Monday, July 13, 2009

Well, we're movin' on up

Hello friends,
Bike Skirt now has a new home. We are so excited to unveil our new look to everyone.

Head on over there to check it out. We think it looks incredible and are grateful to T. Scott Carlisle for his help with the site, logo AND the photos. We are lucky to have support from talented people. Thanks T!

*you will need to change your RSS feed to reflect the new site. OR you can cancel this one and subscribe to the new one. sorry for any inconvenience, but think you will agree that it is well worth it!

Bike Love!

Friday, July 10, 2009

DON'T break a leg

Anna and I are participating in our first alleycat this weekend, the No Brakes 2 Year Anniversary.

Needless to say, we are nervous as hell.

Wish us luck. We will report back soon.

Also-it looks like the new and improved Bike Skirt will be debuting on Monday if all goes well. will keep you updated!!

Have a good weekend and share the bike love!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Workin' for the weekend

So much bike fun this weekend!!

First we have the Atlanta crew, with a fun filled weekend! No Brakes is having their 2nd Anniversary Race & Party on Friday, July 10. Anna and I are for sure headed that way Friday night. (rumor: 50 cases of PBR donated!). Watch out ATL; Bike Skirt is about to invade!
On Saturday there's a pro velo race at the Dick Lane Velodrome, should be awesome to watch. Then on Sunday there's another velo race, this time for messengers and city bikers, with Cyclehawk's velocity. Winners get a free trip to Tokyo!

Pensacola Alley in Pensacola, Fl is also having a fun filled weekend, with their Blue Angels Alleycat. Looks like a whole lotta good times, and the beach too!
Finally, here in Birmingham we have a couple of things that you really should attend. If you haven't heard yet, our dear beloved Bottletree Cafe is in a financial pickle, and needs YOUR sweet lovin' to help them out! Saturday night they are having a free show to help business, so get yo booty over there and buy some drinks! Anna will be there rocking out (or something similar) with Andy's Tea Party.
Sunday night is the first of many events with The Sunday Night Skid! Every other Sunday our dear pals Matthew and John are going to be running the show with sprints and bike games. They are also doing some sort of point system, but you'll have to go to their site to get info on that.
Leave a comment if you'll be attending any of these events, or if you're looking to carpool!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A ride of epic proportions I would say!

So I've been visiting around over the past week, first to my family over in Pensacola (thanks wle for the ride suggestions; I ended up riding with my parents on a rails to trails route, the Blackwater Heritage State Trail!) and now I've landed in the lovely little coastal town of Fairhope, Alabama. It happens to be a place that Elisa and I both share; her sister lives here and my husband's family lives here too! This morning I decided to go on a good long ride, and looked up a route with Here's the one I chose:

The ride started off so beautifully; it was sprinkling on and off and humid as hell, but I grew up on the gulf coast (Ocean Springs, Mississippi to be exact) so I'm no stranger to the liquid sheen that appeared over my whole person after a few minutes. I got a fairly early start and hopped onto Scenic Highway 98. They don't call it scenic for nothing folks; beautiful million dollar homes situated perfectly on the bay, with intervals of water peeking through. As I got further along I could see more of the water, which was wonderfully choppy, and on the left side of the road it started to get nice and swampy. The highway ended at Weeks Bay, and I had a great view of the water, piers, and open air all around me. I rode around and took a few pictures (which I won't be able to upload until I get home) and then did a bit of back tracking to get to the turn off the bay. All the cars were very friendly, people were waving and giving me plenty of room when passing; it was heavenly really.

From there i was riding in a woodsy type area with nothing much going on - a few cows, an old guy on a bike that looked a tad too small for him, and crickets chirping their hearts out. I missed my turn somewhere but ended up where I needed to be, which was unfortunately a much busier highway. Thankfully there was enough of a shoulder so I wasn't in the road, but at one point I had to swerve around some large gravel from a driveway and got my first honk. I feel like this was understandable since I was right in front of the car when I swerved into the road, so I successfully fought back the urge to yell or give the driver the finger.

