30 April 2008

Cold Snap

Frost is predicted tonight, but this girl has her Uggs ready. Nice helmet!

29 April 2008

Love is an English 3 Speed

You can't hurry love, but why would you want to when it looks this smooth? Isn't it funny how couples come to look the same?

28 April 2008

Riding your bike in Boston

Bay State Bike Week will be May 12-18. There are many activities planned, should be something for everyone. I think I'll head over to Government Center for the breakfast. See you there?

25 April 2008

Accessories for a chic commuter

Gotta have the right tool for every job. Here's a list that will keep you in good shape.

A Pump
You will be much happier on your bike if you keep the tires correctly inflated. It is amazing how much of a drag a low tire can be, in addition to putting you at a greater risk of punctures. I keep a pump at my office, because no one sees it under my desk and I have more room here than at home.

A Bike Lock
All locks are vulnerable, consider them only to be a deterrent. There are two general types:
  • Cable lock - intrinsically more flexible, faster to cut through
  • U lock - generally stronger, harder to find suitable locking locations
Only you know which lock will meet your specific needs.

A Tool Kit and Spare Tube
I carry a spare tube, and usually a small pump. On occasions when I don't have the pump I'm relying on a kind cyclist with a pump to stop if I'm distressed, but I'd never expect even the kindest of comrades to give me a tube.

For my minimalist tool set I carry plastic tire irons, regular and Phillips screwdrivers, a small adjustable wrench, and a small Allen set. I don't try to patch a tube while dealing with a commute.

Headlights and Taillights
Lights are legally required after dark in Massachusetts, and a good idea wherever you are, laws or not.

The old-fashioned romantic in me would like to be using dynamo hubs to power my lights, but that hasn't happened for me yet ($$). In the meantime I've been very happy with a rear red blinkie and a handlebar mounted headlight. These run on batteries and are very safe. The handlebar light lives in my bike bag when not on the bike. The rear blinkie is mounted on my helmet, so it is theft-protected as well.

A Helmet
My philosophy on helmets is that they don't hurt and they might help. I don't want to live with the regret of not having done all that I could to stay safe in the unfortunate event of an accident. So I wear one. The only difference between an expensive helmet and a cheap one is how it fits, so buy the cheapest helmet that's comfortable on your head.

I love my fenders. I do ride in the rain but I'm more likely to ride right after the rain. My fenders keep the road grime and wet from splashing back up onto me.

A Rack
I have a rear rack on which I clip my bike bag. It also works well for carrying parcels to and from the post office and even bulkier options, like my new living room carpet.

Almost a requirement, bags which attach to your bike allow you to carry things without having them weigh down your back (and arms, and wrists). You can leave them partially packed with tools and a spare tube. They come in many styles depending on your bike and your needs:
  • Rack bags and panniers
  • Handlebar bags
  • Underseat wedges (usually quite small)
There are some lovely bags out there (many profiled on this blog) or you can see the Sartorialist's photo of a woman using her Louis Vuitton as a handlebar bag. Whatever works for you is the perfect bag.

Cycling Clothing
Whatever you happen to be wearing today! (with possible accommodations if you live in a hot climate and your clothes are delicate) Bicycles work just fine with no special clothing.

Got a lot to carry?

This man above is a legend in Boston/Cambridge. He always has this much cargo. I am grateful to not carry this much gear on my bike.

When I do need to transport large quantities of stuff I'm very impressed to learn that the representative in Cambridge has an extracycle he's willing to loan out to citizens who give him just a bit of notice. That seems like the perfect application of an extracycle, and a very good PR move on his part.

Our friend Max moved house in Cambridge before this loan was available. His photos now grace the homepage at Alterna Transport.

Finally, if you're the type who would have otherwise bought a pickup truck (because you carry so much), consider instead a Yuba Cargo Bike.

23 April 2008

Pretty Spring Afternoon

What a pretty start to our Boston spring!

Product Review: Schwalbe Marathon Tires

Schwalbe reflective sidewall bicycle tires
Tires with reflective sidewalls are legally required in the Netherlands. I can see why, and cars can too. What a simple way to be passively visible - no lights to remember, no batteries to burn out. The idea is just so simple.

The Schwalbes are simple too. They're well made and easy to put on your rims. I'm not sure I even really needed my tire iron. I haven't flatted yet but they're still pretty new so let's just knock on wood. I think they're attractive and add a slightly old-fashioned sporty look to my bike, like a safety version of the old V-necked tennis sweater.

