30 April 2009

Lilacs on a Lilac Bike

French bicycle lilac carrying lilacs
From my friend E, it's a lilac seller in Toulouse who was transporting the flowers with a lilac-colored bike. How perfect is that?

I love the white fenders-grips-saddle with the lilac.

Not-so-perfect is that skirt guard, though it does inspire me to consider making one of my own, particularly now that I'm wearing more skirts.

29 April 2009

Boston, Bikes, and Photos

visit Boston by bike
Someone else was out taking photos on her bike! I like her graphical jacket, it's cooler today but she still looks cheerful.

visit Boston by bike

Cycling with Kiddos

While we are nowhere near that yet, I'm starting to put some thought into what will be required to continue cycling once little people enter our lives.

One of my most cherished memories is skiing at Tahoe when I was about 5 years old. My dad made a piece of pie with his skis, and held me as I made a piece of pie with mine. We went so fast, the wind rushed through my hair, and I was still warm. The thrill of an adventure, protected by the strong bulk of my father's body, was a highlight of my early childhood.

So you'll understand why I just adore this dad and daughter, out on their adventure. He'd just pointed something out to her, I'd love to have had that kind of time each morning with my dad.

father daughter cycling bikes
The law in MA prohibits babies under the age of one on single person bikes. So what to do for that first year?

The bike trailer is an ever-popular option. However this photo, taken at the same place on the same morning as the dad above, illustrates my concerns about a trailer:

bike trailer Boston Cambridge
The child is just so far behind, so hard to see/hear, and those trucks out there so big! I think this may work better in suburban environments than in the big city.

A girlfriend who is pregnant has told me she's going to get a cargo bike. This makes a lot of sense, if you have somewhere to park it. How do Europeans park these things? On the street? What about theft and rain? Bakfiets and Madsen Cargo Bikes seem to be the most popular. I think that Bakfiets might be better for infants, and the Madsen better for children, but I'd welcome additional data. Where is the second-hand market for these bikes? I've never seen them for sale.

Once they are big enough, there are infinite options with an extracycle, tandem, or Trail-a-bike. There's even a jumpseat for my husband's Brompton! (which would be good for the storage issue)

But what to do for that first year?

New Season, New Flower

singlespeed with a flower
I saw this bike again, now with a new flower (and fender). Happy springtime riding!

singlespeed with a flower

28 April 2009

BMX and Garden Trellis

Tall bike Cambridge
OK, so that's probably not what he actually used to make this tall bike, but it's a bit reminiscent, non? I think that's a headlight in front, how awesome is that?

tall bike

Soak Up the Sunshine

girl in a skirt riding her bike in Boston

It's a gorgeous day here in Cambridge (finally!) and we're all out on bikes, soaking up the wonderful sunshine. It feels so good!

27 April 2009

Fuschia Schwinn

Schwinn crusierI see this pretty pink Schwinn near MIT all the time. I love the chrome fenders with the strong fuschia color. It may be a smaller bike, but it's got a grown-up girly look.

23 April 2009

Gentleman Commuters: Man bags

Some handsome men I've seen recently. Different looks, but they all have nice bags, on the bike or on the body.

bicycle commuter man with bag

bicycle commuter man with bag

bicycle commuter man with bag

bicycle commuter man with bag

22 April 2009

Cool Morning Light

blue bicycle cool colorsLove her posture, balancing on her toes, and the green shoes with her light, cheerful colors. I'd love to find a short trench like hers.
She looks so relaxed on her way to work.

Watch out for the yellow ones!

They're unpredictable, you never know when they're going to U-turn.

bicycle taxi road

21 April 2009

Moving By Bicycle

Looks to me like they're moving items for their office!

moving by bike

moving by bike

moving by bike

Marathon Monday

I found out too late about the Pre-Boston Marathon Bike Ride, organized on Facebook.

It was Sunday, at midnight, silly hats encouraged. Next year I'm definitely there.

If I can't ride all night, maybe I'll join the 5:45 AM group.

Another AP article I found before, but not now, reported that some people make it an out-and-back for 50+ miles. That could be fun and save me the $6 train fare.

Next year, definitely.

18 April 2009

Singlespeed Cargo Bike

Here's a bike I've been seeing for the last few months, up and down Cambridge Street. I've been holding out on posting it, hoping that I will happen to catch a glimpse of it being ridden. No such luck.

