Friday, February 27, 2009

I love Riding in the City

Guess who is in this month's Urban Velo? That's right-me! You can check it out here. I contributed to their "I love Riding in the City" column. You should too! The folks at Urban Velo are awesome and have a really great thing going on. In addition to my little page, they also sponsored our Heartbrakes Alleycat Benefit.

You can get a paper subscription OR they offer it up for free on itunes.

So, thanks to Urban Velo. You guys are awesome.

(Seriously, go and contribute to the column. You won't regret it!)

Also-thanks to everyone who came out to the Bici Community Interest Meeting. It went really well and was really fun to sit around talking about bikes and bike shops with like minded peeps. Cyclists Rock!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I heart my community

Yo internets. Lesson of the night: when you ride to a party and there is wine, even if you only drink 1.5 glasses, you will still be dehydrated and your ride home will be slower than normal.

lesson learned.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The shape of things to come

Puggles (formerly known as Geot) got his first flat this weekend, and, although I had the required tool and extra tube, I didn't have anything to pump it up with (and didn't think I had the lung power to make that happen).  Puggles and I decided to walk home, and he sat alone and dejected, a crippled mess, for a couple of days.  

Sunday I got my shit together and decided to fix that flat (new game show?)!  I had to find a wrench to get the tire off (which, I didn't realize at the time of flatness, I don't have in my bag either...time for more tools) and then slammed it around for a little while trying to get the tube out.  I had success in the end, and felt pretty good.  So good that, after that was over and done with, I got out in the chill of the morning and cleaned that bad boy and lubed up the chain . He's looking pretty spiff at the moment, and I think we're both feeling like a new...being.  

Thanks Homewood Cycles dudes for teaching me how to treat my bike right!

I'm thinking about getting some of those CO2 cartridge things.  Does anyone out there use those and think they're worth it?  The biggest problem I have with this whole biking thing is the amount of money I'm having to shell out. grumble.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bike Saturday and car free weekend!

Lately, it seems like Anna and I have bi-weekly Bike Saturday. Two weeks ago was a lovely Saturday involving bike shops and sunny rides.

Well...this Saturday was equally lovely. Ok, maybe not equally, but pretty close.

Once again, we headed over to Homewood Cycles for a Bike class. This time was level 2, bike tune-ups. Once again, it was awesome! The entire Bici crew came and we learned all sorts of stuff, including how to change a chain...which we practiced on Mick Jagger, as his chain was stretched and needed replacing. :) Nothing like a few hours at the Bike shop to make you excited about riding. I was reminded AGAIN of how much I love my bike shop. Walked out with a new chain and new gloves, not to mention knowledge and warm fuzzies (man, I am so cheesy!).

On to Primavera Coffee for a Bici meeting. With Prom behind us and our Community Interest meeting coming, it is time to get serious. Which we did, over delicious coffee. Starting a Non-Profit is hard work, ya'll. 2.5 hours later, we had accomplished so much and were feeling good. Overwhelmed (maybe that was just me?), but good. Are you coming to the meeting Thursday? Because you should be. go put it on your calendar now. I'll wait...

...Ok, now back to my story:
After the meeting, I decided to bike over to another local coffee shop to pick up something from a friend and indulge in my 4th cup of coffee. It was a nice ride, one that I had never done before. After spending an hour chit chatting and visiting, it was now 4:30 and the sun was waning. Time to try my new route home, the one I was hoping would allow me to get to work without having to drive part of the way. (Again, thanks to Homewood cycles for the route advice). I pulled on my gloves, slapped on my helmet and set off.

20 minutes later I was home, feeling triumphant!! (Then I collapsed and didn't leave the house again for the night...)

Sunday I got up late, really late. Decided to try the new work route round trip, since I had to go into the office for a few hours. I did it! Got over the mountain and all the way to Irondale. Took 45 minutes, which adds quite a bit of time to the morning commute, but well worth it. I. am. awesome. Only had to rest once along the way! Worked and rode home. Mapped it later and it is 18 miles round trip, which is not a bad workout if I do it 3-4 times per week.

I parked my car Friday after work and did not get back into it until 10:30 last night to pick a friend up from the airport. This, despite a busy weekend of dinners, concerts, bike classes, work and coffee shops. It felt like a turning point in my 'car-lite' life. All in all, a great weekend.

Was your weekend lovely, internets?

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I've Got to be Me

ok, I normally don't like to repost things (most folks check the same sites and it is so annoying when every site has the same video, article, etc on one particular day) BUT this was too fun not to be on Bike Skirt.

love it, love it, LOVE IT.

girls on bikes are hot. and awesome and girly and fun and badass.

bikeskirt loves girls on bikes. And boys on bikes. but especially girls on bikes.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bici Community Interest Meeting

Reposted from the Bici page.