Schwalbe Marathon tires 27 inch

Silver Motobecane hauling bike

More photos of this bike on Cyclo Fiend

Seeing this bike reminded me of this quotation:

"As a social revolutionizer, the bicycle has never had an equal. It has put the human race on wheels, and thus changed completely many of the most ordinary processes and methods of social life. It is the great leveler, for not till all Americans got on bicycles was the great American principle that every man is just as good as any other man fully realized. All are on equal terms, all are happier than ever before."

- New York Evening Post, June 2, 1896

22 April 2008

Simple motion

I love the deep indigo of her jeans and the jewels on her handbag. I know that determined look on her face - she's been facing Boston traffic!

See the country - ride a bike

"It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle."

- Ernest Hemingway, By-Line

Photo by sileno sc

18 April 2008

Basket Panniers

The folks at Vélo Orange have excellent taste. These handmade Amish panniers would be just the thing to transport my Community Farm Share (local organic food) home on Friday nights. They look like they come from another time. Stunning!

Of course I'd be obliged to get the matching front basket:

What you need to know about bike sizes

Have you ever bought a suit? Buying a bike is similar in many ways.

You know that if the suit fits well across your shoulders then you're good to go. You can make adjustments: shorten the sleeves, nip in the waist, etc. Bikes are the same way - once you get close to the right size they're infinitely adjustable.

The fundamental measurement in a bike is the length of the seat tube. This is the tube that goes from the pedals to your seat post (and saddle). The effective length here can be slightly adjusted by moving your saddle up and down, but fundamentally the seat tube is the "size" of the bike. As a convention road bikes list this size in centimeters, mountain bikes and old three-speeds list the size in inches.

A good way to get your bike size is to go to a good bike store and ask for help. However some bike stores want to put you on whatever stock they have on hand, and some cyclists prefer to reduce/reuse/recycle by buying used bikes. In support of that I offer some basic guidance on getting to your size:

Colorado Cyclist offers a calculator to help you find your ideal frame size. I will qualify there are a couple caveats:
  1. This is intended for sport cycling, generally a city cyclist will want a slightly smaller bike with a more upright position.
  2. It is based on men's measurements. Women tend to have longer legs and shorter torsos so your leg measurement alone will tend to put you on a slightly larger bike.

You might round their measurement down. Their calculator puts me on a 57cm frame, my actual commuter is a 56cm and I would be ok with something even a little bit smaller. So use this to get a measured and calculated idea of your ultimate true size.

The instructions above will be the best way to get your measurement, and the values below should give you some idea of what you'd expect for your result. Actual measurements/calculations are better than this table which I cobbled together from various sources of ambiguous authority from all over the web.

height inseam road mountain old 3 speeds

Once you get the seat tube right you can tailor the bike to fit you perfectly by changing the handlebars and the stem. I'll post on that (with photos of my own bike) soon!

(One more thing: used bike sellers often get confused between TIRE sizes and FRAME sizes - if they claim a bike is 26" or 27" they're probably looking at the tire size)

17 April 2008

Chic cyclist in the urban landscape

I saw her on her way home in the South End this evening. I'm not much of a photographer but I hope you get the idea anyway.

Fun and funky helmets

Our friends back home (Velo Vogue in San Francisco) have pointed out some fun helmets from Nutcase I haven't seen before.

J - this multi-stripe model is for you!

Charmed by a new bike bag

I'm excited by an old leather purse which I've re-purposed as a bike bag. It has a fun gathered leather front which lends itself well to the addition of some reflective tape. I changed the strap so that it can attach easily to the rack of my bike and it seems good to go!
It is easily large enough to hold what I carry most of the time: a pair of gloves, my ankle cuff, a lock, a tire pump, tire levers, a hex wrench set, an ordinary wrench, and a spare inner tube. I didn't photograph my headlight but I carry that and it fits in the new bag too.

Because I have my wonderful Carradice I don't desperately NEED this bag, so it might become a gift or a doorprize or something. I'm just so pleased with how it turned out!

16 April 2008

Maggie's Perfect Mixte

Best way to get the story and photos of the details is to read the story, but the gist is that a bike builder (with my great-grandmother's maiden name) created the prettiest and most personalized bike I've ever seen.
I'm swooning!
I'm particularly enamored of this headbadge made from one of Maggie's old pendants. What a lucky lady!

