Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chic Couple

I noticed these bikes a couple of weeks ago as I was riding to Acworth Beach and I thought they were so adorable-- they had the appropriate color and accessories for the holiday season and were sweetly romantic at the same time. I wasn't able to capture it in my first photo, but when riding by it almost looks like the his-and-her bikes dovetail into a heart-like shape.

Luckily, one of the bike owners, Cindy, was home when I rode by yesterday and I was able to come onto the porch and get some good shots of the bikes. She told me that her husband's bike was a new bike and hers was an old one. His head badge said, "Next," which I believe is a brand carried in Target stores. Her bike is an old Schwinn with skinny red tires that I would never have expected to see on a vintage bike. Both are single speeds. Cindy said they ride in warmer weather around the lake and that it is at that time of the year when you see most of the cyclists in town. She even said that there's a group--I don't know if it's an organized ride or a cycling club--that comes through the area every Summer.

Monday, December 28, 2009

2010: Year of the Bike?

On Christmas Eve, Andrew Ritchie, inventor of the Brompton folding bike won the Prince Philip Designers Prize, formally known as the Prize for Elegant Design. Today, it appears to reward a lifetime of achievement in design and, on its fiftieth anniversary, Ritchie was chosen as the prizewinner. England seems to have a greater affinity for cycling than the US, but if they take bikes as seriously as such an award would suggest, then this country is bound to start thinking more seriously about cycling. I've chronicled the bicycle's increasing role in the fashion world and noted its emergence in some American lifestyle magazines and blogs on my other blog. Despite the trend-hunting and the fickle followers of the en vogue, I never doubted that the rise of cycling would endure. Now Design (yes, with a capital "D") has taken note of the bicycle and I'm thinking/hoping that in addition to innovative or stylish new bikes we'll see new bike infrastructure. Atlanta just got its first sharrows which is a delightful surprise, but just a small step towards realizing what's needed in the city and this, of course, is the case in many cities across the US. I'd like to believe that in 2010 there will be a lot more safe space for cyclists to ride their folding or classic French-inspired bikes.

Monday, December 21, 2009

60's Cycle Chic

The fashion photography of F.C. Gundlach via Grapes

I really like the contrast between the model's refined ensemble and the street art. I also like the fact that this proper lady in hat and gloves is riding a bike.

Calling All Chic Cyclists

I've been meaning to post about the bike wardrobe remix Flickr group for a few days now. I think I got so excited about it that I went and took this picture even though it was freezing. I had a jacket of course, but I took it off to better take a photo of the outfit. Oh, what I do for cycle chicness!

A Family of Cyclists

Kenny, the dad's bike

Michael, the son's trike

All the sons' bikes

After seeing all of those bikes in the backyard as I roll by everyday, I had to stop and ask about who was riding them and where. Kenny was nice enough to go out back and unchain the bikes so I could get some pictures. (He didn't want to pose with his bike so I didn't ask for any other rider with bicycle pictures). I also met his two sons, Stephen and Michael.

Kenny has lived in Acworth for about thirty years and he got his 70's era Schwinn Suburban from a neighbor who was putting it out for trash collection. The paint job looked great and all the parts appeared to be original except maybe for the old-fashioned horn. Kenny said that he likes to ride around town for pleasure--he added that it doesn't hurt that riding keeps his weight down. His son, Michael, rides his trike to work just down the street at a restaurant called, Henry's. I don't know how I missed that magenta beauty, but Michael said he's seen Betty and me around town. I complimented the size of the trike's seat mentioning that my mom thinks that today's bike seats are not big enough for real people's butts. Both father and sons heartily agreed. Kenny said the seats are probably sized for the sporty, spandex-clad cyclist. In true cycle chic style he wears his everyday clothes on his bike ensuring his comfort by wearing baggy jeans.

I'm glad that I had the courage to ring the bell at Kenny's house today--I haven't been good about asking the few cyclists I've encountered for photo opportunities. I saw an elderly cyclist today at the library. He walked with a limp, but he rode effortlessly--now that's chic.

Haven't I Seen You Somewhere Before?

I'm guessing this is a Carmel 1 Low Entry.

The woman at left definitely has a Roll 2, but if the woman on the right has a Vienna 4 they must have shot this photo with weird lighting.

Matching the Haul 1 Step Through to the model's outfit: very clever.

The last place I'd think I'd see Globe Bikes or any display of cycle chic is Utah, but here it is: Cycle and Style is "an online women's magazine bringing together Cycling, Style, and Health." Not only is it grand that women, in their everyday clothes are shown riding bikes, but it's even better that it's implied that any sort of bike can suit the purposes of a utility cyclist. All you have to do is get on the bike and ride it.

