Bicycle Diaries: December 2009

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South Side Sledding

a bitch!

What a better way to celebrate the arrival of BikeWinter as well as the New Year but with a bit of sledding? On Monday a bunch of us headed down to join this month's South Side Ride. Of course gravity and a slippery slope can and will conspire against you at the end of the run ... especially if there's a fence waiting for you!

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the cure?

I had a dream, which was not all a dream.
The bright sun was extinguish'd, and the stars
Did wander darkling in the eternal space,
Rayless, and pathless, and the icy earth
Swung blind and blackening in the moonless air;
Morn came and went--and came, and brought no day

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Merry Xmas!

another vid from
the Vulgar Lad

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Tweed in the 21st Century!


Let it snow!

and thanks to
The Capitol Fax Blog
for this!

On 28 December 1953, Windy City kids were introduced to the whimsical story of Suzy Snowflake "tap, tap, tappin'" on every windowpane, seen on Garfield Goose and Friends then on WBBM-TV. Suzy too was brought to life by the stop-motion animators of Centaur Productions. Norma Zimmer was Suzy's voice and the song was sung by The Norman Luboff Choir, a premier studio group who recorded with well-known artists, such as Frank Sinatra and Harry Belafonte.

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Bike with a little extra somethin'

whether you
like it or not!

Chicago Craigslist...

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A new bike adventure

gone but
not forgotten!

Today marks my last official day of work until September 1, 2010. It was a balmy September afternoon when I sprung the idea of an eight month sabbatical on my boss as we biked back to the office from a downtown meeting. She was reluctant but willing to listen. I presented a detailed plan for how my duties could be carried out during the proposed leave. I would like to think my well thought out proposal convinced her to agree, but the prospect of forgoing most of my salary in the upcoming tight budget year probably played a role as well.
So writes Michael Burton, fellow biker and the guy who got me my new gig at Bickerdike. He, his wife Gin and son Miguel are all on their way to join another scion of The Windy City's bike community, Jim Redd at his Eco-Hacienda in Ecuador!

Both Jim and Michael were rather influential in getting me into the bike community; the former by his example and the latter by his enthusiasms. Even though he and his family will be returning, it's sad to see them go. It marks yet another small generational turn among those who've made biking here fun. On the other hand though, their departure on a new adventure is hardly surprising. Having contributed to the ballet of the streets for nearly a decade, I think they've earned it. Besides, it's time for some others to influence the folks coming up ...

Michael, Gin & Co.
Good Luck & Bummel On!!!

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Cities for Cycling

think national
build local!

The National Association of City Transportation Officials just launched this new project to share best practices on developing and maintaining world-class bicycle transportation systems. As cities and towns increasingly pioneer new designs it will assist local officials by promoting state-of-the-art innovations that ensure safe traffic conditions for all modes of transportation!

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Heels on wheels

Beauty and the Bike

Directed by Richard Grassick and Beatrix Wupperman, the film follows a group of English teen girls from Darlington as they rediscover cycling via an exchange programme with German teen girls from Bremen. They trial a bike pool made up of Dutch-style sit up and beg town bikes.

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Pierogi cult?

a timely

Many of you, my exceptional readers, know that my best friend here in The Windy City is Pierogi John. But that relationship has taken a serious turn of late. His growing popularity at our Annual Polka Rides has created such a groundswell that he know has his own cult, err ... group, over on Chainlink. Unfortunately, his well intentioned though blinkered followers don't know him as I do. He has an uncanny, if not evil, ability to be in the wrong place at the right time. I humbly submit my evidence. You decide ...

24 November 1963

31 AD


World Series

New Jersey

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Shoppers Beware...

cycling Santas
are coming

to town!

The Windy City's Annual Santa Cycle Rampage
Plows into Tenth Year

The tenth anniversary Santa Cycle Rampage will roll out from Twisted Spoke Bar and Grill at noon on Saturday, 12 December 2009. Several dozen cycling Santas will make their way toward the magnificent mile in a boisterous, spirited procession, and descend on holiday shoppers in a blitz of toasted holiday cheer to remind one and all of the joy of human‐powered travel. The Santa Cycle Rampage is an annual event promoted by Chicago Bike Winter as part of a campaign to promote the bicycle as year‐round transportation.

According to Martin Hazard, 2010 Bikewinter co‐chair, the ride is intended not to befuddle bystanders, but to send a clear message that one does not need to buy a large, expensive, emissions‐heavy vehicle in order to tank up for the holidays. Hazard reports that, under the influence of the Chicago Santa Cycle Rampage, other cities such as Milwaukee have wasted no time in starting their own Santa Cycle Rampages, and that this year’s ride has been carefully tweaked in order to make sure its message is hammered home to holiday shoppers.

Participants will meet at 11 A.M. at the start venue to slop up for the ride; anyone with a working bike and a Santa suit is welcome to participate. In past years rogue Dreidels, Elves, and Reindeer have also ridden along.


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Tour de Farce

I agree with your comment 'bout bad cycling clothes
(Frankly I'd rather wear pink panty hose).
Please design bike-wear both aero and chic.
(And helmets that don't bring out everyone's geek).

As for bikers and stop signs: I do sympathize
But, indulge for a sec in this mind exercise:
Suppose when your Yugo was brought to a stop
you had to unclip from the brake pedal's top
throw open your door, slam your foot on the ground --
Wouldn't you tend to instead just slow down?

I know it's not right, but lets cool the grandstanding.
Not asking forgiveness -- just more understanding.
Illegal on sidewalks, un-welcome on streets,
urban biking is not the most stress-free of feats.
If I had a nickel for every close shave
with some cell-talking douche in a big Escalade . . .

Don't forget that for every damn bike you see out there
there is one less Corolla polluting the air.
One less commuter car riding your ass,
and one less fat dude in your gym's spinning class

So please give a break to us crazy bike riders.
It's scary as shit sharing streets with you drivers.
If you stubbornly want to play chicken instead,
Note: Your car might get scuffed, but we bikers get dead.

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Back in the land of the living...

and time for a nap!

The annual report is done. The annual meeting is over. The fundraising cycle is finished. And I've passed my 3-month probationary period at the new job! Here comes health insurance, business cards, and keys to the building. Time to rest then get back to my bikey lifestyle, including this blog. The winter is shaping up to ba long one; cold and dark. I want to send The Steel Bitch off for a powder-coating ... something in a navy blue or dark maroon. I'm giving it a rest after 5 years as my commuter bike and restoring it for next year's 3speed Tour. So I'll put Mike Bullis's Robin Hood together for my new commuter. Given the temps, I figure I'll have to covert my home office into a bike shop!

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