Monday, November 30, 2009
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
- 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
- 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
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
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 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
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
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.