Spinlister – A Renter’s Guide

Somewhere between one and three times a year, I fly across the country. Inevitably my main goal is to ride a bike inside of wherever Point B is. In the past, I’ve eschewed shipping or flying with my own. Some airlines charge ridiculous prices that leave a broke ass nonprofit employee in a quite a state of SMH.

I don’t know if I can justify spending $$ getting my beater bike to my destination for more than it cost me to buy. Because of this, I am forever on the quest to properly find my tiny body a tiny bike to enjoy when on vacation.

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It’s tiny! And fixed!

You guys, it’s an adorable robot that rides a tiny fixed gear. No brakes.  If only those gyroscopes were in a little robot messenger bag though.  New mascot perhaps?

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For Carmelita

1486137_567711609974567_27347341_oMiss Sams herself, photo courtesy of West Town Bikes.

I first met Carmelita Sams when she was helping to host a clothing swap during Women and Trans open shop night at West Town Bikes. Later she and I would meet again, at their Ciclo Urbano storefront when I came in with some tricky brake problems and she was the mechanic who would fix them. Later, she was the friendly face who greeted me at a Women Bike Chicago event where she was determined to find a Surly touring frame small enough for me to try out and stuck with me until I found a saddle my tiny legs could get upon.

This woman was simply a ball of positive energy, to me, a casual witness to her enthusiasm and assistance, and a beneficiary of her welcoming attitude that provided me a safe place to go with my bicycle and my questions. It will be easy to remember her with a smile on my face.

Carmelita recently passed after a powerful fight against cancer. Her death has her family working hard to find money to pay funeral costs. Please give what you can on behalf of a woman who gave so much to the Chicago bike community at large. You can donate to her family by clicking here.

Via her family:

From the bottom of our hearts we wanted to thank everyone for all of their kind words and support during this hard time of losing our mother, Carmie [...] Unfortunately, like many of us, she was not prepared with life insurance, and we are now trying to raise money as best as we can to fund the funeral arrangements. If you have it in your heart to donate anything you can, we would greatly appreciate it. 100% of the proceeds will go directly to the funeral arrangements. Please send any questions to: help.carmelita@yahoo.com

 

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Flavor Cycle Milwaukee

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I love this photo of Flavor Cycle’s delivery couriers. Keep holding it down in Milwaukee, kids!

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The Beginner’s Guide to Getting Through Winter Upright

iceride

You are not these dudes even if you wish you were.

 

So, last year Cupcake put together an amazing guide to #bikewinter that, if you haven’t read by now, you should follow this post with immediately.

In the meantime, though, and with ice fresh on the ground from last night’s snow-and-freeze, I wanted to put some suggestions out there for some folks who might want to power through this bizarro Disney on Ice shit that they’ve gotten themselves into, particularly if you’re new to winter riding. This post was specifically written for people I know who are riding their first winter, so it’ll likely be a refresher for experienced riders.

Disclosure: My winter bike is a 43cm 80s chromoly frame Nishiki road bike with 27” gatorskins. I don’t know its exact weight, but it isn’t a massive lugged steel frame. So, if you ride a very heavy bike, or a mountain bike, or have special winter tires—feel free to share your hot tips in the comments if you feel they differ. Or how they changed your winter riding life if you want folks to come to your side. (This stubborn girl still ain’t getting studded winter tires.)

Here we go…

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down and divvy

Two weeks ago, a guy on a Divvy bike passed me in the bike lane and I was like you go, sir, that is impressive! After today’s Divvy bike ride with Tiny Fix’s tallest (me) and smallest (Lauren), I am far more impressed, because hot damn it is hard to go fast on a Divvy.

We went to see if the bikes would fit us both:

Lauren vs tall bike

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