Simple green Raleigh - efficient motion machine

More photos of this bike at Cyclo Fiend

"When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments. Here was a machine of precision and balance for the convenience of man. And (unlike subsequent inventions for man's convenience) the more he used it, the fitter his body became. Here, for once, was a product of man's brain that was entirely beneficial to those who used it, and of no harm or irritation to others. Progress should have stopped when man invented the bicycle."

- Elizabeth West, Hovel in the Hills

15 April 2008

Discussion of "cycle chic"

There has been a lot of defining and discussion lately about what it means to be a chic cyclist. In reading what people have to say I have to affirm more and more that I am not a chic cyclist, by other's definitions.

I've decided to take a stab at defining what it means to me:

Chic cycling is a personal statement, an expression of self which extends to everyday transport choices.

Being a chic cyclist is a subversive statement, a refusal to conform for the sake of conformity.

However, rather than being reactionary, chic cycling is a rational, examined position integrating an aesthetic and a lifestyle which are based on substance rather than marketing.

Relatedly, I don't care what your bike cost, your clothes cost, or their relative value to each other. I do care that you've thought about both and chosen each deliberately, rather than merely purchasing the "REI cyclist 2008 package" (10% off, if you act fast!).

To me cycle chic touches on the French notion of épanouie - it implies a self actualized person living in harmony with herself and her community (local and global), integrating both.

I don't care if you ride a road bike, a mountain bike, a townie, or a unicycle. I just want you to have a reason to ride that bike, and for the bike to reflect who you are personally. I see nothing wrong with Tom Boonen in lycra (yum!), baggy shorts on a mountain bike in Boulder, and elegant city cyclists in Copenhagen.

There is a good reason for all of the choices above and those underlying reasons are what make each deliberate choice cycle chic. Form follows function and until recently the true function of utility cycling was not deeply examined in America. Hurray for progress!

My notion of cycle chic is consistent with a very Boston quotation, one that I've tried to take as my own over-arching manifesto. This was written by William Henry Channing around 1920:

To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common
--this is my symphony.

Let me know what you think, and keep riding...

Let's see some tail lights

Anyone who rides at night needs BOTH reflectors AND lights.

This tail light from Amazon comes well recommended for the price and has nice vintage style. I'd like to see if I could mount it on my fender, to add to the blinkie I have on my helmet. We will just have to work out how to secure the lens which apparently has a tendency to fall off.

For a more futuristic look, this other light from Amazon has an interesting look. I could see it on a bike with a more modernistic aesthetic. It almost looks Star Trek to me, and I like that about it. It is also nice in that it appears to mount with hardware. I suspect you leave it on the bike and that makes it hard to steal. Anything that makes your commute simpler is always a good choice.

The most interesting tail light at REI is this lollypop-styled light. They claim you can mount it anywhere. I like the customer's suggestions to add these to your bags. It seems like a light and easy way to get more visibility.

This says it all:

"I thought of that while riding my bicycle."

- Albert Einstein
(on the theory of relativity)

Rollin' on the phone

What a fun jacket! That is personal style. It's hard to see but her bag is as patterned as her coat.

She was distracted on the phone, but I think anyone can tell that she enjoys getting out on her bike.

Unexpected benefits to cycling - morning coffee date

I did not anticipate some of the wonderful gifts city cycling would offer. For example, I just arrived at work after a morning date with my husband. About twice a week we will ride to one coffee shop or another for breakfast and some time to catch up. With bikes we have time to get there and back before work starts. It feels so balanced to do something for just the two of us before we even officially start the day.

If I'd have known my life would be enriched like this by cycling I would have started sooner!

Photo from Sydney Body Art Ride blog.

My Winter Uniform 2008

chic cycling gear winter
I never claimed to be super chic, but I was warm and comfortable (mostly) and commuted all winter by bike.

The coat is nice because the light color stands out again the asphalt and city colors. My helmet fits a light beanie hat underneath. I wore leather gloves lined with cashmere, the leather kept the wind out and the cashmere kept the warmth in. The cuff is practical for keeping my trousers out of the chain, but it's also a little fun in the winter and an opening for conversations. A lot of people have mentioned it at stop lights.