Mark your Calendars! FEEL FREE TO REPOST!

Thursday Feb. 26 7pm
Nomad Supply Shop
916 23rd Street South
Birmingham, AL
Shop phone (205)252-9359

If you want to know more about what we are, how to help, or have ideas to share, PLEASE come! This is your opportunity to get involved and get to know us. Spread the word, invite your friends.

Nomad is kind enough to give us use of their space, afterhours, AND provide coffee and tea. If you haven't been to their shop, go and check it out. What they are doing is really wonderful and unique. We are excited about partnering with them. They are in Bici's community footprint and have similar philosphies, so we think this is the start of a beautiful relationship! :)

if you know you will be attending and want to shoot us email, that would be great...nice to know how much coffee we will need. But either way, please come out. We are going to be working hard until then on our vision for the future and our mission in the community...but we can't do that without your input. We want to be for the Community and made up of it's citizens.

Any questions, send an email to info(at)bicicoop(dot)com.

Bike Love!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Who's a klutz?!

I have an estimated 15 bruises on my legs right now.  I know how some of them came to be, but most are a mystery.  One thing is certain - my bikes are somehow involved.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I know that this will probably never happen in Birmingham, but a girl can wish, can't she?

Seeing this literally made me ache with longing and angst.

I am hopeful to see cities that care about pedestrians and are NOT just interested in the quickest way to get cars from point A to point B.

I AM encouraged for Birmingham's future, with the baby steps being taken. One example of such initiatives is Red Mountain Park, a recreational, public park space in excess of 1,100 acres. The park will include 18 miles of biking and hiking trails, fields and picnic areas. Still no timeline (that I know of) for when the park will be complete, but we will keep you up to date on the progress.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Got Canned Heat in my heels tonight

No Valentine this year?
No Valentines Plans? Live close to Birmingham? well, then come out to The Heartbrakes Alleycat Prom Benefit!! you still have time...

details at quick rundown:

Greencup books (richard Arrington Drive)
race at 7, party at 8
Andy's Tea Party (with our own Anna!) playing
DJ Nastique spinning some mad crazy tunes
Prom photo booth
$10 to party, $15 to race and party

See you there. I'll be dressed up, fancy like.

I leave you with this photo of my day spent running Prom errands on the bike. It was a lovely Valentines Day spent with my love, Mick Jagger!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Spring Fever Part Deux: The List Edition

I will second Elisa's sentiment - we have had some fabulous weather here!  But, unlike her, I was blessed with good fortune and rode all over the place this week!

Yesterday was particularly amazing because:

a. It was beautiful outside
b. Listening to Stereolab (the perfect music for a wonderful day of riding)
c. Great outfit (not a skirt this time)
d. Iced Mocha (Urban Standard saved my life!)

I was so thrilled about life and was feeling like a complete badass, so I made Alan come over and take a picture of me.

A few items to note from this photo:

a. I am double jointed in my elbows
b. Our roads are being repaved for a marathon
c. I got some sweet new gloves
d. Grr face
e. Alan is one helluva photographer

I am so ready to party this weekend! And then I'm going to need a serious massage.

Spring Fever

The weather has been so nice here! High 60's and sunny. wonderful weather to ride.

Yet, I have only ridden once this week!! arg. Here are my stupid excuses:

Monday: was housesitting at a house that is actually closer to work, but farther from my safe route. So I drove to work instead of driving twice the distance to get somewhere safe enough to ride.
(I learned of a new route to work directly from my house that I plan to test run this weekend to make srue I know how to get there and the time it takes, etc)

Tuesday: RODE!!

Wednesday: Rain and storms predicted. Which did happen, but only in the middle of the day. So frustrating.

Thursday (today): woke up 10 minutes before i had to leave for work. Oops. So I had to drive like a bat out of hell only to get to work 10 minutes late. I also have to go somewhere immediately after work, which is when I really feel the pain of living in a cycling un-friendly city. There is no way to get to where I need to go on my bike. At all. All day today I have been sad that I didn't ride.

Friday: I.AM.RIDING. no matter what.

The guilt and remorse has been too much! Do you feel this way, or have weeks like this? In the back of my mind I know that there is only a small window of time between freezing cold and stupidly hot and humid, so every day that I drive feels like a waste and a shame.

To sunny days and Spring Fever and getting back on the saddle!

