Cocktail Party Ride

My fanciest ride was this weekend, to a fundraising gala for a domestic violence organization I volunteer with. Deciding to ride my bike was natural, as I have no car and taking a cab would have been lame when I live only two miles from the location. I was a bit worried about hurting my silk, lace and beaded Badgley Mischka cocktail dress and silk Anne Klein heels – my one and only black tie outfit. Turns out I had no reason to worry: the ride was effortless in every way!


Mr. Dottie was quite dashing in his suit!! The volunteers working the door called us the “greenest couple ever” (though being “green” is not our primary reason for riding) and said that next year they would have valet bike parking for us. Later, an acquaintance said I must have ridden my bike because people in the coat check room were talking about how someone actually rode a bike, and she knew it had to be me.  Why is it such a secret that almost anyone easily could do the same?


I did wear a helmet, my sleek black Bern. For my hair I went with a tousled look, throwing together a headband and a couple of little braids so my helmet couldn’t mess anything up. A thick headband is a great accessory for helmet hair.


The venue was a super cool vintage furniture showroom, which salvages and collects pieces from around the world for artistic re-use. While roaming through the merchandise on the upper floors, I fell in love with this old carousal from Argentina. If I had a house filled with rooms waiting to be filled with stuff and bunches of money, I totally would have bought this!

Argentinian Carousal

Argentinian Carousal

This vintage iron railroad sign was a more realistic find. I would love to display this in my home. In the context of the sign’s original use, perhaps the car was the vulnerable party, but in the context of my home, the car would be the antagonist, of course! Or maybe it refers to train cars. Too bad it’s quite expensive.

Vintage Railroad Sign

Vintage Railroad Sign


Finally, I must say that high heels are sorta evil. After a couple of hours standing around (and bourbon sipping), I remembered why I never wear heels anymore – ouch. Cycling in them, however, was no problem at all.

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27 thoughts on “Cocktail Party Ride

  1. jj says:

    nice! i just bought a full-length “prom dress” to wear to my son’s elementary school auction in a couple of weeks, forgetting that i wanted to bike over. i’m not sure if i can pull it off in a full-length gown or not, but what the hell, it was only $15 at goodwill so if i hurt it in the process it’s not exactly the end of the world, right?

    now if only i had as stylish a bike as your oma to show up on! (the sweetpea mixte would be perfect but alas, it’s not going to be ready in time for this event)

  2. sara says:

    This gives me confidence that I can bike in anything I own. You looked great & boy, is THAT a gorgeous bike!

  3. susancyclist says:

    Totally rocks! Did you not need a wrap?

  4. Trisha says:

    You look great! And what a fun night. Yes, I totally agree about the heels; it’s much easier to ride my bike in them than walk in them.

    jj, I want to see some pictures of that sweetpea mixte when you get it. I bet it’s going to be gorgeous.

  5. One word….


    ’nuff said.

  6. MamaVee says:

    Very nice!! You look lovely. And lucky you, your hair looks great. I’m currently getting over my constant helmet head issues. Haven’t had to look really nice yet so we’ll see what I end up doing in that case.

    JJ- yes- I do want to see pictures. that sounds so fun

  7. Cycling in heels=Very cool! You looked hott too, as usual. ;-)

  8. meligrosa says:

    what a sweet looking couple yes!
    high heels forever!

  9. conrad says:

    quel charmant vision :)

  10. tsalyards says:

    It’s easy to see why your blog is so popular :)

  11. Jennie says:

    You looked Fantastic Dotty! And Mr. Dotty as well!

  12. Lynn says:

    I’m so envious of your “Oma legs”! I think I’ll pile some books on my rack from now on to get a real workout. Beautiful dress, too!

  13. Scott says:

    Nice! Exactly what Chicago needs is more ladies cycling in heels. Do you always wear your helmet on the oma? I always wear one on my road bike, but not on the oma.

    ps. Mr. Dottie looks like he could use a bike upgrade.

  14. Anne says:

    Very nice – you look great! Way to show how it’s done with ease and style.

  15. dottie says:

    Scott, I always wear my helmet unless I’m on the lakefront trail. Too many people running stop signs and opening doors without looking to make me comfortable going without on the streets.

  16. Man says:

    Wow! You look great in that dress on the bike. I haven’t really seen any girls this dressed up on a bike in San Francisco (unfortunately).

    Tell Mr. Dottie (the lucky Mr. Dottie) that his suit would go so much better with a classic 3 speed.

  17. miss sarah says:

    No jacket… so jealous. Your cocktail dress and heels are fantastic. Last year, pre-pregnancy I was really into those super short, super full frocks. So when I rode my bike I really had to have a nondescript pair of black panties because those dresses would fly up all over the place. Whatever, I’m not that modest, and it was good ventilation!

    Thank god for low swoops on the top tube, yes? And I’m so jealous you have the white reflector lip on your back fender. That’s something Pashley doesn’t have that has always made me sad.

  18. E A says:

    Wow. I impressed. Good thing the weather cooperated, too. :-) Do I need to add an “oma” style bike to my fleet? Hmm…

    And I always wear my helmet, even on the trail — too many pedestrians/volleyballs/dogs that can just dart in front of me.

  19. Trisha says:

    Miss Sarah, I am laughing at your story. Gusts of wind can be hazardous to skirts no matter how long they are.

  20. […] in case you’ve been living under a rock and missed seeing Dottie ride to a cocktail party in Chicago last […]

  21. dottie says:

    E, You’re asking ME if you need a Dutch bike? I think you know what my answer would be :) How’s the folder bike going?

    I always wear my helmet on other bikes, but oma is so slow and sturdy. When the trail is crowded, I wear it.

  22. […] Dottie and Mr. Dottie’s Internet-Famous Cocktail Party Ride […]

  23. jj says:

    Thanks to your inspiration, we biked to the “prom” (aka elementary school auction) this weekend – – and had a blast.

  24. dottie says:

    JJ- kick ass pictures! You’re gorgeous!

  25. […] Guest Cycle Chic! By dottie In the comments of my cocktail party post, JJ shared a link to pictures of her and her husband Mac looking FABULOUS on bikes. Thanks to […]

  26. Andrew says:

    Well done saw this photo months ago on Copenhagencyclechic and was so inspired I went to my very next and only one of the year black tie do on my beloved Batavus Opa bike. Far more stylish arrival then climbing out of a car 500 meters down the carpark. I never wear a helmet on the Opa but do on the mountain bike. The Opa you are in balance, upright and never go that quickly. I think of it as amplified walking.
    Good Luck

  27. […] 2009 Notable posts this month include Dottie’s internet-famous cocktail party ride, and her purchase of the be-yew-tiful Betty Foy. I discovered one more reason to wear a helmet and […]

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