After passing over fish river I turned off of the highway onto a small street, and was greeted by two bulldogs! I squeaked and yelled an expletive while riding as hard as I could away from those beasts that were giving chase hard core. Thankfully I got away without harm! This road was shaded with wonderfully mossy live oaks, and I felt at home and at peace with the world.

Then it was time to get on county road 32 (you think a county road would be tame) and my ride went downhill real quick. 55 mph speed limit, no shoulder, big trucks hauling heavy equipment, and teeny bridges! I was hunkered down and trying my best not to have a breakdown. Then this sweet little fluff of a dog ran chasing after me, crossed the road a few feet from a car, started coming back (while I yelled "no little doggie stay where you are!") and got completely smashed by a huge truck flying by. I cried out, but was being closely followed by a cop and a few other cars so I rode on miserably holding back the tears. I was really depressed, people. Then a monsoon started; my shoes were immediately filled with water and I was almost blown off my bike, all while cars were passing by close and fast. I got off my bike and called my husband; "come get me!". I felt defeated, but thankfully wasn't too far from the end of the route. The road I was riding on was closed a few hundred feet up from where I stopped, so I would have freaked out at that point anyway - I am not at all familiar with the area and am sure to have gotten lost immediately.
It started off sooo beautifully...

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hello Beautiful

Meet Freddie Mercury, my new ride. Ever since I lost Mick, then got Betty Paige (who was a mite too small) I have been dreaming of a new ride. Well, about a month-ish ago, I got one.

Isn't he a beauty? A Bottechia, with Shimano 600 components and a color scheme that stops traffic.

I love everything about this bike. It was hard to get used to the down tube shifting and the higher (lower...harder) gearing, but now I am in love. Freddie is a steel bike, so the vibrations in the road feel miles away. I am steady, safe, secure and fast as hell. Seriously folks, I am a stronger, faster rider now.

click on photos to enlarge for more bike-y beauty

(photos courtesy of T-Photographic. T. Scott needed a model to help with location and lighting scouting, so we packed up bags and took off on our bikes, looking for prime locations. It is amazing how much more you see riding beside a photographer that you would never, ever see just driving in a car.)

check out the awesome shadow situation in this one!

Oh, Betty Paige is happily being ridden by our good friend, Dan. He is taking good care of her and they are quite the pair. Only Dan could make pink bar tape look sexy on a guys bike.

one more note: be on the lookout for a new look here at Bike Skirt! Our friend (and awesome photographer) T.Scott is hard at work on a new layout/look/logo for our little blog. Yay Bike Skirt 2.0!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Skirting around

Recently, Bikehugger asked me for a bit of advice dealing with a blog post here titled "I love cycling in a Summer Dress:how do you ride in a skirt and keep your poise". As the co-author of a blog called Bike Skirt, this was right up my alley!

I thought about it all day today as I pedaled around town in a skirt, running errands and meeting friends. Here is what I came up with...

How to ride in a Skirt : a tutorial

Riding in a skirt has its challenges, but is truly the way I prefer to ride year round. Summer you get a nice breeze, fall you can add tights if need be, but never get too hot. Winter is all about tights, over the knee socks and tall boots. Spring was made for riding in skirts. Going for a hard, epic ride in lycra…keep it classy and wear a little cotton skirt on top of the lycra. The skirt offers endless possibilities for riding fashion and function.

However, many women are scared to ride in a skirt. What if the wind blows wrong? What do you do when going fast downhill? What if your bike isn’t a step through (which, by the way, neither mine nor Anna’s are)? Here are the tips and tricks for maintaining your dignity whilst wearing the skirt and enjoying your ride.