(oh, are you coming to the Bici Prom??...I hope to see you there)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Dream Job

If I get canned due to the recession (I am not too worried, btw...but you never know!), I would LOVE to be able to go and do this. Originally posted at Urban Velo

Cargo Frame Building Apprenticeship
The Center for Appropriate Transport and Human Powered Machines is introducing the first cargo bike building apprenticeship program of it’s kind. Over the span of a 5-month intensive program at the hands of Jan VanderTuin apprentices will learn everything it takes to both build cargo cycles and run the business side of a retail frameshop and cargo courier business. Tuition is $5000 for one of the three spots, with on-site housing available at the campus in Eugene Oregon.

What a great way to spend 5 months. sigh.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Missed connection

Male driving large dump truck. 7:15am, the super narrow part of Clairmont before it meets Crestwood Blvd. I was the blonde girl on the bike that you narrowly missed mowing down. Your coy little truck brushed up against my sleeve as you pushed me off the road. I can only assume that was a thinly disguised attempt to throw me off of my bike onto the ground where you could then 'rescue' me and provide mouth to mouth.

Well, Mr. Big Truck Man, two can play hard to get. My superior balance skills thwarted your effort for a damsel in distress style encounter. And the finger that I flashed your way...well, that could mean so many, many things.

I guess you will just have to wonder. (wink, wink)

Until then...get your fat ass truck OUT OF MY LANE!!! I was going roughly the same speed as traffic, thankyouverymuch. I am sure you saved tons of time getting to the stoplight 2 seconds sooner than I did. Phew.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Does anyone out there have tips for combating dry skin?

I've been feeling particularly disgusting these last few days and my hands have started bleeding. I used some Aquaphor stuff but it makes me feel like a grease ball and I can't touch anything without leaving a slimy layer.

What to do?!?

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tragedy in Music City-Stolen bike alert

This is a plea to all you readers in the Nashville area. Our friend, Trisha from Let's Go Ride a Bike, had her beloved Pinkie stolen last night.

If you see Pinkie around, please a) kick said thieves ass, b) call the cops, c) let Trish know.

Help us return Pinkie to her home!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Bike Skirtin' around

What a great day to ride a bike. The weather was "abundant sun" and 68 degrees. Anna and I had a bike fun filled day that I just had to share with you. I lament the fact that we did not get any photos, but you will have to use your imaginations.

At 8 am we set out to go to Homewood Cycles for their free Bike Maintenance 101 class. The ride there includes going over Red Mountain. Anna does this every time she bike commutes, and let me tell you, even walking it is a hike! Then we got back on the saddles and rode the rest of the way. Since we are getting in better shape every ride we take, we had tons of time left over for a coffee and muffin. yummy.

Headed over to the bike shop. Learned a lot and totally geeked out about bikes with the awesome guys at the shop. I got a bike fitting, quick tune-up and lesson and a new commuting route (to be reported back on later). Anna bought some tools, learned to change a flat and had her brakes fixed up on Puggles (her Peugot fixie). Was a wonderful morning. Kenny also said that they are going to start carrying Action Wipes! This was really exciting for me to hear.

It was a great morning spent talking about bike and Bici co-op and Birmingham. Any followers of Triathablog probably know of my disdain of bike shops. Well, today completely remedied any residual angst I had. I heart the guys over at Homewood cycles and recommend them wholeheartedly. They are genuinely nice guys who want to see everyone on a bike and will help to make that a reality. Go and support them. Join us on Feb 21 for Bike Tune-ups 101. The bikeskirt girls will be there for sure. Come and say hello and learn a little something, all the while supporting your Local Bike Shop.

oh, did I mention that we rode home OVER THE MOUNTAIN? Without getting off of our bikes? This was a big deal to me and I kept yelling to Anna that we were totally awesome. Because we are. I have been trying to do this for 4+ months, so it was a huge personal victory.

We also rode and had lunch at a little outdoor cafe. I can't tell you how happy it made me to look over and see our bikes locked together in the sunshine.

Good day. I felt so sorry for people who did not have a bike to ride. Much too nice to be in a car.

Ended the day with a massage, and then quality time with a friend, some wine and milano cookies.

In the wise words of Ice Cube, "Today was a good day".

A shout out and thanks (again) to the guys over at Homewood cycles. We appreciate all the tips and bike love.

Hope you on the internets had a good weekend as well.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I am a winner!

I don't really win things. Yes, I have a good little life and am/have been involved in some great things, but it is more because of things I chose to participate in. Winning random contests have never been my thing.

well, all of that changed yesterday! Over at Bike Frenzy, I entered a contest and was thrilled to see this when I checked back today:

And The ActionWipes Giveaway Winners Are

in Free Stuff Friday, Product Review

To read the original review of ActionWipes and to get contest details check the post title: Free Stuff Friday: ActionWipes Edition

The Winners Are
In no particular order:
(other names are listed here, but who cares about them?!)
Elisa M
Free Stuff Fridays are somewhat new but I really hope it grows. Here are more Free Stuff Friday posts.

