Guess what? Riding a bicycle in a skirt can be done! I learned from the best (ahem, Lauren & Sarah) that I can ride my bike in whatever attire I like – including skirts. I’ve been in love with patterns lately – and mixing them. A little gingham button up and a poppy print skirt (with pockets!) make quite the statement when paired, accompanied by the most insanely cool lion head belt. I haven’t quite mastered the art of riding in heels yet, so these Keds were just right. And the perfect color. Really, I think i’m going to live in those red Keds this summer.
[ skirt: The Limited (old) / shirt: Old Navy / shoes: Keds / belt: vintage]
Wear it: tooling around town on a bike!
[All photos by Christopher Willingham]
See the rest of the style column here.
Like what I did there with the title? (see: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)
A regular read of mine, The Neighborhood, has had a couple great posts about biking this month – you know, it being national bike month and all. I figured with all the biking i’m doing, i’d share this rad post about keeping that bike in working condition!
Re-post from The Neighborhood.
how to take care of your bike
Happy National Bike Month! Did you even know there was such a thing? Well your ears do not deceive you: this month is National Bike Month, and it’s time to get riding. Usually observers celebrate by breaking out the rusty two-wheeler and plunking along to work instead of driving, and if you are like me, that bike may need some major TLC. Other bike lovers are hitting the roads and mountains for some great road biking or trail riding. Regardless of the type of bike you peddle (be it a road bike, a mountain bike, or even a beach cruiser), these bike maintenance tips prove to be a great way to get you bicycle in shape and keep it in shape.
1. Pump, pump, pump it up!
Your tires should be inflated to the proper psi (pounds per square inch) every time you ride. For road bikes the typical psi is between 80 and 130. Mountain bike tires require between 30 and 50 psi and hybrid tires 50 and 70 psi. Keep in mind the heavier you are, the higher the pressure needs to be (within the recommended pressures still).
2. Don’t neglect the chain and sprockets
Now, there is some debate among cyclists regarding the best type of lubrication to use for chains and sprockets (some dispute over fluid vs. dry oil). But there are two things they seem to agree on: 1) chains and sprockets need to be maintained with some kind of lubricant, and 2) make sure that chain is very, very clean before oiling. I suggest further researching which type of oil and technique is best for your bike.
3. Go in for a check-up
Bikes, depending on the amount of use, need annual doctor visits too. Take your sweet ride to the local bike shop for a tune-up once a year. There they will check on your bike’s cables and break pads and make sure it is functioning on all sprockets, if you will. And, most importantly, they’ll make sure it’s in top shape to celebrate National Bike Month!
I cannot put into words the satisfaction I felt when I arrived home after my first grocery trip with all twelve eggs in tact.
I rode my bike with a weeks worth of groceries tied on and didn’t break a single egg! A weeks worth of groceries for me only filled up two baggu bags – but I did it – I grocery shopped on a bike.
When I decided to give up my car for a month, this was one of the things I was most worried about. How was I ever going to get all the things I needed from the store to my house? Turns out, I don’t actually need that much stuff.
I bought two baggu bags specifically for grocery shopping because they’re sturdy, fit a lot of things inside, and – most importantly – they come in fun colors and patterns! The basket on my bike helped, as did the rack on the back. I headed to the neighborhood grocery, Local Harvest. Having a store close sure makes my weekly trip convenient.
My tips for grocery shopping on a bike are crazy simple and go something like this…
1. Invest in re-useable shopping bags – even better if you can tie them shut.
2. Get a basket. And a rack. And some sort of bungee cord/rope.
That’s about it. My trips have certainly been more frequent – once a week (sometimes twice) versus every two weeks. I’ve also noticed that I’m buying more fresh foods as opposed to packaged foods because I’m going so often, so YEAH to healthy eating!
This whole car-free thing has really thrown my lifestyle into a tizzy. I’m wayyyyyy out of my comfort zone, but if I hadn’t done it, I couldn’t sit here and tell you how gratifying it is to know you haven’t broken a single egg on your ride home.
Ditched the car at all this month? Or tried to grocery shop on your bike? I want to hear how you tackle regular errands like grocery shopping!
Spring ushers in some of my favorite blooms – ranunculuses! As part of my spring list, I resolved to keep more fresh flowers around. They bring life to an otherwise dreary room with their color and smell. Why wait for someone to buy them for you? Treat yo’self by stopping by the farmers market and picking up a bunch of your favorites.
And let’s talk about that song! I’ve been dancing around the office to it all day. It’s “I Found A New Baby” by Miss Jubilee – check it out.
Thanks to Ben Vogelsang for shooting & editing the video.
I’m a week into being car-free! Commuting to work can leave a gals back in all sorts of knots. A laptop, notebooks, and other miscellaneous items add a surprising amount of weight to a bag. In lieu of piling all the ‘essentials’ onto myself like a pack mule, I invested in a bike basket. These wonderfully practical bicycle additions come made for all sorts. Number one is strapped onto the front of my bicycle, but I love the other options. I am crazy about that waxed canvas pannier (number five)!
How do you tote everything around while you ride – are you a basket or a backpack person?
I’ve been thinking of stripes as a neutral for a while now. They go with everything and I adore wearing them. I gave into the trend of floral printed pants – and am really happy with that decision. These crop trousers from H&M are so spring-y and definitely a statement. I tossed on an old pair of nude sandals and layered my favorite Kate Spade necklace with a chunky gem strand from Forever 21. I almost ditched the bright pink lipstick – sometimes I get weird looks when I wear it – but I was feeling spunky.
[ shirt, pants, bag: H&M shoes: Nine West necklace: Kate Spade & Forever 21 ]
Wear it: to a meeting…or to ‘read’ the newspaper on a park bench.
Just to show y’all that these style shoots are not always glamorous, I snuck this one in. It was windy and freezing, but I just wasn’t going to let mother nature win this one.
[All photos by Christopher Willingham]
See the rest of the style column here.
You guys. I got this silly little idea in my head that I could go car free for an entire month. In St. Louis.
It went a little something like this…
January: I could totally give up my car for a month…
February: Huh, I should give up my car for a month.
March: Yeah, okay, I will give up my car for a month.
Today: What was I thinking giving up my car for a month?!
So, here we are – the first day of National Bike Month and i’m car-less! I’ll be sharing my adventures in two wheeled travel all month on ConnectingSTL and here on City in a Jar.
I strongly encourage you to try the #CarFreeSTL challenge by walking, biking, or using Metro instead of driving – even if it’s just to meet someone for coffee in the neighborhood! Then tell me about it using #CarFreeSTL on twitter.
See you on the roads!
Video by Ben Vogelsang
Music by Jump Starts