1. Pick your skirt- pencil skirts are never a good idea on a bike with no step through. You are looking at it riding up and constantly pulling and tugging. A-lines, looser cotton skirts and mini skirts are best. Long skirts work if you have a skirt guard and chain guard (which I don’t). Dresses are also a great idea b/c you are not worrying about the back riding up too much and showing rear end cleavage (the worst kind of cleavage)

2. How to get on the bike-this is assuming you are riding a regular bike with no fancy step through. Step one: stand to the side of the bike. Step two: squeeze your knees together. Step three: lift your leg, keeping your knees as close together as you can. Standing on your tip toes is also a big help. You can give yourself extra protection by holding the center of the skirt down. Step four: at this point, you should be straddling the bike. In order to keep the skirt down it is best to put one foot up on a pedal. Tilt the bike a bit and you are good to go. Do this all in reverse to get off gracefully.

3. Riding in a skirt-ride as normal, keeping your legs close to the bike (something you should be doing anyway) and keeping one leg down while the other is up during coasting moments. For going downhill, I find that standing up keeps the wind from making you less than modest.

4. Leggings or shorts really help-I will wear a pair of leggings or cycling shorts if I am going a very long distance or am at all uncomfortable. This keeps you covered AND allows the fabric to slide up nicely as opposed to bunching up and riding up uncontrollably. Also-no thongs. This is just asking for trouble. Not to mention, unsanitary. Ick…

5. Have fun-sometimes you will flash. It is inevitable. When that happens, throw your head back and laugh. It really is quite funny! Also remember that with all the biking you are doing, your legs probably look amazing so flaunt them.

I hope this has helped. I am a firm believer in riding in skirts, both for the statement and the comfort. Ride on and feel the breeze in ways that the boys will never fully get to appreciate!!

Hello Pensacola, whatcha got?

I'm spending 4th of July weekend with my parents in Pensacola, Florida and brought my bike along for the first time. Does anyone know of any good trails or places to ride around here? HELP!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Our first visitor!

Tuesday Elisa and I were privileged to have our first blog visitor! Paul from came through town on a cross country family trip, and we went for a nice morning ride together. After Paul set up his folding bike (a bike friday model) and I showed up late and groggy, we set off into morning traffic. We decided to take a route that went through some downtown Birmingham hotspots, including 5 points, UAB, and the business district. We even got to hop on our shortest bike lane (2 blocks long). We ended at our favorite coffee shop, Urban Standard. After some delicious coffee and baked goods, as well as great conversation, we had to head back home so Paul could get back to his family and onto their next adventure. Thanks for coming Paul, it was a pleasure meeting you!

Check out his blog chronicling their trip, The Epic Journey.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

This is where we live

Today, I give you my commute. From my workplace to home, I tried to take photos of each street. Mainly hills, but it is actually a lovely ride.

Unfortunately I moved this weekend, so I will have to change the first (or last) part of my ride. Still trying to get that worked out. Will post it once I am settled!

Enjoy my ride.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Critical Mass...what's right?

Bici has taken over Critical Mass here in the magic city, and this past Friday we had a great turn out (for us that is).  Things got off to a pretty good start, but pretty soon some differences in opinion developed regarding how the group should behave.  It all started when a few of the riders were blocking cars so the group could ride through red lights, and at one light there happened to be a cop right there.  The popo didn't do much beside a quick siren and a yell of "quit blocking traffic!".  Some of the other riders got pretty upset at this point and started complaining about how the ride was being handled and how we could get "citations" for behaving badly and breaking laws.
So then we get into what might be called Critical Mass philosophy: one side thinks that Critical Mass should be a group that shows drivers that bikes and their riders are non-threatening.  The other side thinks that we should to raise awareness by raising hell. 
And I guess I'm in the middle: who cares?! lets just ride and certainly not tell each other what to do.

What's your take on the Critical Mass conundrum?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

A case for clipless

(can you tell I enjoy taking on the saddle shots?)

Well, I have done it. I have gone clipless. Sold out, gone roady...say what you will. I can take it. Go ahead.

ok, done?

Cycling friends (and the local bike shop guys) have extolled the virtues of clipless riding since the beginning. I eschewed the very idea, saying that I didn't want to be a 'clippy person', clicking into shops and being forced to wear special shoes. I was perfectly happy with my Power Strips. I loved them actually, as much as I loved being able to hop on my bike in heels, or Vans, or flip flops. I was simply not ready to commit to being a 'roadie' (a term I hate, like fixie kid, or commuter...can't we all just be cyclists? I digress...).