DIY homemade bike bicycle cargo utility
How odd it must be to steer with that rubber-wrapped bar! I notice that there are no brakes, so it must be fixed-gear. (Updated: Ooops, I was wrong - it has a coaster brake, thank heavens!)

DIY homemade bike bicycle cargo utility
Here it is in January, still on Cambridge Street:

DIY homemade bike bicycle cargo utilityI couldn't find any maker information on the bicycle frame itself. There are two forks being used to hold the two front wheels, it's my theory that this is a DIY cargo bike. Isn't it wild?

DIY homemade bike bicycle cargo utility

17 April 2009

Freebie Friday: Bike Flowers

Boston bicycle flower garland springtime
Maybe you're like me? You enjoy seeing flowers on a bike, but you don't want to commit to attaching them there for all time. Spring may be a state of mind, but sometimes I was to travel light and sleek. And sometimes I want lots of flowers! Heck, I don't even wear my engagement ring all the time, but when I do I enjoy it.

Anyway, to get flowers on my bike sometimes I've just made a flower garland wrapped in pipecleaners which attaches to a handlebar or front basket with small velcro tabs (see photo below). It's easy-on, easy-off, as the mood suits. I suppose that it is thus subject to theft, but if someone needs my bike flowers badly enough to steal them, then they should have my bike flowers... I can say that since adding the flowers I've had many more conversations with drivers waiting next to me. Maybe they take it as an indication I'm an affable cyclist?

OK, so the freebie part. Feeling so cheerful with the sun and good weather, I'd like to share the happiness. I have two of these garlands to ship free to the first two North American responders who publicly agree to send in photos of their bike sporting these flowers. Flowers will be mailed out today, digital photos should be sent on or before Mother's Day (May 10). To win free bike flowers, just respond in the comments section, which has time stamps. I'll check them and the first two will then need to email me privately with a mailing address at chiccyclist@yahoo.com.

velcro flowers bike

Happy "Sundress Day"

sunny day Boston cyclist
"Sundress Day" - the first day in springtime where we all simultaneously wear too little clothing in the overwhelming joy that we just might get away with it. Usually accompanied by pasty white legs and eventual sandal blisters, but it's a joyous celebration anyway.

Today in Boston is sunny with a high of 67 F (21 C). Happy Sundress Day Boston!

16 April 2009

Silver Bike, Chestnut Boots

lady biking in boots Boston

Lady biking in boots, Boston Seen in the South End:
There's something about the warmth of the brown and the coolness of the silver, making a sort of yin and yang, an intriguing complexity. Consider me a fan (even if the photo is, sadly, blurred).

It's Official: a "Dutch Bike" is now a status symbol

Today the New York Times reports that the "new It object is the glossy black Dutch bicycle". The article goes on to discuss many issues we've mentioned here, and other other bike fashion blogs. It's heartening to see that this topic is going mainstream, and a good read. For the gentlemen, there's even a Fashion Slideshow.

For the local Boston angle, I knew that Club Monaco was selling Gazelles, but I didn't know that they're all being imported by Somerville's Dutch Bicycle Company.

I have seen some evidence that bike culture can be it's own worst enemy, with assumptions about riders, etc. I hope the article is right and maybe "the kiss of fashion may help people embrace the idea of a more practical bike"... Come on everyone, let's show them!

Good Looking Bikes

There have been a lot of good looking bikes out recently. We're guessing this is a Surly? It was hard to tell. Good looking commuter bike! I like the reflector/light down by the hub. I think the more the tail lights are spread out the better. Helmet, seat, hub would make a good collection.

15 April 2009

Mad at Mass

This makes me so angry! The Boston Globe reports that "Massachusetts has been allocated $135 million for bike and pedestrian funding since 1991, and has used $51.1 million."

"Durrant said the historically low rate of spending on bike and pedestrian projects in Massachusetts reflects decisions by past administrations to channel every available dollar to highways, especially the Big Dig, the $15 billion Central Artery/Third Harbor Tunnel project."

When people complain that we don't have the bike infrastructure to accommodate a bike share, the main reason cited is that the money doesn't exist to create one. But it turns out it DOES! Garrrrr!

Boston Commuters Are Back

It must be spring, the commuters are coming out again!

Boston Cambridge bicycle commuter
For those of you who haven't heard, Bay State Bike Week will be May 11-17. On May 15th there's even a free breakfast with Mayor Menino. So sign up and pledge your miles!

