Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My First Look at Houndstooth Road

My friend, Jeff, and I knew the place was behind Cakes and Ale, but we took the corner a little too quickly and passed right by the shop initially.

Bikes, glorious bikes!

Jae is in the background trying to get out of the shot, but I just couldn't wait to get a picture of these sweet Bobbins.

Chicly understated and well-engineered, these Bella Ciao's are started in Italy and finished in Germany. The best of both worlds and two countries goes into each bike.

Inspired by the Raleigh Twenty, the Bobbin Shopper is sure to become a classic. The large white basket that comes with it has been delayed in transit, but when it arrives it will be a superb grocery carrier.

A cycle chic shop must have civilized cycling accessories. I tried on the Cyclodelic Reflective Sash in leopard (rowwr), but I rook home the black & white Houndstooth Road x Cyclodelic Reflective Sash. Everyone thought it looked the best.

A beautiful periwinkle Pashley.

This Pilen badge is on the seat tube instead of the head tube because a colossal front rack will be attached to this bike soon.

This very grand and very Dutch-looking bike is a Gazelle. No wonder.

Underneath these exclusive to Houndstooth Road Belle Helmets and the House of Talents bicycle baskets is a very rare iteration of the Pashley Guvenor that I don't have a picture of somehow. I guess you'll have to get to Decatur and see it for yourself.

Much more attractive than lycra, don't you agree?

Po Campo comes to Atlanta by way of Houndstooth Road. (Not Peachtree, who would have thunk it)?

Houndstooth Road is located at 316 Church Street Decatur, Ga. Check them out on Facebook or Twitter for more shop news and specials!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I'm Not Open For Comments

This article from Rookie Magazine shook me up because I'd previously believed street harassment was aimed primarily at female cyclists. I figured the novelty of females on bikes was just too much for some motorists to handle, to the degree that some of them must honk to alert me of my sex and mode of transportation. This doesn't happen regularly, but enough that I've acclimated to it (for the most part). What never ceases to tick me off is the comment "Hey girl, gimme a ride!" or "Hey girl, lemme ride with you!" Really, Mr. Motorist. Isn't this embarrassing for the both of us? You'd look awfully silly sitting in my basket and you probably think I weigh no more than 100 pounds so why would you propose such a thing to me. Let's not play this game, in traffic.

This sort of drive-by harassment slips my mind as I pedal towards my destination. The kind that truly creeps me out comes from the men who follow you. WTF! Dude, I'm trying to go to work so I'm not going to stop for "Hey cutey!" or "Hey pretty lady!" I'm also not stopping for your weak ass line because it's weak. Oh yeah, and because I'm cutting through an empty parking lot or locking my bike up in a fairly empty parking lot I'm going to skip the conversation since I'm woman alone in a parking lot who's been followed by a guy in a truck. Isn't this a scene from just about every Lifetime movie that's ever existed?

The weirdest and most disturbing encounter I've had was with a pedestrian. He proposed that I let him ride my bike and carry me (in the basket, I guess). At first, I thought he was just joking and I playfully asked him where his bike was. He started to tell me about his bike and how he did tricks on it, its special components, etc. I was relieved to have the conversation turn to common cyclist chit-chat. But then he returned to his idea of carrying me on my bike. I grew up in a nice little cul de sac where I don't recall anyone having their bike stolen, but I couldn't help but think of a bigger kid intimidating a smaller kid into handing over his bike in order to ride away with it. I also envisioned being thrown out of my bike basket through some tricky maneuver and watching him ride off with my bike from a sprawled position on the sidewalk. Thank the Lord, the crossing signal changed and the other side of the road was downhill. I rode away quickly still discerning the guy's yells of, "Wait, wait!" far behind me.

While I won't downplay the harassment female cyclist face everyday, the invasive, criminal, and sexually depraved nature of the street harassment the girls in the article and the comments section describe is enormously frightening. What happened to feminism? Or just plain humanism? Or "It takes a village...?" A girl or woman should be able to walk down the street undisturbed; she shouldn't have to take a vehicle to speed past perverts. That's not what Susan B Anthony meant when she wrote
“I think [the bicycle] 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.”
 Is it? This post is open for comments.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Atlanta Streets Alive: Everyone In The Streets

I had a video of the bicycle parade recessional, but apparently I forgot to save it. Oh well. I still got some good pictures. And that's saying something because as soon as the parade was over the spectators crowded the streets. Lots of people were walking dogs but others were participating in the activities at hand like street hockey, skateboarding, the cornhole toss, jump roping/double dutching, and bike polo. It was hard to turn around if you passed an interesting scene or individual because there were so many folks all around you! That's not such a bad problem to have though.

There was still time to stop and get away from the crowd inside Highland Martial Arts for a Tai Chi demonstration. They also welcomed hot and thirsty visitors with free refreshments as did many businesses on N. Highland that day. I got a Dr. Pepper with real sugar from Wellspring Treasures--that place is all class and their mission of helping survivors of sexual abuse and human trafficking is immensely important. I'll be donating tons of stuff to that place.

Bolstering local businesses and having fun were certainly the agenda of that day, but there was a little something extra in it for me-- a blogger tête-à-tête-à-tête! I hadn't seen Cameron in ages so it was good to catch up with him and he introduced me to Brian of A Thrift Life. It's reassuring that Atlanta's chic are being so ably served by these two dapper and dedicated photographer-bloggers!

Prelude to Atlanta Streets Alive 2012

I entered the city with an empty belly and decided to stop at HD1 for one of Richard Blais' haute dogs. Apparently, a lot of cyclists had the same idea; the restaurant was packed and so were the bike racks. After my lunch, I wandered out onto North Highland Avenue to see what was what and I ended up in The Great Atlanta Bicycle Parade. The Seed & Feed Marching Abominable played us some pedaling music from their spot next to Manuel's Tavern (they don't really march, they just arrive).

Obviously, there were all sorts of decked out bikes--including a bike-powered float-- but there were also a lot of different cyclists at the event. There were parents with kids in bike seats and other attachments, kids riding on their own, young adults, older adults, older older adults. Of course, there were all kinds of bikes too. I rode most of the parade route with a lady who owned one of my beloved Puma X Biomega bikes. She had some nice black fenders fitted onto a Puma Nevis. I don't know how I neglected to get a picture of the two of them--she was even color coordinated with purple/fuchsia/mint colorway!

Despite the one that got away, I have lots of other pictures from the parade recessional and the other activities that took over the streets to come in part two of this post.
© courtnee cycles chic
Maira Gall