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My new bike soul mate, Prudence (Pru for short), a customized Pampillionaire Sommer.

“Think Globally, Act Locally”


Those are words to live by.   Also,  “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” -H.G. Wells (1866-1946)

Thus the most beautiful and practical transportation machine, the bicycle.  I am in my 5th year of commuting by bike and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  This part of Eco-Canary is devoted to the joys and challenges of using a bike as your primary mode of transportation.  Let me say it now, the joys far outnumber the challenges.

Why I ride…

Michelle & Me 3

The bike upon which I learned the true meaning of cycling, Michelle, a Trek Bellville Mixte and a fondly remembered friend.

Biking is more than a form of transformation. It’s a philosophy and a lifestyle.  I started biking because I wanted an eco-friendly mode of travel, but what I discovered was something so much more.  Biking is fun, healthful and believe it or not a very social activity! On a bike the city opens up to you, suddenly you can go anywhere without restraints of “L” stops,  bus routes, traffic headaches or parking struggles. Suddenly the city is full of wonderful places worth going to.  When you travel by bike you feel the wind in your face, you smell BBQs and flowers, you hear kids playing. The world does not rush you by from behind glass, instead you are smack in the middle of it all.


Because bikes are powered by your movements, it is exercise, but you are having too much fun to notice.  After only a couple of rides you start to feel more fit and energized. My appetite has increased for healthy food and my general health woes seem to be minimized.

One of the greatest surprises I found when I started riding was the cycling community. Cyclists are a welcoming, supportive and social group. I love to attend group rides such as Critical Mass. If you have never ridden surround by a large crowd of cyclists you must try.  It is a feeling like no other. It’s like marching for a cause or being in a parade combined with a mobile party.  You ride your bike  en masse with sometimes thousands of others through the streets of your city.   I am a member of the Chainlink (a Chicago social network site for cyclists) and enjoy reading great bike blogs by fellow women cyclists like Lets Go Ride a BikeLovely Bicycle, One Less Mini Van and Ding Ding Let’s Ride. There, I found advice on how to wear a skirt on a bike, how to handle aggressive drivers and read stories about why cycling was so wonderful. These women inspired and encouraged me.  But the greatest thing about the cycling community is that it transcends distant online relationships, dozens of activities happen on a monthly basis where you can meet and ride with the people you socialize with online.  There are always people to answer questions, help fix a flat or just accompany you on a ride. There is a atmosphere of inclusiveness and helpfulness that is positively addicting.

My Biking philosophy:

Biking should fit seamlessly into your lifestyle.  You should be able to hop on a bike and go in your normal clothes with very little special bike gear (e.g. front and rear blinking lights and helmet).  I prefer to bike at a take-in-the-world pace, on a bike that allows me sit upright. I think biking should be convenient, fun and form of self expression.

Check back here for stories from the road.  I’ll cover Dutch-style biking (i.e  wearing regular clothes and upright bikes geared for the city) . Grocery getting and other cargo; commuting to work by bike, the joy of Critical Mass and other bike events in our city and so on and so on.

Happy Riding!


Cycling in the Rain

Misty Ferris Wheel & Uncommon Ground, Our Anniversary Bike Date

Lets Go Ride a Bike Summer Games:

Letter to Alderman Arena & a Summer Photo

Vacation Biking & Book about Biking Review

The Art of Grocery Getting By Bike

Bike Winter: Rainy Fall Days & Learning To Layer

Bike Winter: Rumors of Snow or Ug Everything I Own is Cotton

I completed my first Bike Winter!

Blogs of Women Who Bike’s:

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