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.