Then I did a really, really hard ride. My feet kept slipping from my Power Grips, they broke off midway through an uphill climb, the soles of my feet were aching from soft soles and I knew I could get more power if only I could pull on the uphill. Not to mention the hiking I had to do in soft soled Vans (still my favorite shoes for riding, btw). Power Grips are incredible on normal hills, but major climbing is a bit of a strain for them.

A week went by and I talked to my 'clippy' friends. I visited the bike shop. Most importantly, I found out that I could get reversible pedals! Not forced to wear only clipless shoes?! This is getting better. Wait, there are shoes that I can wear that don't click?! All for under $200. Things were looking up. I was still nervous and, honestly, a bit worried about what friends would think. We have always said that we want cycling to be more accessible and scoff at the idea of full spandex kits, choosing a bike for it's weight and spending all of our money on accessories.

I was at a crossroads. Do I go clipless and increase my speed and make my climb over the mountain easier, or do I hold tight to my 'urban riding' pride? For a flat city, there would be no question-no clipless. However, with a mountain to traverse and rolling hills the entire way, a little help would be nice.

In the end, efficiency won out (hey, I do have a degree in Economics). I bought the pedals and shoes, had a quick lesson at Homewood Cycles and was ready.

I love it. I was really kind of hoping to hate it. Nope. My average speed increased 3.5 mph and my knees feel better. My climb each day is still hard, but not as hard as it used to be. Between the heat and the mountain, my commute is a bitch. However, now it is my bitch.

Shoes: Bontrager Race Mountain Shoes $89.99
Pedals: Shimano PD-M545 $89.99

If you decide to take the plunge, I highly recommend these for beginners who don't want to fully commit. I can take off for the bars in heels, or clip in for a serious ride. Best of both worlds.

Oh, and I have only fallen twice. I consider that a success.

Are you clipless? What do you think of it?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This is where we live

Birmingham has a plethora of amazing photographers, and Cary Norton is the best of the best.  So for the next installment of this is where we live, I thought this photo of Cary's was perfect.  This is most definitely where we live. ride. sleep. drink. eat. love. fight the good fight. be.

You can visit Cary at one of his many internet locales:

Huntsville Alleycat

Put on by our friends over at TwoFiveFix. Go spend this hot weekend up there where it is (a bit) cooler. Should be a good time. If I wasn't going out of town, I would so be there.

Friday, June 19, 2009

View from the saddle on a balmy Friday

Freddy Mercury chillin outside Rojo while I enjoy a beer and yumminess with friends

Scary from the saddle shot after leaving Rojo

Beautiful church directly in front of my little house. I love it.

On the side of the road shot

This is steeper than it looks. I have to climb this to get home, no matter which way I go!

Pulling up to the humble abode.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Wednesday Haiku

An ode to Anna:

Anna, what a gal
totally girly, kicks ass
She's a true bikeskirt

Anna, you are awesome!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This is where we live

Ok I am seriously slacking on documenting our Birmingham experience!  I forgot last week (personal stress will be my excuse), and although tonight Elisa and I had a fabulous time riding and eating and drunking, a lapse in memory forced me to not bring my camera.  Thus, the festivities were not documented.  It was a good time though, that's fo sho.

So, anyway, I will post a photo of Birmingham.  Admittedly, it's about five years old, but it looks exactly the same here.  This is close to where Sunday Night Sprints happened; which was a lot of fixed gear fun for the whole family.  Why don't we do that anymore??

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Lovin'

Only June and it is already 100 degrees out when I leave work. Seriously folks, it is HOT. When I leave at 7am, we are talking about 80 degree...that is hot for the wee hours.

