Thursday, September 22, 2011

From Atlanta with Love

The next prize drawing is the 23rd and the whole shebang ends on the 30th. Enter here for a chance to win a Public C7 or a V7 and get the hookup on local treasures. Scoutmob is an Atlanta company that's like Groupon, but with more mystery and mustaches. I think their website just provides a teaser and more is revealed when you download the Scoutmob app.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ralph Lauren Goes All In On Cycle Chic

So not only has Ralph Lauren appropriated the style, the bikes, and the mustaches of the Tweed Run/Ride, but he's the sponsor/owner (?) of the Rugby Ralph Lauren Tweed Run on October 15 in New York City. I can't help but think of the Peach Bowl which then became the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl and is now just the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Of course, this is going to be a much more exclusive event with registration only available to the first 100 cyclists to sign up. What does that even mean? Maybe the registrants will be eligible to win prizes. Perhaps eager tweedy cyclists will be treated to a special runway show featuring Rugby Ralph Lauren plus fours and capes. Maybe someone will win one of the 50 limited edition Rugby Tweed Run Bikes produced by Pashley Cycles.

Today Is Car Free Day In Decatur

(Strangely, it doesn't look like there's an observance of World Car Free Day on the horizon for Atlanta where folks could really use a break from cars.) Honestly, the Decatur event doesn't sound so car free as much as it seems to be alternative transportation intensive.
Wednesday, Sept. 21, is Car-Free Day in Decatur. The community is invited to gather at the Community Bandstand during the Blue Sky Concert, noon-1 p.m., for a special celebration. Decatur Active Living will give out special Car-Free Day stickers to those who walk, bike or carpool to the concert.

Other ways to participate in Car-Free Day: make a commitment to reduce your automobile use on Sept. 21. That might mean biking or riding MARTA to work, walking to the store or the Blue Sky Concert, sharing a ride with friends and neighbors, or riding the bus.

No mention of closed roads. At least you can register your bike with the Decatur police. There's also this thing.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Mobile Social

My starting point:

Savage Pizza. My favorite pizza place.

Action figures keep watch while you eat ensuring that your meal will be super.

While it's strange to say that one loves any particular restroom, I'll still say it: I love this lady's room.Of course, I should've taken a picture of my pizza, but that would just be too weird.

The happenings & meet-up:

This lady (with her boss' dog) was a vendor at some arty/fashion-y happening in Castleberry Hills.

These folks were here at the same time filming some ABC or NBC movie. I got the scoop from Bobby and Lisa who I met on the way to the endpoint of the ride.

Fini & fire:

I walked with Bobby and Lisa (from Sopo Bikes) from Castleberry Hill to the Iron Pour at Elliot Street Deli & Pub. They clued me in to the goings-on along the way.

Sight #1: This is a 2-seater motorcycle. It has the the top10 answers to questions asked the owner posted on the window--but just the answers--which left us with more questions.

Information on the scratch blocks made during the iron pouring event (available for purchase and made to order).

Folks gathered for the iron pour.

Sight #2: There were intermittent sparks, flames, and smoke before the iron was ready to pour. There was also a suspicion among the crowd that iron core smells like Luden's cherry cough drops until we realized a woman up front was eating cherry cough drops.

The artists prepare to move the bucket o' flames.

The artists pour the iron into the scratch block molds.

I missed the Mobile Social at its starting point which was Woodruff Park. I'd almost caught up with the tail end of the group when I got caught at a red light with a motorcycle cop right next to me! I definitely couldn't run that light. I thought I could catch up with the group on the Freedom Park Trail by taking the train to Inman Park, but I didn't know which direction the group would be coming from. After riding around Little Five Points and Virginia Highlands a bit, I decided to break for some dinner at Savage Pizza. The Pizza Buttafuco certainly put a positive spin on things. Plus, I had a pleasant ride the entire night--no motorists or n'er-do-well's bothered me.

I'd enjoyed the mobile part, but I was looking forward to the social part too. I was glad that there were still some cyclists from the ride at the pub when I arrived. I met a bunch of folks from the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition: Andy, Tara, Hamzat, Sophie, and Drew. Betty also benefited from all the attention and compliments. A guy asked me if he could lift Betty (because I couldn't tell him how much she weighs) and, when he saw that she wasn't heavy, he yelled to his girlfriend, "Honey, you gotta get one of these!" Naturally, Betty got "nice rack" from many observers as well. Sophie and Drew were nice enough to let me tag along with them on their ride home since it approached the Arts Center station. I got to ride in a group after all!  

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tour de Fashion Bikes

Thom Browne, of course. Check out his collaboration with Moncler here. The models rolled down the runway to Queen's "Bicycle Race."

Diane von Furstenberg

Carlos Falchi

Kaelen. I think riding this would be a unique tactile experience.

Nicole Miller. Surprising.

Restore Clothing, designer/manufacturer of "eco-active aparrel." I like the sweetness of this bike.

Stephen Burrows. I like the tail feathers.

Christian Cota.

