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Tag Archive: girls on bikes

Two Girls and Two Bikes in the City of Light!

Salut les Bike Commuters! Mir.I.Am is fresh off the jet from France and ready to report on the lovely life on two wheels from the City of Light – Paris.  I just spent several weeks in France (oui, oui, depending on your point of view, cue a “scowl of disgust” or “sigh of extreme jealousy,” dear readers).  Ever since investigating the bike share options in Paris and Bordeaux last year, I’ve been anxious to see Paris from a bike’s eye view.

From the Bike's Eye View in Paris

Two Girls – one with a Backache. My Parisienne friend was incapable of taking the Metro around the city.  Thanks to a chronic back injury, she was on intense medication with doctor’s orders claiming no standing on her feet for more than two minutes at a time. Walking was out of the question and the Velib bikes near her house were always checked out, since she lives on the top of a hill.  Lucky for us, the two bikes in her garage were the perfect option for two girls touring around the City of Light!  We packed up our locks, bags, and water for the road, and set off for a day of errands and sight-seeing rolled into one!

Marion on her B*Twin step through, with my pink bag in the basket.

Two M’s: Marion & Mir.I.Am. Just like Task Force Chicago, we played follow the leader, with Marion as the leader and me the tourist sheep on two wheels.  It’s so stress free to follow a seasoned local bike commuter when you’re brain is in vacation mode, no need to tape maps to handlebars or plan out routes!  A bike commuting tip from Marion: make sure to loop part of your bag over your handlebars if your bag is in the front basket since bags are easily snatched at red lights or while biking through slow traffic in Paris.

My Parisian ride was the silver "Le Super"

An atypical bike commute for me, I was without helmet (don’t judge), blessed with a slow-leaking back tire, riding a single speed (by default due to broken cables), with a busted built-in generator headlight, but hey – Le Super bike was $free.99 with legit street cred.  I mean, look at the thing!  I climbed aboard with enthusiasm and a smile, as we pedaled through Paris running errands with plenty of scenic architecture along the way like the Paris Opera.

Flowers in your back rack!

Everywhere you look, bikes in the street.

Strangely enough, I noticed that bike lanes and routes were often in the opposite direction of traffic on One-Way streets.  We navigated several roundabouts, green painted bike lanes, bike boxes, sandy paths in parks, and construction zones.  The two girls on two bikes snaked through the city, avoid congested boulevards in favor of smaller back alleys.  Marion explained to me that we give right of way to the traffic coming from the right (at least this is what I think she said in French), and that there were several laws we were breaking but she’s never been caught!  Welp, no time to ask questions, so we ride on and do as the locals do.  Off to run our errands: picking up some new duds for me and maybe some bling bling.

First errand - pick up a new outfit for me, just my size!

Off to the next destination!

Second errand, pick up my necklace from the jewelers...

Two hours of Biking = What an appetite! All smiles and a light sweat later, with errands under way… time for a tasty lunch in a car free zone at Rue Montorgueil!  Merci to Marion for taking me to another great local spot.  There were tons of bikes shackled up against the fences, and the pedestrian quarter was short but sweet.  Sunshine, cigarettes, and salad at a tiny table and chairs at an outdoor cafe was exactly what we needed to recharge.  Bon appetit, mes Bike Commuters.

Getting hungry after a few hours of running errands, off to find FOOD!

The best parking spots - for BIKES only in the pedestrian quarter!

Nom, nom. Salad time.

Two Bikes round up the Sites. We ended our day (a total of 6 hours of girly fun bike time) by taking the scenic route home, through Pere Lachaise Cemetery.  In all my visits to Paris, I had never been to this famous cemetary.  We rolled up to the automobile entry and were halted by the lady at the guardshack.  To our surprise, she told us it was interdit to bring bikes into the cemetary!  We expalined to her that we fully intended to walk our bikes through, as it is pretty steep, bumpy with cobble stones, and I was riding Le Super default single-speed.  But, there was no reasoning with the law, she said we would have to lock our velos outside the cemetery and walk around inside without them.  We left the auto entry and turned the corner, where we decided to sneak in via the pedestrian entry and carry our bikes up the staircase.  I went up first with Le Super to check for a guard, so Marion wouldn’t have to carry the B*Twin up the steps if we were going to get caught.  Lucky for us, a group of 30 middle schoolers were at the top of the staircase, creating a perfect diversion for us to sneak past…  Merveilleuses Marion and Mir.I.Am made it into Pere Lachaise!

Well worth the effort of sneaking in with our bikes!