Boston Cambridge bicycle commuter
Boston Cambridge bicycle commuter
Boston Cambridge bicycle commuter

14 April 2009

Ralph Lauren Cyclist

Ralph Lauren bike Bicycle
Early morning I saw this handsome guy cycling with his coffee, his jeans turned up and his desert boots looking oh-so-cool. He sported a blazer and sunglasses with his jeans. He crossed the sidewalk and opened up the Newbury Street Ralph Lauren store. I guess that explains why he was dressed so nicely!

Nice that he gets to bring his bike into the store.

Ralph Lauren employee on a bi bike bicycle

13 April 2009

RuPaul on a bike

RuPaul on a bike in Manhattan

Sent in by a reader, originally found at Jezebel.com.

I love the comments, particularly IBleedGlitter's "Rupaul dresses better than me in both genders. Le sigh."

Man in Black

gentleman cyclist Cambridge MA
While all in black, I like his gentlemanly choice of white gloves. Must be good when he signals. Isn't that a handsome bike?

gentleman cyclist Cambridge MA

12 April 2009

Happy Easter!

Easter bonnet
Thought you might like to see my "Easter bonnet" in action! I get a lot of comments on my helmet flower.

09 April 2009

Boston and Velib

bicycling in Boston cityscape perspective
There is an extensive Boston Globe article coming out on Sunday, discussing a bike share for Boston and comparing it to Velib in Paris. The comment section is already heating up! I hope that it doesn't turn into too much of a cyclist-slam, as previous Boston Globe comment sections have done.

I appreciated the author's ode to bicycling in Boston:
Boston is a different city on a bike. As the fresh air hits your face, you see things you would miss from a car: the sun reflecting off a historic church steeple; an old lady who wears a different, outrageous hat every day; intricately carved brownstone doorways. If you look closely, it doesn't feel like New York or Chicago or Los Angeles. I always swear I must be in London or Paris. No other American city has the history and architecture and grandeur of ours, and it's best seen on two wheels.

And I'm cheering for Menino, mayor of our compact, flat, historic city:
"Boston's not like other major cities; we're the most European city in America," Menino says when I meet with him. "We have 300,000 college students in Boston. One out of three Bostonians is 20 to 34. No other city can say that. We will follow Paris's lead, and Nicole (Freedman) will get us there."

Transportation cycling is important for so many reasons - community, health, the environment, financial liberation - I hope the rest of Boston can understand these multiple benefits to such a simple choice. One of the commenters touched on my position there:
"If you walk or drive all the time, you should want more people biking in Boston-- every biker means less traffic, more open parking spots, and fewer people on the T for YOU. Some people are so close-minded that they can't even think beyond their immediate reaction of "ooh I hate bikes, I'm never going to ride one, so I am against the whole idea" to realize that it's in their own personal self-interest to have other people ride bikes."

Three cheers for more bikes!

08 April 2009

Impressionist Cruiser

girl cruiser bike Boston
All the cooler for the blur. At least that's what I tell myself.

Mountain Bike and a Suit

mountain bike and a suit bike Boston
This gentleman does not look thrilled to have me taking his photo. I don't care that he was going the wrong way on Mass Ave, I was just impressed to see his suit on a mountain bike.

07 April 2009

Flower Power

bicycle decorated with flowers
Bikes with flowers on them make me smile. Always.

Last night I saw the rider of this bike. A middle-aged woman who clearly doesn't take herself too seriously. I'd like to get to chat with her some time.

Feels like spring!

05 April 2009

Wicked Boston

blue Bern bike helmetMusing about bikes in Boston this evening we had a brainstorm. What if you used a Bern helmet to approximate the iconic ballcap?

Boston B RedSoxCould anything be more Boston than that?

You'd need the RedSox on the back of the helmet, and a big red B for Boston on the front.

Happy Opening Day!

03 April 2009

REI has classy bike baskets this season

bike baskets
I'm liking the look and the price is right.

They come in large and extra large too. If I needed a basket I know what I'd be using my REI rebate to buy!

02 April 2009

Wacky Bike Video

I have never posted a video here, but this old video (in Czech with German subtitles) is too wacky to miss. It has something for everyone - old recumbents which look just like modern bikes, baby trailers, bicycles built for 5, pedicab races, and even tall bikes.

I've never seen anything like it!

Spotted in the South End

mixte Boston South End bike
I love her mixte! Great chrome there.
It's been a long time since I've seen someone riding in a relaxed manner wearing sunglasses.

mixte bike South End Boston