Tumi, the luggage company. They make some cycling-appropriate bags, but not bike bags. At least, not yet? I wonder if they made the bags as one-off's or are they testing the waters for new products.

Rebecca Taylor. Another sweet bike.

Oh to say I owned a Rebecca Minkoff "Morning After" bag for even an hour.

These are just a few of the thirty bikes designed by "fashion royalty" for the Tour de Fashion. Created by the Fashion Center Business Improvement District, this temporary bike rental scheme is viewed as "a spectacular and innovative celebration of the Fashion District as the home of American fashion.” The bikes were built in NYC and were purchased from Bowery Lane Bicycles. They will be available at stations in the Fashion and Meatpacking Districts September 8-15. You can pick up your designer original wheels for free and ride for an hour after you volunteer your credit card and driver's license information, naturally. More details--bike pictures, hours of operation, etc.--are available at

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bikes At Fashion's Night Out

Proximity to the fashion industry is the only thing I truly envy the New Yorker. This very night Phillip Lim will be hosting a cycling themed cocktail party at his boutique. According to the Village Voice, the scene will be "kind of like a biker bar/truck stop but with better clothes." There will also be a drawing for a Linus bike and a FW 'Pashli' handbag. Sigh.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

My Multi-Modal Artbike Ride

Michael, chic pedestrian. Outside of the Marie Antoinette I saw at Dragon*Con this was "best outfit of the day".

We stop for free stuff. Cold Red Bull's.

The bike is a found object that hangs in Java Lords all the time.

This frame is a part of Art Bikes.

This frame is displayed at Elliott Street Deli & Pub.

I was very happy to take a break and enjoy a fontina sandwich.

This was my favorite.

Lisa took this picture of me at the end of the ride. I was happy to have spent the day amongst cyclists.

Public transit and I have a tumultuous relationship. Once I get into the routine of taking a certain route we're pretty good, but when I try a new route it's quite ugly. Getting to the Decatur Book Festival in the early afternoon required me to take an unfamiliar CCT bus. I missed two of them before I actually boarded a bus. I thought I missed the first bus because I read the schedule wrong, but it was running late. When I decided that I couldn't take the ungodly heat anymore (even shaded by my umbrella), I took air-conditioned refuge in a nearby business. While I was chatting with the store associate the bus showed up. The second time around, I feared that I didn't have a fare on my Breeze Card so I needed to find wifi to add trips as I had no cash. While I was scanning the area around an apartment building, the other bus showed up. This time I caught up with it, but it drove away as I approached headed up a hill and I couldn't pull the hill fast enough to meet it at the next stop. I wasn't going to let this bus beat me so I decided to regroup at an IHOP at the top of the hill and it was excellent timing on my part as I just then spotted blood oozing out of two gashes on my heel. Betty's shoe-gripping pedals really dug into me as I anxiously tried to catch that second bus. Providentially, I'd felt compelled to pack some Pochacco bandages in my purse. Nothing can hurt that much when covered with a super kawaii bandage and I chalked the whole experience up to rolling with the punches because I knew I would have fun once I got into the city.

When I finally arrived in Decatur, I was too late for the workshop I registered for. I rode around to see if there was anything else going on. Finding zilch, I decided to get on a MARTA bus and head over to the social ride that saw on ABC's Mobile Social page. Unfortunately, my transfer had expired. I thought I was going to miss yet another bus when one entrance to the Decatur station was mysteriously blocked of with police tape. After a lot of hemming and hawing, I ran to the other side, bought fares at the vending machine, and made it to the other side to catch a bus. I showed up at the Plaza Theater late, but not too late for what turned out to be an art bike ride put together by Sopo Bikes. A dozen of us headed off to see frames displayed at Java Lords in Little Five Points, Elliott Street Deli & Pub in Castleberry Hills, and Octane Coffee in West Midtown. We also took a nice lil' detour to check out the folks attending Dragon*Con. (Forgive my lack of Dragon*Con photos. I'm not that quick on the draw and I keep forgetting to put a memory card into my camera).

It was really amazing getting around Atlanta on a bike. When I lived in the city, I pretty much stuck to L5P, Virginia Highlands, and Druid Hills. It was so cool to be downtown and see motorists be cool about it too. We only got one honk and that was from a lady who wanted us to all get in the bike lane and out of her way (I'm guessing). We got shouts of encouragement from some women in an SUV with a bike on the back and some Tech (?) students wished us a "Happy Friday." At Octane, a lady asked me about the ride from the passenger seat of a car. I must admit I was doubly thrilled because she was also a black lady.

The company and the bikes along for the ride were equally cheery. Bobby and Lisa from Sopo Bikes were great hosts and there were some ABC volunteers from Starter Bikes there also. (Starter Bikes could use more volunteers as a lot of people are showing up to work on bikes). One of the riders had a Bamboo Bike built during a weekend in Brooklyn. Some riders weren't very experienced and some had been riding for some time. Just about all said that I had a "nice rack." I knew that they were referring to Betty's accoutrement, not my anatomy. However, that gives me an idea for an ironic tee shirt.
© courtnee cycles chic
Maira Gall