The best cycling shoes are the shoes you already have

Despite her rusty chain this girl had cute shoes! While chatting she told me she's Dutch. When I told her I wanted a photo of her shoes she laughed and pointed out that at home her shoes wouldn't be considered special. Everyone wears cute shoes cycling in the Netherlands.

So let's talk about cycling shoes. The American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine does not think casual cyclists ought to worry about clip systems or special shoes. Sure, you could shave five seconds off your commute but what a logistical challenge to add multiple pairs of shoes to your commute! For a short, more casual ride it's best to select shoes from your own closet.

As for which to choose, traditionally cycling shoes have a stiffer sole, allowing more energy from the leg stroke to translate to the pedals. This is consistent with high heels, most boots, and clogs. Soft-soled ballerina flats may not be great for cycling, but honestly I'd wear them.

If cycling is not fun it's not worth it - wear what makes you happy!

Another bicycle commute

"City riding is a continual lesson in feminine principles, in particular the art of being vulnerable. A confrontational, macho aesthetic spells calamity. You must learn to yield, to dodge, to seek harmony. You are obliged to mind the web of interrelations, that complicated mesh of interests, conflicts, and intentions."

- Chip Brown, essayist, and author of "A Bike and a Prayer"

Photo by Bicycles Only

14 April 2008

Green for go

A Boston cyclist on her way home from work.

Pretty and practical

On my ride home today this nice lady complimented my cuff. I immediately was in awe of her subtly subversive style, from those glasses to the six-pack of paper towels she was bringing home by bike with her shopping. She told me that she rides this bike every day in Boston. I wish I'd felt more comfortable delaying her longer in chatting, she seemed like a person I'd like to know.

Riding tips for new cyclists

Sydney bike girlThis text is modified from the original at Rivendell, to customize for my sister and step-mom and any interested new cyclists.

Fun is more important than fast.

Ride only when you feel like it.

Learn right away that the front brake is the most effective one, and don't brake hard in sand or silty road debris.

Learn how far you can lean over without scraping a pedal and learn to keep the inside pedal UP when you corner.

Be the master and commander of your own bicycle. Learn to fix a flat. Never let your chain squeak. That is why you need chain lubricant, $5.

Get a bell. Signal your approach to pedestrians, especially if they're old. A bell is better than "On your left!" but it will do if you're bell-less.

Never hit a pedestrian. In traffic, be visible and predictable.

Don't ride in shoes you can't shop in.

The best bike on earth is the one that you WANT to ride. Feel comfortable mixing high tech and low tech, old and new parts and technologies, and don't apologize to anybody for it. If you buy a new bike, do something to it that makes it the only one exactly like it in the world.

Compliment other people's bikes, especially if they're old and well cared for.

Buy the cheapest helmet that fits well.

Don't always shop by price and never ask for discounts at your local bike shop. Every time you go into a bike shop, spend at least $2, and if you ask a question and get good advice, spend $5 (get a cable).

Never apologize for buying something that's not quite pro quality by saying, "I'm not going to race or anything."

Have at least one bike you feel comfortable riding in a downpour. Ride in weather that keeps other cyclists indoors. ENJOY being outside, even if it's wet/humid/cold/hot/dark...

If you borrow somebody else's bike, for a short test or a long ride, say something nice about it.

Photo and Rivendell tip inspiration taken from Sydney Body Art Ride blog. Thank you!

Strong women ride bikes

"I'll tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than any one thing in the world. I rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a bike. It gives her a feeling of self-reliance and independence the moment she takes her seat; and away she goes, the picture of untrammelled womanhood."

- Susan B. Anthony 1896

Photo by sr formica

11 April 2008

Cheerful colors on a rainy spring day

I'm afraid I am a little slow with the trigger finger so this isn't the shot I wanted. It still shows a cheerful look on a drab day. I was wishing for a gold bike this morning and I love that spring green. There are a lot more bikes out these days. I'm looking forward to more plentiful and better shots soon.

09 April 2008

Custom cable colors - Jagwire

Jagwire is the place for colored cable housing, to best coordinate with your bike's overall aesthetic. They have a fun tool for estimating the effect of your color choice.

Colors include Dirt Rag brown (a translucent red brown), Red (kind of a cherry red), White, Merida Green (like a bright lime green), Black, Ripcord, Expressway, Titanium, XTR Gray, Hi-Tech Gray, Sterling Silver, Pearl Silver, Blue, Hot Pink, Yellow, Maxxis Orange, and Gold Medal.

