Last week, our very own Darryl from lovingthebike.com asked this question on Twitter:
“What’s on your cycling Christmas wish list?”
Without hesitation I responded, “Time and health to ride.” Read more on lovingthebike.com >Read more →
It was 1991.
I was a volunteer at a local HIV/AIDS organization. People would come in for anonymous testing and I would deliver their results a week later. Some days were good, and some days there were bad, very bad. I wanted to do more than just deliver results and send people off into the world to deal with what they had just learned, so I joined the organization’s buddy program. They would pair a volunteer with a person who had AIDS to provide companionship and emotional support.
And that’s how I met Dan.
He and I became friends immediately. Had we met under other circumstances, we would have become friends anyway. He was an artist, a gentle soul, and funny as hell. We would laugh — and cry — about life. We shopped together, shared meals, talked on the phone endlessly, sought each other’s advice, and enjoyed music together. [We were even featured together in the paper.]
For many reasons he was no longer close to his family, so I welcomed him into mine. He came to Thanksgiving dinners with me, and I will always love my mother and be forever thankful to my siblings who accepted him and understood my bond with him. I know how much it meant to him.
He died in 1994. I spent his last days with him in the hospital and through his terrible ordeal, he remained positive and worried more about me than himself. For a long time, I thought about him every day. I grieved for the loss of this beautiful man and knew the world would be worse off to no longer have this artist among us. Our time together was not nearly long enough.
I don’t think about him as often now. Time heals the wounds but keeps the beautiful memories. But each year, on December 1, I play his favorite song and I cry for the loss of our friendship.
Because we must never forget.Read more →
Love. Never has a word been so misused.
It’s used to describe just about anything we like: I love tacos. I love bikes. I love shoes. I love Led Zeppelin.
Ah, but add the word “you” into that phrase and it becomes something entirely different. That changes everything, doesn’t it? Read more on lovingthebike.com >Read more →
It was drizzling as I left my house early Saturday morning. The wind was coming from the south and it was strong. I headed that way first.
Less than a mile from my house I was stopped at a red light. I had no plan for that morning other than to ride and clear my head. The light turned green, and as if it had a mind of its own, my bike turned into the entrance of Humboldt Park. Read more on lovingthebike.com >Read more →
They’re on almost every block in my neighborhood. Abandoned bikes, stripped of usable parts. Laying on their side with rusted and broken chains. Wheels long gone.
But why? Why are they left to die a slow death, chained to lamp posts and fences, parking meters and bike racks? Read more on lovingthebike.com >Read more →
I was out on Sunday with my favorite riding partner and we passed this word – the only unnatural thing on the expanse of this wall along the train tracks. I told him I wanted to stop, and he waited patiently for me while I took this photo.
We started off again. He was quiet this morning, so we rode in silence for a bit. But I was thinking about what I had just seen. Read more on lovingthebike.com >Read more →
I gave away this bike on Saturday. Although it looks like an ordinary bike, this one was something special.
This bike was therapist, friend, life preserver, and constant companion for the better part of a year. It was the reason to get out of bed in the morning and something to look forward to as I lay my head on the pillow at night. Read more on lovingthebike.com >Read more →
Let’s face it: as cyclists, we’re obsessed with the weather. We check the weather the night before a morning ride, and again before we head out. Will it rain, be sunny, windy (a given if you’re in Chicago), snowing, humid? And whatever the conditions, deciding what to wear is critically important. Wear too little or too much and you could end up having a miserable time.
People often ask me what I wear while riding in different temperatures. In Chicago, we get both ends of the spectrum: frigid temperatures in the winter and extreme heat and humidity in the summer. For me, nothing gives me more pleasure than these first few cold Fall mornings. Without a doubt, it’s my favorite time to ride.
Many new cyclists tend to overdress when temps start to dip, whether commuting or riding a road bike. It’s better to feel a little cool when you first start out, as your body will heat up as your ride progresses. That’s a lesson most of us learn the hard way.
Fewer high-quality items in your cycling wardrobe makes more sense than a closet full of jerseys and ill-fitting shorts that you never wear. Pieces that you can layer and combine in a variety of temperatures will serve you better.
I’m not advocating any one brand over the other. It’s about the functionality of these pieces. Personally, I prefer to spend a little more on a great set of bibs or a jacket that I know will last for years. I also prefer prefer an understated style, and the brands I wear create beautiful, classic performance wear for women.
The items I’ve presented below can be found in many brand lines, at a variety of price points. Whatever you choose to spend, look for great quality fabrics that are made well and backed by great customer service.Read more →