Because of this extreme heat and the knowledge that it is only going to get hotter as the summer goes on, I have compiled some tips and tidbits about trying to ride out the heat

1. Leave early-you don't want to be in a rush in this heat. Add in some panic and 80 degrees suddenly feels like 100, 100 feels like...well, you get it

2. Action Wipes-I don't have a shower at work. So I have to use these puppies each day when I get to the office. I arrive sweaty and gross, but a quick wipe down with a large Action wipe does wonders. I really don't think I (or my coworkers) could survive the summer without it.

3. Don't bother with make-up or getting cute till you get there-it is a waste of time to put on make-up and cute clothes only to sweat it off. however, you MUST put on sunscreen.

4. Dress the part-cotton is my enemy. It gets so hot and sticky that it feels disgusting when you get to your destination. I use Icebreaker Wool shirts and cotton skirts (with cycling shorts underneath) for my rides. Anything else gets hot and gross. Bring your work clothes in a bag or keep some in the office. Shoes and all. I carry mine, but also keep a spare pair of shoes, panties (I have forgotten these and going commando OR wearing cycling shorts all day is awkward), and a dress in a file cabinet just in case.

5. Hair care-I had to cut my hair short. It was the only way to combat helmet head. I have thin hair that luckily looks good short. If not, bring a blowdryer to work at the beginning of the season, because you will need it. I have a great stylist so my hair actually looks better with helmet head (unbelievable, but true!). Little tip: bike to your stylist so he or she can see what they are working with, helmet head wise. Best decision I made regarding summer riding hair. Oh, and dry shampoo is incredible.

6. My bag full of essentials: deodorant, Action Wipes, Dry Shampoo, light natural perfume, dry towel, make-up (primer, cheek stain and powder especially), hair creme.

Other stuff: clean socks for your ride home. I can put on my shorts and shirt again, but the socks never quite feel right after a sweaty morning ride. Ick.

Your stuff will be a bit different, but these are the things I can't live without. That and my water bottle. Clearly

Garden Party Success!

We had so much fun this past weekend at the Bici Garden Party at Jones Valley Urban Farm!  Some friends from Atlanta came down and seriously rocked the race.  Before the race we did a seed bomb ride, and everyone had a great time throwing bombs all over the place.  While I was handing out the seed bombs, everyone was asking "what is this?" "will this blow up upon impact?" "this smells delicious, can we eat it?"  So I thought I would share with you all what the story is with seed bombs.  According to wikipedia:

Seed bombing, also known as "Seed Grenades" is a technique of introducing vegetation to arid soils or otherwise inhospitable terrains. A seed bomb is a compressed clod of soil containing live vegetation that may be thrown or dropped onto a terrain to be modified. The term "seed grenade" was first used by Liz Christy in 1973 when she started the "Green Guerillas". The first seed grenades were made from condoms[1] filled with local wildflower seeds, water and fertilizer. The seed grenades were tossed over fences onto empty lots in New York City in order to make the neighborhoods look better. It was the start of the Guerrilla Gardening movement.

Isn't that cool?!?  We made ours out of red clay, used coffee grounds (hence the yummy smell), and the seeds of sunflowers, cosmos, black eyed susans, and daisies.  My fingers are crossed that in a few weeks there will flowers EVERYWHERE!!!

Now you all must go out and bomb some shit.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Garden Party!

Thanks to Paul Halupka for the awesome poster! See you Saturday. Come throw some seedbombs and hang out with us. Oh, and beer and food included. WHAT?!

Bike Love

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Epic Bonk

Last weekend, I decided to organize a group ride. I always love riding and pushing myself, so I was trying to think of a fun but challenging route. Bump and Grind, a Mtn Bike Race, was in town so I thought "Why not ride out there and back?"

I asked a few friends for routes, and kept hearing "It is not a fun ride, Elisa. Bad roads and nothing but hills. Are you sure you want to do that?" Of course, this clearly made me want to do it all the more.

I sent out a mass email recruiting folks and 3 gentleman took me up on my offer. Three accomplished cyclists, might I add. Heath, Alan and Brett. I was nervous to put it mildly.

