Yes, we know it’s a bit early to start thinking about Halloween, but we can’t help ourselves because we are going to a cool Downtown Halloween party on October 29, that includes a pedestrian and bicycle parade around the Cannonborough/Elliotborough neighborhood, a party in the park, music, a pie contest, food trucks and more. Plus, it’s fun to have an excuse to shop for a costume on Ebay and Etsy.
So here’s an idea for any ladies who will be arriving by bicycle. What if we all try to replicate these gorgeous vintage bicycle posters?
It’s embarrassing to admit that we didn’t know about this blog until today. We know the person, have met her several times, follow her on Twitter, even saw her loading up her bike at the grocery store the other day.
But had not read her blog. Shame shame.
So here’s a shout out to a brave and beautiful woman, who gave up her car in favor of the bike, who rides with style and grace, and is pretty funny too. Read her blog now. High Heels and Two Wheels.
Erin, will you be our new mascot? Pretty please?
Here’s a pic of her courtesy of MNN
We came across this great letter from 1999, published in the Post & Courier and written by a tenacious woman named Mindy Spar. Read it and be inspired! (For the full text go to the P&C archives)
I want to ride my bicycle
BY Mindy Spar
The Post and Courier
Anyone who owns a car in this town knows that driving around here can be a headache. With all the one-way streets, pedestrians who don`t look where they are going, carriage drivers who don`t pull over when they are supposed to and tour buses that drive zero miles per hour, getting where you are going can be tough…..
I bought a bicycle about a year or so ago with intentions of riding it to work. Somehow, I kept finding excuse after excuse not to. First I didn`t want to ride home in the dark. Then when it stayed light later, I decided it was too hot. Then I couldn`t figure out a comfortable way to ride in a dress. Then I realized I had way too much stuff to schlep around and I couldn`t possibly carry it all on a bike. Then I kept hearing story after story of people`s bikes being stolen, and I figured my bike would be much safer if I didn`t use it.
After the bus incident, I decided to get real and put all of the excuses away. I spent the weekend gearing up: I bought a basket to carry my stuff in, bought a super-duper lock to protect my bike, I found some bicycle shorts to wear under my dress, and I decided to pull my hair back in a ponytail and to not be afraid of a little sweat.
D-day (or should I say B-day, as in bike day) dawned on Monday. I woke up early in anticipation. Every few minutes I checked the sky, but, alas, there were no rain clouds in sight. I pulled on my shorts, tied back my hair, secured my belongings in my basket, and off I went.
It was exhilarating. Even with the heat there was a bit of a breeze, and it felt great to be in the open air.
Usually, I drove the same route to work every morning, so I decided to weave through the back streets on my bike. I noticed new details on houses I`d seen a thousand times; the interesting way a porch curved on one house, the leaded glass windows on another, the latticed gate to a garden at yet another. I marveled at the amount of restoration and renovation that is being done in the downtown neighborhoods.
Before I knew it, I was at my destination. I was amazed that it took the same amount of time as driving had. And I felt great, albeit very sweaty. I was clearheaded and empowered to tackle the day.
Now, I ride to work every day. Instead of wishing for storm clouds, I dread them. (One day I had to drive to work and I appreciated my bicycle all the more; by the time I negotiated the traffic and bad drivers, I was a stress case before my work day had even begun.)
I vary my route and try to discover new things daily. I also watch the progress of the renovations and am excited by the new vitality in some of our older neighborhoods.
If I had only known what a great way this was to start the day, I would have thrown off those tired excuses ages ago. Granted, my sitbone and my legs were a little sore for a while, and my co-workers have had to deal with my outdoorsy odor, but those little inconveniences pale in comparison to the overall benefits.
Those benefits are endless; a chance to get some exercise, discover new things, clear the mind and body of stress, and do a little bit for the environment.
But the biggest benefit of all is, I feel as if I`ve given myself a gift. A gift of permission to take a few minutes every day to do something beneficial for myself. This is something in this hectic, rush-rush world we too often forget to do. Try it and see what a difference it makes.
We found this post somewhere online and just loved it. It’s about casting away fear and doubt and letting your inner bike goddess shine. Thanks to Cecily Cycle Chic for this!
“The wind caught the hem of my dress as I sped downhill, but I didn’t care. The breeze felt like a chilly kiss on my bare knees, and the sensation made me sit a little straighter on my bike seat. My head was high, my chin pointed defiantly forward as I pushed up and coasted down hills on my way into the office.”
Thanks to @heidiswift on Twitter for calling my attention to this great video by People for Bikes. It reminds the writer of this post, how the other night around 6:30PM I rode my bicycle (basket and fenders and light – check!) through the streets of Downtown Charleston in the diminishing light. I caught the scent of a sizzling steak as I rode by South End Brewery, then the heady perfume of some incredible dish that the Barbados Room was cooking up, and then as I passed by 82 Queen, the aromas of shrimp and grits fled to my nose. Now some of you might not like those smells of the city humming, but I do. I love having every one of my senses alive and fulfilled when I am on a bike. That’s why I ride.
Why do you ride?
I know that most of you out there thinking about Cycle Chic might assume that expensive bikes with expensive clothes makes Cycle Chic go round. But if you’ve been reading up, you know that this Cycle Chic-er loves all things that show a zest for life, so I had to include what you see below….
This picture was sent in to me by a reader, and let me tell you, I love it. It’s old school, new school and being-one-with-nature-school all in one. This is his ‘fishing bike’ and he and his 7-yr old daughter like to ride to the shore of the Wando river and try to catch anything they can.
Ladies and Gents, you don’t have to buy a fancy basket to get things done. Get creative in the spur of the moment. Try a tomato box strapped to the back if you can’t hold on to all your organic farmer’s market supplies. Or rummage up an old Coke Bottle container like this gentleman did to hold your fresh caught dinner as you ride back home smiling with your kids and feel good about being alive.
If you recall, way back in May, I wrote a post about Jeff Mapes book “Pedaling Revolution”, because he believes women will lead the way in changing the country’s attitude toward bicycling. Here’s an excerpt…
“As Mapes points out, when more women begin riding, that will signal a big change in attitude, which will prompt further changes in the direction of safety and elegance. I can ride till my legs are sore and it won’t make riding any cooler, but when attractive women are seen sitting upright going about their city business on bikes day and night, the crowds will surely follow…. ” Read the rest of this entry »
I am a huge fan of Streetfilms so forgive me if I link to their videos all the time – but check out this recent one starring our very own Cycle Chic guru, Mikael Colville-Andersen. He talks about the Copenhagen bicycling infrastructure, which frankly, is mind-blowing to a budding bike town inhabitant like me.
A friend sent me a link to an article on CNN today…..The headline caught my eye immediately . Of course I thought how very Cycle Chic! Here it is….
And then I read further. This person who is biking in a dress and heels for a cause? She’s no 20-something who’s been training for a year. She’s no IronMan. She’s a beautiful 84-yr old woman on a single-speed purple vintage cruiser. It makes me think that when we THINK we can’t do something – when we THINK that something is hard or it will take too long or it’s just inconvenient – that really it’s all a bunch of poppycock. The ability to do and to dream is nestled right inside our head and our hearts. It’s up to us to see it differently.
So check her out – this woman, my new hero and click here (or on the headline above) to read the full article.