Monday, December 12, 2011

Heels On Wheels Is My Kind Of Ride

I'm using this photo taken by Cameron Adams because my camera ate all of my photos, but one. Besides,  he takes awesome bike photos.

I purchased the yummy cranberry shortbread dipped in white chocolate (at bottom right) from these fellows. I had pictures of my other yummies that night, but I guess my camera was hungry too.

This most recent "Heels On Wheels" ride was called "Boots On Wheels" in tribute to the season and, while we enjoyed the festive holiday lights of Atlanta, there was no Jack Frost nipping at us. Saturday was a great night for a bike ride with a gorgeous moon in the sky and Santa's abounding in the streets. I can't blame my lack of street scene pictures on my poor photography skills this time; I was too busy talking to the other ladies. This ride is much more about recreation that perspiration so I had tons of reserve energy to run my mouth. Being my first HoW, there were many new folks to meet. I did remember Rachel from Mobile Social IX, but this was my first time meeting, Rebecca, Mathilde, Theresa, and Dionne. There were eight of us in the group, but I'm afraid the names of the other two chic cyclists escape me (I profusely apologize).

This ride had the best "pit stop" ever. As charming as I find Republic Social House and the Eliott Street Deli and Pub, the hospitality of Amalia and Scott Stephens has them both beat. We entered their beautiful home to find the roaring fire they started in the fireplace and snacks and they weren't even there! You know you've got social grace out the wahzoo when you entertain by proxy. Theresa did the hosting honors by providing us with tasty mulled wine, lemonade, fruit, and pita chips and dip. Everyone was chatty, cheery, and comfy at our cycle chic salon where talk ranged from the hunt for a new space to house ABC and Sopo Bikes, pretty bikes, cycling accessories, and growing cycling culture here and abroad.

Renewed with food, wine, and warmth, the ride back to Woodruff Park was no problem. I wanted to go on to the Atlanta Underground Market taking place at the Sweet Auburn Curb Market, but I wasn't sure of the direction to take. Rebecca volunteered to lead me there and Dionne arranged to meet her husband there for the market. I actually met Dionne's whole family (!) as I was leaving and they offered to give me a ride to my truck so I could drive it to Betty. I was planning to ride Betty to my truck, but Dionne and her husband didn't think I was in the best area at the best time for a solo ride. (Her husband also seemed concerned by lack of a helmet, but he'll have to take that up with Mikael Coleville-Anderson; I'm not touching it).

Friday, December 2, 2011

Lovely Is The Night

I was charmed by this pretty little video and didn't notice the placement of a particular brand of bicycle light. Strangely, I have an urge to decorate with paper lanterns. Also, I want to be sure not to miss the social rides coming up next week. (Mobile Social X is 12/9 and Boots on Wheels is 12/10).

Just in case Portland Design Works piqued your interest in their luminary craft, here's a link to a DIY holiday light made from a jar.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Female Cycling Pioneers

I really like this little survey of woman who took to the bicycle for myriad reasons and shook things up. It includes Suffragettes, commuters, and racers. Victorians, Baby Boomers, and Millennials. I think what these women had when they lacked public acceptance or infrastructure was community. I applaud the idea behind the Breeze network--building a sense of community amongst women cyclists through relaxed, fun rides.

In Atlanta, there's a "Heels On Wheels" ride sponsored by the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition in addition to two other social rides that occur monthly. Sopo Bicycle Cooperative offers a women's and trans bike clinic. However, I don' think that these organizations should be largely responsible for connecting female cyclists. In fact, the Breeze network trains women to be "Breeze champions" who can organize rides in their communities. That's the ticket. While we advocate for infrastructure improvements and educate the masses, banding together as women on bikes is a powerful way to encourage one another and grow our numbers. Women who want to race can train together and women who want to commute can pootle together and, hopefully, we can all get together for a ride like the Clitoral Mass that just dissipated into Atlanta's smoggy ether long ago.
© courtnee cycles chic
Maira Gall