Photo from void808.

It's good to be a girl!

cycling in a skirt
Today is really spring. The birds are singing and the air feels warm. It was time to pull out a skirt. It was a delight to ride into work, the godets of my skirt fluttering around me.

My fellow-cyclist Dutch colleague complimented me on my skirt and remarked "Isn't it interesting how the cars are nicer to you when you wear a skirt? It's true in the Netherlands too."

I hadn't thought of it but yes, the cars were more accommodating today. I'm going to wear a skirt while cycling more often! It's good to be a girl.

08 April 2008

Ross rugged elegance

What a practical bike with a wonderful bag - it's a statement in the beauty of simplicity and utility. I also like this photo showing there isn't much you can't do with a bike like this.

There are even more photos at Cyclo Fiend

To the people who pass me on my commute

You truly fast people: carry on.

You others, the ones who pass me at a stop-light. Have you no pride? I understand that perhaps you see a girl on a bike and think "of course I'm faster than her". So you pass me when I'm stopped. I let you, maybe you're Lance Armstrong visiting Boston and just happen to catch me at a light. I give you the benefit of the doubt. But then you then go at a snail's pace and I pass you back while we're underway.

We get to another stop light.


I do not understand this.

07 April 2008

Another Capricorn in sage green

Such a clean look - I love their custom racks with the oak bottom. The sage is a good choice for powdercoating. It looks like it would wear well. I also like the twine on the handlebars.
More photos at Cyclo Fiend.

04 April 2008

Bike Makeover #3: Flamingo Floozie - Fair Lady

pink Schwinn Suburban bike
I was very happy to receive a perfect story from a modern-day 'Henry Higgins' about a beautiful ladies' bike:

First-off, you'll need to remind yourself about the basic story plot of MY FAIR LADY.

I am a retired guy in Davenport, Iowa with a hobby of refurbishing old Chicago-built Schwinn bikes (only interested in the Chicago-built mass-production models, the ones with the vertical-oval S-C-H-W-I-N-N headbadges). I find them at thrift stores and clean em up/fix em up. I don't do any paint touch up, preferring to allow them to show the usage and character marks. If a bike is too bad I parts it out and scrap the frame.

pink Schwinn Suburban bicycle drivetrainIn December I found a pink 1977 Schwinn ladies SUBURBAN. That bike was grimy-filthy. I mean grimy as in black oily. Like it might have been stored in a factory atmosphere or the like. FILTHY. I let her follow me home and quickly named her FLAMINGO FLOOZY. Flamingo is the name of the Schwinn color and I learned that the color was only used for half a model-year. Must have been a poor seller. Schwinn never used it again. So I had a bike of a rare color.

She brought to mind the neighborhood old-maids of my 1940s childhood in Chicago. Every city block had one, the slightly eccentric middle-aged to older maiden lady. She'd wear gaudy dresses with bright colors and loud patterns. She'd use facial make-up to extreme; heavy on the rouge and very heavy on the lipstick. Lots of heavy jewelry from the Woolworth or Kresge dime stores. Funny like a clown to us kids, but now as a senior adult I feel a tinge of embarrassment and certainly empathy. So that's how I was thinking about this pink ladies Schwinn last December; Flamingo Floozie. Garishly gauche.

Pink Schwinn Suburban bikeAs I disassembled her and began the cleanup and mechanical work I began to really like this girl. I always put heart and soul into a refurb but this lady took on a different relationship. I began thinking CLASS. Audrey Hepburn and her MY FAIR LADY character Eliza Doolittle came to mind and once that association was made the bike took on a personality.

I fitted her with an old Schwinn/Shimano 5-spd FrontFreewheel System and POSITRON II derailer, whitewall tires, white cable sheathing, a vintage Schwinn bell taken from another oldie, and a black leather saddlebag. Well, actually the saddlebag is a ladies purse that I modified with attached straps to hang on the back of the saddle. After all, a common saddlebag just wouldn't do! The purse came from a Salvation Army thrift store and seemed like a perfect final touch of class for the new lady Eliza Doolittle.
Eliza Doolittle, the street flower vendor who transformed herself into a lady of class. As you can tell I had fun with this particular project bike!

purse remade as saddlebag pink Schwinn suburban bikeI then contacted a young lady here in Davenport who'd bought a snazzy almost-mint Cardinal Red Schwinn from me last fall and asked if she'd help me sell this one. Coincidentally, she was in Chicago when I called her (aren't cell phones wonderful?) with a friend who'd just asked her to buy a bike sight-unseen from me. Long story shortened, the lady in Chicago bought Eliza Doolittle on our mutual friend's word and two cell-phone photos. The Chicago buyer is apparently a young woman approaching thirty I'd guess, a professional, and apparently lives well into the inner city because she's very excited about riding Eliza along The Lakefront every evening.