Yep, that's me!! I won some Action Wipes, which is strange and wonderful since just yesterday I emailed my LBS and asked them to consider carrying them. Great timing, huh? Now I can try them and let the shop know if they are, indeed, a product they need to get behind.

woot woot! A profile and winning Action is sweet.

(review of Action Wipes to come)

Thanks Bike Frenzy. You rock!

Also stay tuned for a review of Everlight Safety Vests.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

We Love Bike Commuters!

I just saw that Elisa's profile is up on Bike Commuters today!  Go check it out and thanks again to our pal Jack for being so kind and taking an interest in what we're doing.

Ok. really going to do work now.

Busy Busy Busy!

I haven't had time to blog over the past few days; I've been so effing busy!  Over the weekend I went to Providence, Rhode Island, for the Physicians for Human Rights conference (which was amazing by the way), so I wasn't able to ride at all.  But I did see a whole lot of other people riding and it was heart wrenching for two reasons:
1. I'm not riding!!!
2. No one in Birmingham rides!!!
It seemed like everywhere I looked there were people on bikes, including lots fixed gears, and bikes chained up on everything, so many that they practically stacked on top of each other.  I want that for Birmingham too, but how are we going to get there?  Birmingham is extremely obese, has a public transportation system that is of little use, and just doesn't give a shit.  We as a city need a priority overhaul, which certainly isn't happening with our current administration (see herehere, and can't forget this classic).

BUT! There is hope! We can get together and try to make things happen.  The metro area recently set up the Alabama Green Initiative, which is a step in the right direction (thank you Obama!!!).  Of course, LaLa - that's our mayor's pet name - is just in it for the money, but at least it's something.  

Part of the BiCi's mission is to advocate for bicycling in the city, and I personally hope that as the country progresses toward improving public works and community programs, we can also be a part of that change.  We can help Birmingham can step out of the stone age and ride into the 21st century.

SPEAKING OF BICI!!  Our race/party benefit is right around the corner and we're still looking for volunteers.  If you're interested you can email me at  It's going to be a great party with Andy's Tea Party (which I happen to be a member of) and DJ Nastique.  

OK enough rambling, I have mountains of school work to do. 
Love to you all!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

We have arrived!

Check Anna out at today! This site is amazing and offers tons of support, tips and general bike commuting wonderfulness.

They asked each of us to submit a profile, so stayed tuned for BikeSkirt Part II!

UPDATE: My (elisa) profile was just posted. We feel so cool!

Thanks Ghost was a blast doing this!

Everyone-stop what you are doing and head over there. Bookmark it. It is that good. for a bike commuter, it is an indispensable tool.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Sometimes biking is a pain in the...

Riding my bike makes me feel simultaneously 4 years and 40 years old. Not that there is anything wrong with either age...but I am neither.

Does anyone out there have an issue with intense back pain after riding with a messenger bag? Even with the smallest Timbuk2 bag, after a short ride I feel as though someone has their knee firmly placed mid back. I thought that perhaps the larger bag would better distribute the weight so I changed. No such luck...same thing. I suspect that my large Trek U-lock has something to do with it, but even without the lock, it hurts some. My goal this week is to make a lock holster that I can wear with a skirt lacking belt loops (that was actually my goal last weekend...), so I am hopeful that will help. A friend of mine swears by 2 strap commuter bags, and perhaps that is what I need to do. Unfortunately, I currently have 2 messenger style bags and no budget to acquire another bag. I may pull out the old LLBean bag this week and see if it helps.

I also know that riding in bike unfriendly areas factor into my pain. When riding on a small, poorly lit road with cars zooming past, I tend to get a tension headache throughout my back and neck. This is not going to go away soon, so I need to find a way to work around it and despite it.

The subject of weight training does intrigue me. I don't ride for sport much, mainly just to get from point A to point B. I am sure that I would benefit from some specialized strength training, and am open to any suggestions you all may have. Riding is an amazing workout for my body, but I know that some muscles are not targeted. Which ones are these, and what can I do to help?

Please note that these must be able to be done in my home with free weights and/or household props. I will NOT set foot in a gym!

I am also thinking of seeing how my yoga practice helps. I used to regularly do hot yoga, but have a current mental block against it. Perhaps a combination will be just the ticket.

Anyone have any advice? Can you relate?

Side Note: This weekend was amazing for riding. This photo is of a ride I was about to take to Urban Standard for coffee. I ended up staying through lunch! I took the long route home for a few more minutes in the sun and on the saddle. (ignore the bad hair was windy and I was lazy!)