Started out a bit rough, due to lack of sleep and general icky feeling. But I kept going. heath and I met Brett and Alan at Primavera Coffee, which Brett had kindly opened for us, offering us coffee and pastries. A bit later we took off.

Uphill both ways. Seriously. And getting hotter by the second. The hills seemed endless and the suburbs treeless. We made it to Oak Mountain and then made our way up the mountain to our watch point.

Oh, did I mention that I was left behind repeatedly? I was slower than the fellas and kept losing them up ahead. At one point, one was way ahead, the others were behind, and I had no idea which way to go. So, I kept on pedaling. Up the mountain we went, having lost Heath miles back. At the top, we look around, and realize that we have clearly missed our turn.
Back down we go, only to have to shoulder our bikes down the trail for about a mile (in Vans!). By this time, my pedal had broken and I had run over a squirrel (but didn't fall!). Eventually we all met back up, fixed my pedal, rested for about 1/2 hour to watch a bit of the race, and headed home.

I had officially bonked. It was bad. I was walking up the steeper hills and barely pedaling up the longer ones. Luckily, Heath felt enough pity to stay back and ride with me (Alan and Brett went ahead as Brett's tire was quickly losing air!).

It look at least twice as long to get back, what with all the resting and the stop for ice cream and gatorade. But, 8 hours after we left that morning, we made it back. My hands were bleeding and my body had streaks of salt on it. But I was triumphant. I had done it. I was in over my head and made it. We had gone over 60 miles, crossed 2 mountains (twice) and arrived home alive.

I am realizing that is how I will become a stronger rider, by taking chances and doing things that I am not sure I can handle. I may have taken rest stops and ridden more slowly than I would have liked, but I did it.

I am pretty damn proud of myself. Was it Epic? You decide...but I think it was pretty damn incredible.

Here's to a summer of Epic rides, being in over my head, keeping up with the boys, and keeping the rubber side to the road.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Long Bike Back

The gentlemen at Urban Velo brought this to my attention today. sorry if you have already seen it, but it is too good not to share.

This is inspiring and beautiful. Some days I don't ride b/c I just don't feel like it...not even thinking that one day riding may not be possible, due to a hit and run. Makes me want to get out and ride as much as I can. Keep the rubber to the road, and my hopes high.

Check it out at The ride has been over since 2008, but the film trailer is just ready. I can't wait to see the full length. Maybe we need a screening in Birmingham?!

How does it feel to be in last place? Sort of terrible, actually.

I was reading the latest post over on lets go ride a bike and, after reading about Trish's disappointment over Tennessee's low ranking on the League of American Bicyclists list state's bike friendliness, I decided I would check Alabama's.  I knew it would be low, but I certainly didn't expect that we would be in the very last spot.  Number 50; seriously harsh!

I guess it's time for Alan, Elisa, and I to change that...ALL HAIL BICI!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

This is where we live

I think this is a coke factory

For today's post we have a ride that Elisa and I went on for Memorial Day with the BBC (Birmingham Bicycle Club).  Thankfully we didn't have to get up too painfully early, and arrived at our meeting sight ready for action and adventure.  Many of the people that were there we didn't know, but thankfully there were a few familiar faces.  I was on whitey, my faithful steed, and Elisa was on a tandem with our pal Jerry.  The excitement and suspense was high folks, owing to the fact that this trip was Elisa's first tandem experience, and we were both secretly wondering how she would deal with her face right up to Jerry's ass for a whole day.

Elisa and Jerry - not lovers

We got off to a good start and made our way through downtown Birmingham, our destination being Turkey Creek Nature Preserve in Pinson.  No accidents, no car harassment, a few daunting hills, and some friendly chit chat, so overall a nice ride.  Once we arrived at Turkey Creek, Elisa and I were ready to jump in and have a grand ol' time splashing around.  Unfortunately most of our companions were not feeling so fancy free, and Elisa and I had to strip down to our bikinis in front of everyone (who, to say politely, were to the large part gentlemen not quite in our age range).  Awkward!

some of the crew

We had fun anyway squealing at the freezing temperature of the water and being grossed out by the muck in the water.  We crawled out after a few minutes and dried off on a rock before hitting the road home.  When we went to retrieve our clothes one of the friendly gentlemen noted that I had tossed my dress pell-mell into a fire ant pile.  He then proceeded to pick them all off for me while I contemplated riding back in my bikini.  Thankfully that did not happen and my dress was ant free by the time I had it back on.

