We caught this gent out and about the other day, and wanted to give him a shout out for lookin’ so fine, on so chic a ride outfitted for the work-a-day. Stephan, we love your style, and particularly your springtime orange tie.
We came across this great letter from 1999, published in the Post & Courier and written by a tenacious woman named Mindy Spar. Read it and be inspired! (For the full text go to the P&C archives)
I want to ride my bicycle
BY Mindy Spar
The Post and Courier
Anyone who owns a car in this town knows that driving around here can be a headache. With all the one-way streets, pedestrians who don`t look where they are going, carriage drivers who don`t pull over when they are supposed to and tour buses that drive zero miles per hour, getting where you are going can be tough…..
I bought a bicycle about a year or so ago with intentions of riding it to work. Somehow, I kept finding excuse after excuse not to. First I didn`t want to ride home in the dark. Then when it stayed light later, I decided it was too hot. Then I couldn`t figure out a comfortable way to ride in a dress. Then I realized I had way too much stuff to schlep around and I couldn`t possibly carry it all on a bike. Then I kept hearing story after story of people`s bikes being stolen, and I figured my bike would be much safer if I didn`t use it.
After the bus incident, I decided to get real and put all of the excuses away. I spent the weekend gearing up: I bought a basket to carry my stuff in, bought a super-duper lock to protect my bike, I found some bicycle shorts to wear under my dress, and I decided to pull my hair back in a ponytail and to not be afraid of a little sweat.
D-day (or should I say B-day, as in bike day) dawned on Monday. I woke up early in anticipation. Every few minutes I checked the sky, but, alas, there were no rain clouds in sight. I pulled on my shorts, tied back my hair, secured my belongings in my basket, and off I went.
It was exhilarating. Even with the heat there was a bit of a breeze, and it felt great to be in the open air.
Usually, I drove the same route to work every morning, so I decided to weave through the back streets on my bike. I noticed new details on houses I`d seen a thousand times; the interesting way a porch curved on one house, the leaded glass windows on another, the latticed gate to a garden at yet another. I marveled at the amount of restoration and renovation that is being done in the downtown neighborhoods.
Before I knew it, I was at my destination. I was amazed that it took the same amount of time as driving had. And I felt great, albeit very sweaty. I was clearheaded and empowered to tackle the day.
Now, I ride to work every day. Instead of wishing for storm clouds, I dread them. (One day I had to drive to work and I appreciated my bicycle all the more; by the time I negotiated the traffic and bad drivers, I was a stress case before my work day had even begun.)
I vary my route and try to discover new things daily. I also watch the progress of the renovations and am excited by the new vitality in some of our older neighborhoods.
If I had only known what a great way this was to start the day, I would have thrown off those tired excuses ages ago. Granted, my sitbone and my legs were a little sore for a while, and my co-workers have had to deal with my outdoorsy odor, but those little inconveniences pale in comparison to the overall benefits.
Those benefits are endless; a chance to get some exercise, discover new things, clear the mind and body of stress, and do a little bit for the environment.
But the biggest benefit of all is, I feel as if I`ve given myself a gift. A gift of permission to take a few minutes every day to do something beneficial for myself. This is something in this hectic, rush-rush world we too often forget to do. Try it and see what a difference it makes.
For the new year Charleston Cycle Chic decided to have fun with Picnik. This is our statement for 2011. Do ya feel it? 🙂
Yes – we are jealous. We would love to see a female-focused bicycle shop here in Charleston. Pedal Chic opens soon in Greenville, SC. Here is the description from their website and we love their tagline!
“Pedal Chic is the only women-specific cycling and athletic boutique in the Southeast, offering an unparalleled selection of apparel for the female athlete, cyclist, urban commuter, and yogi, as well as lifestyle/comfort wear in an upscale, boutique environment.
Pedal Chic is THE destination for active women shopping for contemporary, stylish, and high-performance cycling, fitness, and lifestyle apparel. From “city bikes” and commuter accessories (think bike baskets, designer helmets, shoes, and cycling-friendly handbags) to athletic intimate apparel (up to size 40DD) Pedal Chic outfits every woman from head to toe.”
This came across our desk today and of course we can’t help but give them a shout out.
LoveGave Bikes is a 58 Hour Bike Drive to help buy bikes for 250 kids in 12 schools in the Charleston area. Go to their website or visit them at the West Ashley Walmart to help.
With a new niece added to the family and several friends who are pregnant and love to bicycle, I’ve been taking a look at the different options out there for carting baby around! While here in America, it seems everyone goes first for the seat on the back of the bike (is it safer?), the Dutch go for the front of the bike seat, which I think I would do too. So here’s a great example of BOTH from the blog Dutch City Bike. How great is this? If you want to know where to get a front baby seat, this company, Bobike, has some adorable ones.
Thanks Dutch City Bike for the great photo! If you want to read more, hop on over to their site.
We’ve been salivating after Velorbis bikes for quite a while now, but alas, they were only sold across the pond. They sell classic vintage bicycles including those great cargo bikes that are perfect for groceries and/or kids. Fortunately the bike angels have been watching over us, because now Velorbis has come to the US! Actually, the distributor out of Chicago contacted us to see about carrying their lines in Charleston. YES!!! YES PLEASE!! Check out some of their bicycles below and let us know if you want ’em.