess I'm addicted.
Favorite ride? I love biking along the lake during my work commute or on the quiet side streets in neighborhoods.
While riding you …? Now that I am no longer focused on trying to avoid pot holes, aggressive cabbies, or ignorant door openers, I love to take in the smells (the fresh air along the lake or fresh earthy and flower smell after a good rain) and sights (the lake, the skyline, interesting houses, interesting people, nature) as well as focus on my day (mentally balancing finances, planning dinner, and reviewing my calendar). I also love taking random streets to discover new areas of the city.

How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly? Oh my gosh, where should I start? The pot holes/crazy uneven dips on the roads have definitely broken my bike more than a few times despite my cautious eye. Bike lanes are also a must (have you ever biked down North Ave? I'm lucky I've survived!). And almost tied for first would be educating people (drivers and pedestrians alike) about cyclists (e.g. how close is too close, awareness, importance of using a blinker when turning). It would be also fabulous if companies offered incentives for biking to work - it would be great to see more people biking as well as receive some benefit for choosing 
And other cool, funny tips or stories? Hrmmm... I don't really have anything really interesting to share. The only thing I guess I could mention is that I love the Naked Bike Ride. It was actually my interest in participating in the event that made me find a bike and my passion for biking despite not touching one for over 15 years. I would definitely participate in the Naked Bike Ride this June - I plan on being there and coming prepared with bags of body paint!