The ride home was not quite as easy as the ride there for various reasons:
1. There was a fast crowd and a slow crowd, with me riding pretty much solo in the middle, so the fast group had to wait a lot for everyone to catch up.  That made the ride take a lot longer than anticipated
2. One dude got like 3 flats
3. One lady busted and broke her elbow while crossing a pretty crazy intersection
4. Another lady fell over while attempting to climb an insanely steep hill (I walked up, faster than those biking I'll add)
5. We took a faster way back because of the time crunch, which was along a 6 way highway with no tree cover - I got incredibly sunburnt
6. We were hella hungry

Patrick! He's a nomad, in case you were wondering.

By the end we were both grumbling, but overall had a pretty good time.  And lots of beer and margaritas afterward.  

Total mileage: i think around 42?

Saturday, May 30, 2009

I need a little place in the sun sometimes or I think I will die

Hello friends,
so sorry it has been so long since I last posted. Life has been completely kicking my ass and this little blog has taken a backseat. which sucks, because writing is one of the things that calms me the most.

Lately, I have been thinking about how it was only a little over a year ago that I bought my first bike. Since then I have been through 4 bikes and am more in love with riding my bike than I am with my...well, pretty much anything.

Some of you may have followed the blog that Bike Skirt was spun from, Triathablog. I was re-reading some of my posts from that time and came across this one. It is still true and yet I think of how far I have come since that time. I have been pretty stressed and down yesterday and find that if I don't ride, I feel significantly worse. Just as I said in that post, when I was a new rider, so excited and new to the sport and the life. I had just gotten Mick Jagger and was so in love. (sad)

So...I thought I would share it. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Mother's Little Helper
I know that lately I haven't really been getting too personal. I have been waxing poetically about my wonderful commute and extolling the wonders of bike websites. Well, tonight I change that.

I have depression and OCD. Take a moment to register your shock or laugh at the obviousness of that statement. Ok, done? I am also coming on the anniversary of a pretty tragic event in my life, and my job is so stressful that I leave with a tension headache every other day. I would expect to be a complete wreck, crying all the time or numbing out completely.

Strangely that has not been the case. At first, I thought I was not dealing, or must be avoiding issues. Then I realized that nothing lately has really thrown me for a loop. It stopped about 2 months ago. Right about the time I started riding pretty seriously. Coincidence? I doubt it. I feel great and so hopeful. My insomnia has all but disappeared and I find myself with more energy than I have ever had. I have never had such a great body image. I simply feel great.

THAT is the best part of cycling for me. It has been a scary thing, throwing myself into a sport and an established (male-dominated) community. A year ago this would have thrown me into paralyzing fear and insecurity. Instead, I am so excited and full of hope. I look forward to my next ride and find myself hoping that I can ride to wherever my destination may be (concert, party, grocery store, church...).

Is this from the support I have found in friends and fellow riders, or the actual riding? I think it is a bit of both. Either way, I am so grateful. Yes, life is hard and some things are hard to accept, but everything feels a little bit easier on my bike.

On another note, Mick Jaggar is so sexy right now. New blue tires and white bar tape. If my bike were a person, I would have a mad crush on it. Picture to come.

Looking back is so fun. it also shows me that this is no passing two wheeled life is here to stay.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I now present for you: Bike Wreck #2!

After a meeting I decided to run to the Jones Valley Urban Farm after work farm stand to get veggies for a stir fry.  I was riding down First Avenue South and turned right onto 24th St.  Right after the turn I see a BROOM STICK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD.  Before my body caught up with my brain I had run over the stick, my bike wobbled out of control, and I slammed into the ground.  The fall was actually very similar to last time, so similar that the hole in my leg has been unceremoniously ripped open and my chin and shoulder have gotten scraped in exactly the same place.  Alas, this time it looks a lot worse.  