Kudos to you, ladies of Utah! You are doing a great service to your state--not only for the environment, but for the state's image. Frankly, when I think of Utah, polygamy and the Osmond family come to mind and I can't say that I approve of either one (especially after Donnie Osmond's undeserved win on "Dancing With the Stars").

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Ride: What I've Learned So Far, Part II

  • Avoid braking on gravel-covered surfaces. I'm lucky not to have fallen, twice. The second episode of wild skidding pretty much emblazoned this little tip in my memory.
  • Old dogs don't chase you very far. I don't think it's because they're tired, I think it's because they know better than to stray too far from their yards.
  • Avoid big sticks. (I learned that by observing Dan).
  • If you roll the bike forward, the Pletscher kickstand folds up by itself (but sometimes not all the way up).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Frustrated Friday

After figuring out a safe bike route to my nearby park & ride, I was excited about the possibility of taking the bus (with my bike on the front rack) into Atlanta for today's Courteous Mass. Since I'm hoping to relocate soon, I thought it might be a good idea to get involved in the local cycling scene. Alas, my multi-modal trip to the city was not to be because while Cobb County Transit seems pleased enough to get one into the city, the last bus leaves Atlanta for Acworth at 7:05 PM. Not enough time to socialize at all.

On the bright side, it looks like Courteous Mass is going strong with a ride every second Friday of the month. There's also a 3rd Friday Commute that sounds like my kind of ride. As eager as I am to attend a group ride, I guess I'll just have to wait until I move, but at least I know that there will be other rides.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Woods Are Lovely, Dark, And Deep

This trail provided a nice respite from riding on the sidewalk.

I broke about six rules--I have a hard time not talking to strangers. I'm glad I wasn't wearing headphones because that would've been a seventh violation. Considering the anti-headphones policy and the British media's demonization of iPod use while cycling maybe I should rethink new headphones for Xmas.

These wood aren't very deep, but they make a pretty picture don't they?

Today was a beautiful day for a bike ride--it was unseasonably warm with a bright blue sky and cool winds. The wind gusts were pretty forceful, but it was a practically perfect Fall day otherwise. I found a safe route to the park & ride and since Cobb County Transit has bike racks on their buses this could be a means for me to get into Atlanta more often. I also found a new trail, the Logan Farm Park Trail. Unfortunately, it's not very long at all, but it's nice while it lasts.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Does Wearing Headphones Make You A Rude Cyclist?

so beautiful...

I don't ordinarily wear headphones while riding because I ride on the streets more often that on a bike path. However, I think wearing them on a bike path is fine. What I'm more concerned about is what happens when you get off of the bike. For example, a bike path I used to ride ended in Little Five Points where there were lots of coffee shops and boutiques. A little further down Moreland Ave. is a shopping center with a Kroger, Target, etc. It didn't seem rude to me to walk into the shopping center, the post office, or let's say, Wish, with earbuds on. They're fairly discreet even with conspicuous white wires. But what about getting off of your bike and walking in a shop with big turquoise headphones on? I wouldn't want to sully the cyclist's reputation for being smart and nice.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ready For The Tweed Ride Since 1983

The preponderance of knickers is another reason why I'm especially enthused about Tweed Rides. If nationwide Tweed Rides usher in a knicker renaissance, people will have to credit cycling with yet another environmental benefit. This time it will be the fashion landscape that reaps the rewards of motor-less, two-wheeled transportation.

A big thank you to Cosmo at Los Angeles Cycle Chic for the wonderful photos!

Now to find another snappy ensemble and a local Tweed Ride!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tweed Envy

via The Bike Blog Book

I want to be this woman! Not literally, but
  • I want to go on a Tweed Ride. I want a Tweed ride in my area and I want to live in the type of area that would host a Tweed Ride.
  • My tweed needs to be appreciated: one of my pieces is pink and the other is merlot and grey. They are colorful tweeds with personality that the world should take notice of!
  • I need vintage fur. I adhere to my grandmother's simple philosophy: "if you don't eat it, don't kill it." Vintage fur causes no qualms of conscience.
  • I also need a nice pair of oxfords.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Ride: What I've Learned So Far

  • If you put your left foot on the left pedal first--just as one advances the left foot first in walking--you can get off to a pretty graceful start, especially after coming to a stop at an intersection. I never thought about this before when riding a bike so I thought I'd share.
  • The "graceful start" seems nearly impossible to achieve on an incline. Perhaps with more practice...
  • I think even drivers see how cool my bike is and that's why so many of them stopped short in order to stay out of my pictures. (One guy even got out of his big, green SUV to help me with my kickstand when I asked it for cooperation. I think he heard me).
  • I love this bike!
  • Betty does not love my shoes. My mom and I had admired her pedals as merely being "fancy," but after perusing the manual I found that they were designed to grip your shoes and help your feet stay in position on the pedals.
  • I'm getting better at composing pictures but the execution is still lacking.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Lost Weekend

My mom with my sister.

