Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Helmet Question


Next week, I'm going to be substitute teaching at the elementary school which isn't far from my house. None of the schools are far from my house and I don't have to come in until noon so I have no excuse not to ride my bike. This got me to thinking about commuting to a job everyday. I'd very likely wear a helmet. I've read blogs that say helmets foster a perception that cycling is dangerous when nothing could be further from the truth. Sure, cycling is healthy, green, and economical, but the people in the cars don't seem to notice nor do they seem to notice cyclists in the road the way they should. Perhaps cycling in the United States--largely sans bike lanes with lots of trucks, SUV's, and SUV's on steroids (Expeditions, Hummers, etc.)--permits a bit more caution or a token of security that gives us the gumption we need to get out on the (sometimes) mean streets. I certainly don't look down on anyone who wears a helmet.

In my little town, the streets are bemused or haughtily disinterested. I'm lucky to ride two miles and that's if I repeat my route a couple of times because there's just nowhere to go. There's not much traffic and I'm not at all intimidated on the road so I don't wear a helmet. I believe I did when I first moved back here from Atlanta, but that might have been by force of habit. It might have had a little to do with with the fact that my helmet matched my bike (my mom's idea); I wonder if that made me wear my helmet since it went with the bike. That pretty much sums up my helmet question--should the helmet match your bike or not?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Back to the Runway

I've been keeping something of a running tally of fashion brands that have attempted to co-opt the bicycle as a brand accessory. I think we're up to 14 now--including these guys below.

This is the collaboration between Dutch urban clothier, G-Star Raw, and Cannondale.

WHEELS is the project of jeweler Georg Jensen and Danish bicycle maker, Soren Sögreni.

This is the bike offered by James Perse, probably best known for his super soft jersey women's wear. (Considering that, wouldn't you say that's a really butch bike?)
4. Armani
5. Chanel
6. Evisu
7. Acne Jeans
8. Gucci
9. Comptior des Cottoniers
10. Puma
11. Paul Smith
12. Wood Wood
13. Alexandra Cassaniti's bike accessories

14. and the bike that sparked my consciousness of cycle chic, Petro Zillia x Electra.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

La Primavera ROY G BIV: Orange

S/S Orange Cycle Chic

This Spring/Summer edition of ROY G BIV has been in the wings for a minute, but nothing sours you on blogging about chic cycling like a broken bike. Now that Praline is healed, I can once again focus on la chicness!


My bike is whole again!

Thanks to everyone for all of your good advice. I've learned a lot about tires and tubes during this little ordeal. As it turns out, I never had a tire problem-- I had a tube issue. My tires are old and "wrinkled," but they're totally sound; I looked them all over, inside and out. My poor old rim tape dry-rotted and one (or more) of the spokes wore through and ripped my original tube. Then the replacement tube was either defective or I pinched it when I was trying to get it back in the tire. At least, I didn't do something horrible to my bike during repair attempt #1 because, Earl, my church's drummer came by. He used to work as a bike mechanic and he put my wheel back on for me. After watching him, I felt confident in undertaking repair attempt #2, but I didn't put everything back quite right (as Thom and Aaron sharply observed in the previous post). Now everything is in its right place and I can ride my bike.

Thanks again, everybody!

Friday, April 24, 2009

What is wrong with this picture?

Does anything strike you as being wrong with any of the mechanical do-dads on Praline? I watched videos, looked at diagrams, and watched a former bike mechanic that just so happens to play drums at my church reassemble my back wheel. I thought I had done it correctly the second time (the first time I either had a defective tube or I pinched it when I was trying to re-insert it). Now the back wheel doesn't turn correctly- it's stiff and the pedals don't turn with it when it moves. Are those nuts on the outside supposed to be fairly tight? Do I need to degrease something? Please share any ideas you have. Otherwise, I'll just have to wait until Sunday and even then I don't know if he'll be free to help me because there is an anniversary event for the organist some time after the service.

I have nothing against walking, but I would like to have my bike back.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fixie Built For 2,000

This diagram started a little fixie fight in the comments section of Indexed.

This is a really neat performance of "Daisy Bell."

Monday, April 13, 2009

Selling The Cycling Lifestyle

I saw these on Craigslist:

This ad boats of the apartment community's "direct access to the Chattahoochee River and the Chattahoochee National Park." The bike they're offering allows you to take advantage of the community's "natural beauty."

This apartment community is actually located in the city of Atlanta. It touts itself as, "Highly walkable," and, "Imminently natural." It also describes the wonderful lifestyle available at Glenwood East through driving less:
Glenwood East gives you the chance to be at the forefront of a new urban ideal-one based on the human scale-instead of the automotive one.

You’ll drive less. Live more. And make the most out of every moment. A whole new meaning.

If potential apartment-dwellers might be swayed by the promise of walkable communities, might homeowners also find the idea attractive? Perhaps this is one of the ways to get people to move back into the city.

Tube or Tubeless

My dad says I need to check to see if my flattened tire has a tube or is tubeless. He says he thinks my old ten-speed is tubeless so my bike is probably tubeless, especially if I've located (as I believe) a tear in my tire that's letting all the air out. He says if my bike had a tube in it, my tire wouldn't being going down because the tube really holds the air. But I figure that most tubeless tires would be on newer, sportier bikes to reduce weight or something. My bike is from 1974, give or take a year. Also, when I googled "tubeless bike tire vintage" all I got were results related to mountain bikes.

So what do you think--tube or tubeless?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lest I Forget...

In all my excitement about the bicycle's new place in high fashion (with society at large soon to follow, I hope), I've obscured what cycle chic is all about. I really recalled the message when I found my back tire flat four days ago. The closest bike shop (26 miles away) doesn't carry the 26 1 3/8 size typical of old three speeds. So I have to order through the internet and wait (and then put on the tires myself!).

Here's the link to the article, "Poster Children," from ReadyMade.

Here's the link to the pdf's of the posters.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Portland: Representing Chic Cycling In The U.S. Big Time

David N. Seelig/NYT

There's an encouraging article at The New York Times about bicycle tourism in Portland. The writer doesn't mention any special cycling equipment outside of raingear and he mitigates any trepidation about riding in the rain by mentioning how easy it is to do several times. Here are some more gems from the article:

There is a lot of energy around cycling right now and it’s not just 20-year-old men racing. I see average people out biking.
Roger Geller, Portland Bicycle Coordinator
It’s not unusual to see women riding through the winter in skirts and knee-high boots, followed by athletes training in winter riding clothing
Molly Shultz, Portland cyclist

Go ahead on, Portland with your smart growth and your cycling citizens! I wish all the other sprawling U.S. metro's had just a little bit of what you've got.

Friday, April 3, 2009

If You've Got It Like That, Fellas, Go For It

So Jack Spade--the companion store to Kate Spade--has a whole new concept that puts men's clothing and bicycles under the same roof. Et voilà! I guess the bikes are reasonable by NYC standards, except for the ladies' Schwinn Breeze for $500. I thought the Breeze was the least collectible/desirable vintage Schwinn around.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

There's Some Interesting Bike-Related Stuff Going On At Tumblr

Ha! I love the title and I appreciate that chica's pumps.

I love the background of this blog. There's also a very interesting citation of the following blog, but I want you to have to wait for it for a second. Wait for it...

Pow! I just hope she rode straight home that day.

Lesportsac Does Bikes

If anyone fancies wearing his/her cycling love on his/her sleeve, here ya go:




Mini umbrella
© courtnee cycles chic
Maira Gall