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 !

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

Marion on her blue mixte
What are you wearing?  Je porte des vêtements de chez American Eagle (short), Urban Outfitter (chandail qu'on ne voit pas!) et ma veste vient d'une friperie. Mon sac à dos vient de chez Mountain Coop Equipment. J'aime mélanger mes styles !! 
Tell me about your bike, and where you got it? Mon vélo bleu pâle est une nouvelle acquisition! Je ne connaît même pas la marque.  Il est vieux, c'est tout ce que je peux dire!! Il traînait sur la galerie d'un ami qui ne l'utilisait plus depuis deux ans. Je suis allée le chercher chez lui et il m'en a fait cadeau! Mon vélo a une seconde vie avec moi! Je l'aime beaucoup! Merci Jérémie! 
Where are you going? Je vais dire un coucou à mon copain qui travaille, puis je vais à la bibliothèque me prendre un roman pour l'été!
Why ride? J'ai toujours aimé me déplacer à vélo à Montréal. Pour moi, prendre le métro quand il commence à faire chaud, c'est déprimant. L'été, le vélo c'est mon mode de déplacement numéro un! J'aime avoir le vent dans les voiles, même sur la terre ferme!!! 
Favorite ride? J'ai découvert, sur l'île de Montréal toujours, la piste cyclable qui se rend jusque sur l'île de la Visitation, dans le nord de la ville.  C'est bien, on peut s'arrêter sur le bord de l'eau et profiter de la nature! 
While riding you …? Je profite du moment en ne pensant à rien! J'ouvre les yeux et je regarde! 
How can Montreal improve bike infrastructure or be more bike friendly? D'abord, il devrait y avoir davantage de pistes cyclables. Pour le centre ville, Nord-Sud, il n'y a que Saint-Urbain et Berri. C'est peu pour le nombre de cycliste qu'il y a à Montréal. Pas besoin d'avoir des cônes, seulement des lignes indiquant que l'espace est réservé aux cyclistes sur l'asphalte, c'est suffisant (Comme sur Saint-Urbain.) 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Montréal week at Bike Fancy

Photo: François-Xavier Tremblay courtesy of Montreal Cycle Chic

This weekend I had the good fortune of photographing in the city of Montréal during the MONTRÉAL BIKE FEST Organized by Vélo Québec.  I have to thank  Vélo Québec and Tourisme Montréal for inviting me to attend, and Fitz and Follwell for lending me the wonderful Linus step-through for the weekend.  

It took me all of 5 minutes to fall head-over-heels in love with Montréal.  I managed to snap a lot of great photos for the
Montreal Cycle Chic Blog  in between a crash course in cultural highlights and Québec politics.  During the Friday night ride "Un Tour la Nuit," the verve of the citizens of Montréal floored me as young and old, Anglo and Quebecois, recent immigrants and long time residents, stood in front of their houses to cheer us on and also bang pots and pans in a sign of solidarity with the student protesters.  

Québec has hundreds of miles of bike lanes, divided two-way bikes lanes, and separated greenways.  I easily navigated the city in my endless hunt for the best bagel/pastry/local beer in the city. 
Riding a bike around another North America city with such an established infrastructure, I thought about the infrastructure ideas I would want to steal for Chicago– two way divided bike lanes, a bike share system, bike boxes that sit in front of cars. I also realized something Chicago has a wealth of — SPACE. Chicago roads are incredibly wide, and if the city of Montréal can fit a two way bike lane down Rue Rachel, I think we can fit one anywhere. I look forward to a lot of these infrastructure components being implemented in Chicago in the next few years.

Montréal Bike Fancy continues for the rest of the week, enjoy!

I saw tons of these Bixi share bikes being ridden around the city.  

Friday, June 1, 2012

Claire, N Hoyne Ave & W Pierce Ave, Chicago, IL

Hey Chicago, how about a little sunshine on a rainy day!
Claire ride a vintage Gitane mixte built up by a friend 

What are you wearing?  A thrifted men's button-down tied over a tank top, J. Crew pants, Repetto flats and my favorite vintage leather bag. your bike, 
Tell me about your bike, and where you got it? I ride a single speed with an old Gitane frame.  My friend Brent (who works at Johnny Sprockets) helped me acquire parts, built it up and gave it a custom John Deere blue and green paint job.  In my head, I call my bike "Goldfish."
Where are you going? An art opening in Wicker Park 
Why ride? It's so fun.
Favorite ride? Through A. Finkl and Sons late at night
While riding you …? Sing to myself and yell at jerks ;-)
How can Chicago improve bike infrastructure or make Chicago more bike friendly?  I applaud the new protected bike lanes, like the one on Jackson - add more of those!  They provide car door-fear-free portals of safety through the city.