Praline Supreme: the senior member of the Sable Stable.

Apparently, my mom is the carrier of the blurry picture gene which afflicts me so.

She insisted I pose for this rustic picture at the old train depot.

I'm trying to take a cool picture like meligrosa and failing.

Like, I said, my mom, my sister, the Yorkshire terrier, and I went riding. What I didn't say is that I need a Courtnee-proof camera. Hopefully, I'll get a camera that takes good pictures despite me for Xmas. (They do make those now, don't they?)

Also, in spite of a little test run on Betty, my mom's ride didn't get off to a very smooth start. I should've shown her how to come to a start after she'd come to a stop--I had a lot of problems with that initially too. Well, at a stop sign, my mom was trying to get started again and she and Betty went down--Mom went flat on her back. It was no one's fault, but a lady driving an SUV paused at the intersection kept apologizing even though we told her she had nothing to do with it. I hope I find such sensitive drivers in the future when I'm actually moving.

While out and about, I took a number of pictures downtown. Pictures of downtown Acworth which looks a lot like downtown Cartersville and Woodstock and probably a number of other places will be coming soon and I'll throw in some pictures of Lake Acworth for variety.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hello, Acworth

I must have only posted this on my other blog: I've moved. I haven't been able to get to the Internet much because we cut off our landline as one of the first orders of business and went into cells-only mode. It took forever to pack up the house--it used to be my grandmother's house and she used to have a cafe (which I just found out about) so I pretty much packed dishes and glasses for three days straight. Then there was the furniture, clothes, bric-a-brac, the dog. Of course, my bikes weren't important to anybody, but me, and I had to spend the night at the new house without either bike (even though I tried in vain to at least get Betty over to the new house along with me). Yesterday, some friends brought Betty, but Praline is locked in the old house alone. I hate that the Sable Stable isn't together.

To be honest, another reason that I haven't posted that much is because I've been out riding. I probably have a relative or two with Internet access and I could've asked them for a little time on their computer, but I hate to be a bother and it was soooo beautiful outside this past week. Today is overcast and drizzly, but it's still unseasonably warm. Maybe I'll get a picture of my new environs for this post. I still have a picture missing from my last post--I'll try to put new pictures up tonight.

Oh yeah, some of the pictures I have to post are from a little weekend ride my mom my sister, Buttons, the Yorkshire Terrier, and I took. I let my mom ride Betty because I thought it would be easier for her to get up the hills with more speeds. Her ride didn't go as smoothly as I anticipated. I'll definitely blog with pictures about it later.

Friday, November 6, 2009


I knew that my bike would be ready Wednesday or Thursday. Wednesday night I literally didn't sleep. It feels like I turned twice in bed, blinked my eyes a few times and, the next thing I knew, it was 6:40 AM. I had to get up and get ready for class. I was tired, but excited about the call I was expecting from the bike shop. I was at the library around five o' clock when my cell phone rang--it was Outspokin' Bikes. My bike was ready! Unfortunately, there's no bike shop particularly close to me in Cartersville. Outspokin' Bikes is about seventeen miles away. After riding Praline home and jumping in the truck with plenty of blankets and old tee shirts, I made it to the bike shop shortly before closing.

I asked the bike mechanic who assembled Betty to pose with my new baby. (The photo must have come out like this because I was trembling with excitement). Then he put her in the back of the truck on two old blankets and I put the tee shirts around any points that were rubbing up against the truck bed--she was swaddled like a newborn baby.

I'm the type of person who likes to maintain the newness of a new thing for as long as possible; I can get a little freaky about it sometimes. When I first got my iPod, I would only put it in a pocket in my purse by itself--I didn't want anything knocking up against it. I didn't want it to get scratched. I got over it eventually, but gradually. Very gradually. I'd planned on being just as precious with Betty, but my inveterate procrastinating took care of that. Last night, I was so excited about my first ride on Betty in the morning that I couldn't sleep again. It was exactly the same as Wednesday night. I got up late this morning, wolfed down my breakfast, and hopped on Betty. It wasn't a very gracious hop, but I got under way without a problem. Regrettably, I didn't secure everything in my basket before heading out. I thought I could grab my bike lock before it slid out of the basket, but as I raced across the railroad tracks to beat the train that, as it turned out, wasn't coming, the lock got away from me and took a little bit of my wooden basket with it (not a lot, just some sort of coating on the wood). Luckily, the big AT&T van behind me didn't smoosh my bike lock under its tires. The driver actually got out and picked up my lock for me. He was nice--he complimented my bike and advised me to get some reflectors since it was such a dark color. I thanked him and he drove away.

