Tuesday, May 26, 2009

About Iva Jean Rides

Iva Jean Rides is my place for thoughts & inspiration on cycling in style.

I grew up riding bikes. Whether biking around our subdivision with friends or by myself, I could spend entire days going round & round. Hopping on my bike was always a simple form of entertainment, a wonderful way to enjoy the sun & spend time with friends.

Three summers ago I had visions of sundresses, wire baskets, farmers' markets & me on a creme cruiser 3-speed with camel colored leather details, riding around in the sun. I also knew that I wanted to commute to work via bike; after much convincing I realized that I needed a bike with more speeds that was a little lighter than a cruiser. I couldn't stop thinking about it & began the hunt for my perfect bike: vintage or simply used, cruiser handles & hybrid tires.

On a gorgeous sunny day, three years ago, a friend called me to say that he found the bike I was searching for. I walked to velo & snapped up the $100 Motobecane (that may be from the late 70s). It fit the bill - cruiser handles & all.

Since then I've been faced with avid riders. I get destroyed by spandex covered men & women with rear view mirrors attached to the aerodynamic helmets. I feel the breeze on my left most days from messengers laden by skinny jeans & monstrous waterproof packs. And trust me, I've test ridden some road bikes, checked REI for panniers, considered a bright yellow gortex jacket. The truth is that none of the gear available fit my style & accessories seemed extravagant or out of place with my trusty Motobecane.

I love riding my bike. I'm not a gear head, nor do I intend to be someone that drops thousands of dollars on the hobby. I don't care that it takes me 15 minutes to get 3 miles. I do think that Seattle & more American cities deserve & require a cycling culture that encourages all to ride at whatever pace, on whatever bike & in whatever gear.

With that said, I'd like to get back to the vision of sundresses, baskets & farmers' markets. I may not want to be a gear head or hardcore messenger, but I do crave some style while I ride. I want sweet looking panniers that look like woven wood or minimal crates, I want a helmet that matches my regular jacket, I want to have a pretty cape that shields me from the rain & options for all-day clothes that function on my bike to/from work.

This is why I've started Iva Jean Rides, so that I can journal my travels to Europe where cycling chic is a part of most women's lives. Beyond that I hope that this blog will serve as my notebook, my brain dump for incorporating these products & lifestyles into my life & sharing it others.

Thanks for reading, I hope that you'll stick with me & join in the conversation.

About me?

Ann DeOtte
Capitol Hill, Seattle, WA

27, Female, Platinum Blonde
Graphic Designer, Marketing by day

1970-1980, 10-speed Motobecane
Commute to work May-November, 3-5 days per week, 3 years - 5.4 mile ride round trip
Bike for fun - any day it's sunny - I take it easy & ride for the hell of it

Please visit my other blog, Still Dottie, for my daily coveting - street art, photography, design, fashion, etsy finds, craigslist finds & music.

No comments:

Post a Comment