(taken by Kevin)
Things to celebrate in the face of adversity:
1. There was not a car right behind me.  Otherwise, I would not be writing this right now.
2. Wes Frazer saw it happen and turned around to save me.  My hero!
3. All the other dudes that were like "Do you need a paramedic?"  "Someone needs to keep you off that bike", etc. etc.
4. Good photos
5. An even more killer scar on my leg

Things to hope for:
1. No fucked up teeth
2. Swelling to go down quickly
3. Lots of sympathy (I've already gotten some Jack from Dani! Thanks hun!)

(Post Shower, taken by Dani)

This is where we live

Ok I obviously suck at blogging - but at least it's here now!  As the last post discussed, Elisa and I went to the Free the Hops meeting at Birmingham Beverage last Wednesday.  That little bike trip provides this week's photo of where we live.  Riding in these areas was a harrowing experience.

Ok gotta run!  Hope everyone is enjoying summer thus far.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Brewfest on a Bike? It's on!

Elisa and I had a meeting with the folks at Free the Hops about doing some Bici bike valet at the Magic City Brewfest, an annual beer festival coming up on June 5th and 6th at Sloss Furnaces.  It took Elisa less than one second to convince them that it was a good idea, and they gave us a primo location (right by the entrance) to set up shop.  Everyone seemed totally stoked on the idea, and we're hoping to get good press as well!  Birmingham, as we constantly harp on, is not exactly known for being "green" so something like bike valet (our may be the first of it's kind in the Magic City) is sadly newsworthy.  Hey, we'll take it, and we'll say thank you very much! 

We're also planning some bike bus meet ups and different locations throughout the city so that people can ride together to Brewfest.  It's going to be great fun!

Also, we need volunteers to help with the bike valet so if  you're interested you can email me at

BEER! Oh, and in case you were wondering what this Free the Hops thing is all about - Alabama has a stupid law that limits beer sold to be 6% alcohol by volume or below, which prevents us from getting delicious "craft" or "gourmet" beers.  Free the Hops has been lobbying to change the law for a number of years.  We're on pins and needles right now because the bill has passed the senate, but we're waiting on the Governors signature for the law to be changed.  He has until Monday night I think so fingers crossed!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Warning: Girl-centric post ahead

****UPDATE: I have decided to give it a shot. Hoping my local health food/crunchy granola store carries it. Will let you know my progress...eventually. Oh, and if you see me around, PLEASE don't ask how it is going...posting this is embarrassing enough! :) ******

I have always said that this blog would be about what it is like riding as a girl in a cycling unfriendly and unhealthy (esp for women) city. So, it was inevitable to write about womenly things. That day has come...

Ok, ladies this one is for you. Has anyone ever tried The Diva Cup? I am curious about it and want to know what you think. Any cyclists out there tried it? Riding during that week is worrisome and uncomfortable so I would love anything that could help.

Let's just put it out there: you can't really wear a pad when on a ride. And tampons are fine, if you are ok with bleached cotton and chemicals and possible leaks (which, honestly, I have been up to this point). So, this seems to be a good alternative. unless it doesn't work, or the position cycling puts you in screws it up.

So, I ask you...anyone tried it?

if you are uncomfortable saying so here, email me at

Thanks! And to our male readers...sorry and thanks for your understanding

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

This is where we live

David and I went to a meeting tonight put on by the Regional Planning Commission to hear a proposal for changing some one-way streets to two-way streets. I was very excited to hear that they were planning space for bike lanes (which the city will have to decided whether to stripe or not) and also the number of comments from attenders aimed at making the bike lanes a reality. 

This is a photo of one of the streets that would be changed.

And heeeeeeeeere's puggles!  After betraying me a few weeks ago I had to put ol' puggles in time out, but I have finally forgiven and we rode tonight to the meeting.  All went well.