When I reached school, I was presented with another problem. The bike rack looked positively Lilliputian. In order to lock my bike to the rack, I had to back it up and hook the lock around the dropouts. In the process, I scraped the rear fender against the building. So much for being precious with Betty. But I guess it's a good thing because it would be difficult to enjoy my bicycle to the fullest if I was overly worried about "messing it up."

Actually, I should be more worried about the damage my shoes might develop on Betty. No wonder Vivienne Westwood rides with her heels in her basket.
Nonetheless, I will ride tall. Literally. I feel so high up on this bike. I noticed it immediately and I thought, "I can look an SUV driver in the eye." Funnily, when I was on my way to the library after school I intimidated a younger SUV driver. I didn't even acknowledge her honk initially because no one has ever honked at me in town. When I casually turned to survey her through my sunglasses, I'm sure she shrank a bit. Her passenger passive aggressively yelled for me to get on the sidewalk before getting out of earshot. I've certainly felt more eyes on me today than usual; Betty really turns heads and, apparently, makes some chicks feel threatened. Sad. It would be so much easier for her to get a bike of her own than to try to spoil my good time. I'll be out and about enjoying myself tomorrow for sure.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

About Us: Why's and Wherefore's

I ride a bike because it's fun. Or at least the way I ride a bike is fun (in my estimation). I don't ride fast. I don't wear Lycra. I don't get dirty. I don't schlep anything on my person. I can easily wave at bystanders or stop and have a chat (because I'm not gasping for breath). I carry whatever I need with me in my basket.

Unfortunately, I didn't always do things this way. In my school days, I tried to ride to campus sans basket or rack with a humongous bookbag on my back. It was a pretty miserable experience in a brief three mile commute. Of course, three miles carrying a bookbag doesn't sound that bad, but consider the fact that I was in Atlanta. In September. After arriving on campus and getting out of the heat, I still had my profuse back sweat to deal with. While I carried some fabulous body wipes and spritz (chilled in the refrigerator for the Atlanta heat), I still felt icky (and I was probably a little whiffy despite my efforts). I didn't have another shirt to change into because I couldn't have transported it unwrinkled in my bookbag. Needless to say, I didn't last long as a commuter cyclist.

Because of my fond memories of riding a bike as a kid, I figured that my arduous commute had to stem from something I had done wrong. Searching the Internet for answers, I found commuter cycling websites that represented a community of folks riding bikes with fenders, chain guards, racks, baskets, or panniers who rode in order to get from point A to point B, not to beat their own time. Looking a bit further, I found a website advising women cyclists on how to cycle in skirts and heels. This was my first inkling of cycle chic. Then I found Copenhagen Cycle Chic. It was a revelation. Next, I had to find my ride with civilized accessories. As luck would have it, I came across Riding Pretty's post on her rusty true love which directed me to Craigslist for a vintage bike of my own. I bought my gently-loved Praline from an older gentleman and the rest is history.

Monday, November 2, 2009

About Us: Nomenclature

Hello,world globe! I'm Courtnee and I'm so happy to be a part of the Globe Bike Project because it allows me to spread a little bit more cycle chicness across the blogosphere. I hope that anyone considering a Globe bike who checks out this blog knows that one can ride in any flight of fashion that he/she chooses as long as it permits free range of movement. More than likely, my first DIY post will be about making skirt/coat guards for my bikes so that my flowy Fall skirts don't get caught up in the rear wheel when going downhill (again). There is also a nice little assemble in the works for my new Globe Bike-- henceforth and forever more to be referred to as Brown Betty, Betty, or BB II-- that includes paisley reflective stickers, Japanese lace tape, and a lavender paint pen to start. For security purposes, I believe that my bikes should be as feminine as possible. I also like the pretty. I like the pretty a lot (I'll elaborate on this in regards to bikes at another time).

Right now, Brown Betty is on her way to the Peach State from origins unknown and I'm so excited about her joining my stable. Actually, I'm just thrilled to be able to say that I have a, "bike stable." Since my other bike, Praline Supreme, is bronze my bikes shall be referred to collectively as the "Sable Stable: The Dynamic Duo of Slow Cycling." However, "Sable Stable," will suffice for daily parlance.

By now you're probably wondering why my bikes have names and titles. Who doesn't like having a title? Titles make one feel and appear important and my bikes are important to me. Also my bikes are mine. We have history (or we will, in Betty's case). We have a relationship--we're road buddies. We're on a journey together, literally! Do you have histories or relationships with unnamed entities? Pets have names. Ships have names. Some folks name their cars. It's just natural that bikes have names too.

I can't wait to meet Brown Betty and get to know her. Of course, I'll be detailing our little adventures here as regularly as possible. And no, your eyes do not deceive you, this blog is color coordinated with my future bike and my profile picture outfit because that's how we roll.