The cemetery is enormous, like a mini-neighborhood

The Bike’s Eye View is the BEST Eye View of  Paris. So touring about Paris from the saddle of a junky old bike, I decided I liked what I saw.  Two girls playing follow the leader on two bikes in the City of Light was the best way to get around Paris in the summer.  Imagine all the things we would’ve missed in the Metro!  Imagine how sweaty we would be if we had to hoof it around the city instead.  It was so fast to get around by bike that it made the big city feel small.  Enjoy your summer, and enjoy your vacation commutes, Cycle Ladies and Gents!

A little Bike Love from France!

Friday Musings – Women on Bikes are Just Plain HOT.

That’s right!  I said it!  Women on bikes are just plain hot.

From Milwaukee Pedal Pushers via FYGB.

Now, before anyone gets on their feminist high-horse (or double-tall feminist high-bike) please note that this article is mere speculation, meant to entertain and bubble up chittah-chattah, as part of our Friday Musings series.  I was talking with my local Cycle Lady coworkers and amigas about bike dates, bike friends, or just saying “hello” to others during your commute! I remembered an article that RL once posted a while back about meeting singles while bike commuting around town… While we still weren’t too sure about the direct correlation between a girl on a bike pedaling off to work and scoring a date on the way, we all agreed that being a woman on a bike just might be the easiest form of everyday bike advocacy!  Because if you’ve ever seen a Cycle Lady on her way to work, campus, the grocery store, the county prison or the junkyard, you’ll have to admit that women on bikes are just fan-fracking-tastic.

I don't crash my tall bike accidentally

Thanks to Dingo Dizmal's flickr stream

Whether you’re a Cycle Lady donning a bright yellow safety vest or cruising in a workdress, women with pedal power are sexy and exotic like the such-n-such orchid that blooms only once every three years and smells like rotting flesh!  (Hmm, somehow that simile didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped.)

What is it about a woman on a bike that just makes cycling to work that. much. better?!  I’ve seen some Red Hot Ladies around time that are KILLING IT up Tantalus and they just make my day.  And these ladies are hitting their 60s, putting young bucks to shame on a daily basis.

At this year’s national Bike Summit in Wash D.C., the buzz was all about women as the key to growing transportation cycling.  Apparently, the hypothesis is that the number of women on bikes is a measure of success for a city’s cycling culture.

I always tell my single friends in search of a mates or new buddies a surefire way to meet some new people would be to get on a bike!  (And that goes for Cycle Ladies and Gents.)  Trading tips with the other bike commuters at your job, or starting up a convo with the homie locking up their ride at the bike racks… there’s just something about riding bikes that’s so fun it’s contagious!  At least in the cities where I’ve commuted (San Luis Obispo, CA; Seattle, WA; and Honolulu, HI) I’ve felt an automatic sense of belonging when you pass another bike commuter in town… that little nod to the cyclist heading in the opposite direction, checking out each others rides or maguyver rack set ups, and high-fiving at red lights.  You know what I’m sayin’?

Women on Bikes - exotic and beautiful like the rare "corpse flower"

And I’m not just talking about the Mary Poppins Effect – where all girls in skirts on upright dutch bikes get more respect in the road.  No matter what kind of bike you ride, what you’re wearing, or how old you are, I’d like to go on the record to say that all women on bikes are HOT.  Don’t you agree, lovely readers?  So, let’s celebrate this unique group of individuals (the minority’s minority in the world of commuting) with some spicy photos!

From Dmackintosh Flickr stream - Roadie!

From Chicks on Bikes - Summertime BMX and sandals.

Cycling Taiwan - Day 5

Mamachari style bikes are HOT in Taiwan!

Marilyn Monroe - Keepin it real on two wheels!

Too much FUN - cruiser with a surf rack

Amendment! I've received a personal request from friends to post a photo of the RED HOT LADIES of HNL

Hipster pin-up status

And for all you mntbikeRiders - making spandex look GOOD.

Whew! That’s enough hot mamas on bikes for me for one weekend.  Catch you later, cycle gators!

Cycle Chic Through the Ages

You may have noticed something over the past couple of years…bicycling is hot! With the exception of GM’s little snafu a few weeks ago, bicycles are generally portrayed as a hip, smart and sexy choice in television and print ads. As I page through magazines (yeah, I read women’s magazines), I routinely see several bikes per issue…as a prop in the background or as a conveyance for a stunningly-attired model. Meanwhile, the Internet is packed with bicycle-chic sites and a new one pops up nearly every day.

But to us, cycling has ALWAYS been chic, and a recent photo essay on Ecosalon gives you a look into cycling’s stylish past. It’s worth a visit over there just to see how styles have changed but the bicycle remains one sexy beast on its own.

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