Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bike Music [Videos]



I was just thinking about making another bike-riding playlist when I happened upon a list of music videos featuring bikes at The Huffington Post. Apparently, this list didn't start out very long because there are lots of suggestions in the comments section. In fact, the first suggestion links to an additional list on San Francisco's Streetsblog where I found the adorable Alvin and the Chipmunks clip. Still, these lists are a bit lacking. Neither list mentions the John Legend video I blogged about in October which is totally understandable because you have to watch an entire John Legend video to get to the bike part. (Blech). However, I find the omission of the Cool Kids' video "Black Mags" strange.

Since I blogged about the Cool Kids back in September some other MC's have featured bikes in videos, but I feel that they send a mixed message. In the video for "What's Up, What's Happening," it appears that T.I. drives to the hood, but then gets out of his car and starts riding a bike through the hood. I'm not sure what that's about (other than saying that poor folks ride bikes) so I didn't mention the video. The other video I noticed was "Ain't I" by Yung L.A. featuring Young Dro and T.I.. In this video, Yung L.A. poses on a bike while the other MC's pose on cars. There's a ramp featured in the video where professionals pull stunts on bikes and skateboards. I think I didn't mention this one earlier because there's so much posing with the bike as opposed to riding it. Poseurs on bikes are bad, but I still hope to see more bikes in music videos, clothing ads, store windows, etc.. Amongst the early adopters and fashionista, I'm sure there will be people who discover that they really like chic-cycling.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Pastels

Pastel Cycle Chic

A lot of pastels fit into ROY G BIV categories, but lilac and pink really stand on their own (in my opinion). I guess there's not a lot here for the fellas, but I'm always impressed with a man who's secure enough to wear pink.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words


It was not a nightmarish figment of my imagination.

After calling the number on the note, I found that, no, there is no one from the store residing in Cartersville who can do bike mechanic work out of their garage. In fact, they're closing their original Rome location to move to a larger store on Broad Street.


At least the Cartersille closing doesn't signify economic difficulties (which I was most afraid of). I guess they're going to just move the bikes from here to there. Now the closet bike shop to me is 26 miles away in Acworth.


I can only comfort myself with the old Episcopalian(?) saying, "In desolation remember consolation." Perhaps a new bike shop will spring up.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shock & Horror!

Today started pleasantly enough--I saw another chic cyclists and it was a guy. I was so happy and intrigued I chased him quite a ways ringing my bell and shouting until he stopped. Unfortunately, when we tried to communicate I found that he spoke no English and that all of my high school and college Spanish has been evicted from my brain by French. At an impasse, he motioned to me to follow him to the apartment complex where he lived and knew of some bilingual people. I stayed in the courtyard while he searched for a translator. Through the translator that eventually turned up, I learned that he bought his old Huffy Cranbrook at a yard sale four years ago. It must have been really cheap or he's been really hard on it because it needed some serious TLC. I wish I'd had my camera at the time because, despite a bent chainguard and missing handlebar grips, it was still a lovely emerald green with the coolest fat white wall tires and silver fenders.

In our three-party conversation, I told the chic cyclist about the LBS on Main Street. I wanted to pass on the bike mechanic's love of old bikes and how he'd often do simple maintenance/repairs on my bike for free. He replied that he knew the mechanic and that he had helped him too. Questions answered and tips passed on, I departed, headed on to the bike shop to see if anyone had seen the sad state of the Huffy Cranbrook lately. I wasn't sure I would make it before the end of business hours so I rolled right up to the door and what did I see? Shock. Horror! My LBS had closed its doors forever! I visited the shop only ten days ago and had no indication that they were going anywhere. Now this! There's no longer any bike shop in Cartersville. Supposedly, there's a mobile bike mechanic in town, but I have no experience of this individual so I'm feeling upended and deprived at the moment.

Cycle Therapy, I hardly knew ye!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bikes On the Green Carpet


LONDON (Reuters) - The stars will arrive by solar car, bike, or rickshaw. The carpet on which they pose for paparazzi will be green, not red. And this world premiere will be screened in a far-from-exclusive solar-powered cinema tent.
Is a rickshaw still called a "rickshaw" if it's pulled by a bike or is it called a pedicab? Either way I think the starlets should skip the stilettos-- since they're liable to snap--and just ride themselves to the premiere. That would be very cycle chic.

Bikes Can Fill In Transit Gaps



It's terrible to hear about the poor state that public transit systems all over the country find themselves in, especially now that commuters need them more than ever. How expensive would it be for cities and suburbs to put in more bike lanes, particularly along routes that are going to see cuts in service? Perhaps that could mitigate some of the missing links in the chain of public transit. That professor might not buy another car if he felt that he could safely ride eight miles or so to the train station. The same goes for the student commuter at the end of the piece. I can see how he might not look forward to a bike ride at the end of a long day of work and classes, but he might change his mind after a revitalizing bike ride in safe bike lane. As for the rain, I thought it never rains in southern California.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Sweet Bike of Youth


It was a truly beautiful day today--too warm, in fact, for this jacket, but I think it really makes the outfit. I stayed in the park for quite a while taking pictures (I really need to buy a Gorillapod to remedy that) and just thinking/daydreaming. While I was taking pictures a man in an ugly white stationwagon-that-calls-itself-a-crossover slowed down and waved at me. I figured he thought he knew me so I waved back. Then the man came back around, stopped his car, and asked me if I wanted him to take pictures of me with my bike. I said, "No, I'm okay," and he drove off. I didn't recognize the man at all, but I feel sure that I had experiened a very "Dateline: To Catch A Predator" type moment. I know that that doesn't, on the face of it, seem so suspicious, but I know that I look a lot younger than I am. For the longest time, I had relatives who would mistake me for a high school student after I'd graduated from college. Last spring, after an encounter with a woman who invited me to a children's church service, I asked my aunt how old I looked and she said that I appeared to be around sixteen. Too old for children's church, but still 13 years younger than I was. While my age issue might be particular to me, I believe some of it involves the fact that I was on foot or on a bike when I had these encounters. In the carcentric U.S., I think that driving a car is regarded as a sure sign of adulthood. If you're on foot or a bike, you're seen as juvenile unless you clearly aren't a kid. Perhaps you're regarded as juvenile even if you're clearly not a kid. That might account for some of the lack of respect many drivers have for cyclists.

While I sat in the park, my mind wandering, a guy in a black car slowly rolled by and did the same thing as the guy in the white car. This time, when he stopped, he said, "Hey gorgeous!" I don't think he mistook me for a kid, but he looked very middle-aged, so he was still too old for my taste.

Friday, March 6, 2009

ROY G BIV: Yellow

Yellow Cycle Chic

Hello sunshine!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Brothas on Bikes

University of Montana, Mansfield Library via bicyclecorps.blogspot.com

I wish I'd found out about this in time for Black History month, but better late than never. In 1897, the Army had 20 Buffalo Soldiers try out the "new" safety bicycle to see if it would be useful to the Army. The men had to travel 41 days and 1,900 miles to complete the "test." A reporter went along for the ride, but, of course, he didn't ask them what they thought about the whole affair. Still, the official report and the news coverage of the soldier's journey helped promote cycling, possibly giving a sense of reality to the idea of bicycle touring. There are tons of news clippings, maps, pictures, route information, etc. at the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps blog. Kudos, to Mr. Mike Higgins for assembling such an informative site on such a little known moment in history.