My Comments:
This seems like a made-for-movies perfect bike story!
There is a good chance that both Eliza and this very lucky young lady are the same age - I was born in 1977. Additionally, Eliza has now gone home - made in Chicago, living in Chicago. After her beautiful makeover, could there be a happier ending?

Why I want a Mixte someday:

It just seems easier to get on and off a mama chariot if it has a dropped top bar. This is NOT a mixte, but you get the idea...

Photo by bilobicles

It's pouring out today - cycling raincoat review

What makes a good cycling raincoat?
First off, it should be cute. That's assumed. Beyond that it should be short enough to not interfere with your wheels, it should have long enough sleeves that your arms are covered even when you reach for the handlebars, it should be brightly colored to keep you from looking like the roadway to passing cars, and it should be waterproof. Finally, it should be inexpensive as it will inevitably, eventually, get dirty and worn.

From the Gap this yellow coat is darling! The front will split to accommodate pedaling and the sleeves are long enough to reach the handlebars without exposing a lot of arm to get wet. It's waterproof and bright for cars to see. Perfect!


JCrew has a stylish option (love the collar!) in a cotton fabric that looks delicious which they call "Italian paper-poplin". In addition to the bubblegum pink it is also available in a cute light lemon yellow. As a downside, I don't care for the sleeves. Particularly on a bike these sleeves will be entirely too short, they could be worn with a short sleeved shirt but anything longer would inevitably end up wet. I'd prefer the raincoat were a little longer too.


I didn't see anything suitable at all at Banana Republic.

To be completely over-the-top, Saks Fifth Avenue has this Burberry Trenchcoat with all the details I describe. It is certainly visible, long sleeves, good length, and a statement piece! Of course, it doesn't coordinate with my bike, and it doesn't conform to the 'inexpensive' rule, so I'll have to pass, but I'd love to see someone fabulous rocking this trench on a bike!


Has anyone seen any others?

03 April 2008

Girlie Dream Bike

Just about every woman I've shown these photos to has swooned. Something about the color, the grips, the basket. It's perfect. Kristi is a lucky girl to get that bike for Christmas! More photos and description at CycloFiend.

I learned a new word today!

Pronunciation:\kə-ˈthek-səs, ka-\
Function: noun
Etymology: New Latin (intended as translation of German Besetzung), from Greek kathexis holding, from katechein to hold fast, occupy, from kata- + echein to have, hold
Date: 1922

: investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea

Hmmm - I guess giving names to all my bikes counts, doesn't it?

Equestrian helmet as commuting helmet?

I came to cycling as an equestrienne, so I'll disclose immediately that my tastes may be biased.

Bike commuters and equestrians both require a helmet with a classic appearance, good ventilation, and comfort. As long as the horse helmets are ASTM/SEI Certified I don't see any reason why a person couldn't wear one to commute by bike. They're warmer than traditional bike helmets, which could be a problem for someone in Florida but isn't usually a problem in Boston. Horse helmets have more protection to the back of the head. No big deal there.

My position on this is that the best helmet is the helmet that you're willing to actually wear. Period. For any sport.

There are numerous equestrian helmets available from Dover Saddlery and State Line Tack.

Rising helmets have had longer to evolve so they're also available in purple velvet, tan leather, and other fun options.

Bicycle-based deliveries in our fair city

Right here in Cambridge, MA we have a new, formalized delivery service called New Amsterdam Project which is profiled today in the Christian Science Monitor. New Amsterdam Project is part of a growing group of bicycle-based delivery services around the country. They are different from our pedi-cab group in that they want to replace the deliveries currently being done by light trucks - deliveries of restaurant supplies and manufactured goods.

It seems that now even UPS is considering bike-based delivery of packages. I know women who swoon over the UPS man in shorts. Just imagine his legs if he were on a bike!

Swift with the night

I'm not one for cycling in black at night, but she is beautiful and also safe.

Well done.

Photo by salchichasconarrose