With the gales my little boat was tossed

Chicago’s bike-to-work week is turning into a soggy mess, but I was out there as usual. Riding through the pouring and chilly rain on my way home, wearing a short skirt and sandals, I was miffed about my circumstance until I saw this guy out on Lake Michigan. Good to remember that there’s always someone else who has it worse than you.

Look at the upper left hand corner

Look at the upper left hand corner

Who knows, he could have been having a grand ol’ time, but I have no evidence of such. This is probably what I look like to drivers as I cycle by in rain and snow storms!

Lovely day for a boat ride

Lovely day for a boat ride

There were more cyclists than I expected to see in such heavy rain. I enjoyed the guy who called out, “Beautiful day for a bike ride,” as he passed. Indeed. My ride soon became enjoyable as I warmed up from pedaling and glided in the much-appreciated strong tailwind.

Aside from the Gorden’s Fisherman, another novel sight was what appeared to be a Southern hurricane, but was actually artificial palm trees swaying in a harsh Midwestern rain. I’ve briefly mentioned in the past my hatred of the palm trees that are inserted in the sand by Oak Street Beach for the summer. They’re a tacky extension of a tacky “beach cabana” bar that’s allowed to plop itself on some of the most precious Chicago real estate each year. Today I enjoyed the palm trees, flanked by the Chicago skyline and the traffic of Lakeshore Drive, for their absurdity. They aren’t fooling anyone – all one has to do is turn 90 degrees in either direction to see the cold, hard truth!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about "Chicago Palm Trees on Vimeo", posted with vodpod

For those interested in “gear,” here’s my rain set-up for today (no pajamas, unfortunately): a plastic grocery bag wrapped around my normal shoulder bag and a good light. Always smart to have lights with you in case of rain, even if you will only be riding in the day time.

High-tech rain gear

High-tech rain gear

But now this post is incredibly dreary-looking; I can’t stand it. So here’s a picture of my visit with Smurfette from Saturday. If Chicago could only get a few more sunny days before winter starts all over again, that would be fantastic.

Together again

Together again (I must be talking)

For some non-dreary rain and cycling action, check out S. at Academichic. I’ve recently become a devoted follower of this blog, created by three grad students, and its stylish and sensible everyday outfits. Where else can I get my fashion with a side of feminist theory and a bike who “doesn’t believe in gender-normative appearances and refuses to be bullied into looking masculine just because he identifies as such?”

p.s. – apparently both Trisha and I are inspired to use obscure Tori Amos lyrics as post titles, this one from the rarely-played Jamaica Inn.

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20 thoughts on “With the gales my little boat was tossed

  1. Palm trees in the harsh Midwestern winds– fantastic!

    The Betty Foy looks very contemplative as it stands next to the water watching the sailboat.

    • dottie says:

      I thought Betty had something of a contemplative air about her. She’s very deep, quite the philosopher, and it would not surprise me if she were quoting Shakespeare to herself at that very moment.

  2. 2whls3spds says:

    Shakespeare? I would think more of Betty than that, perhaps Coleridge \”Rime of the Ancient Mariner or perhaps Masefield \”Sea Fever\”…. but Shakespeare?


  3. 2whls3spds says:

    humph…html BEFORE COFFEE doesn’t work well
    Masefield Sea Fever and Coleridge The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.


  4. grambev says:

    I love your videos. Those goofy fake palm trees are a riot : )

  5. I too, had a nice and wet ride home, yesterday. But I’m not complaining, because we’re in a drought, up here. Unlike you, I did notice a substantial drop in cyclists. I counted about 30 on my ride to work the day before, but only 5 yesterday. Lot’s of fair weather riders. If rode only when I knew it was going to be nice weather, I’d hardly ride at all.

    Those palm trees do look stupid.

  6. academichic says:

    Ok, so your rain looks a lot more intense that what I had yesterday. But I did get wet from the constant drizzle and I think I’m going to employ your strategy of just letting it happen and using my helmet as hair protection. I also put a bag over my seat while parked. It really wasn’t so bad, but I do need fenders! The most annoying thing was that my shoes occasionally slipped right off the pedals because they were wet and I had no traction on my heels. And still, there was nothing about yesterday’s weather that made me want to use my car instead! :)


  7. tsalyards says:

    I got caught is a driving rain on the way home from work yesterday. I thought I was covered with my normal Marmot rain gear. Unfortunately my rain top completely failed. I’m now on the search for a rain top with zero pockets or zippers (pull-over style).

    Riding in the rain is fun :)

  8. jason says:

    i found the commute home in chicago last night only partially awful. my initial plan was to ride to milwaukee and put it on the bus…by the time i got there i was already soaked though, so i figured “what’s a few more miles?” it gave me my first really good chance to test out the brakes on my batavus though, and i pleased to say they passed with flying colors.

  9. sara says:

    We’ve had quite a bit of rain here in New Haven lately. I love the other biker’s ever-positive greeting (or was it sarcasm?). Reminds me of conductor Benjamin Zander talking about his always optimistic father saying, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” I guess I might just invest in rain paints…

  10. Doohickie says:

    HEY HEY HEY! I just read that Let’s Go Ride a Bike is one of the Top 50 Cycling Blogs in the World! Congrats!!!

  11. Karen says:

    I like that photo of your bike by Lake Michigan. Very pensive.

  12. meligrosa says:

    that first pic is so darn poetic. beautiful, you should print it BIG and hang it somehwere!!

  13. Jeffy says:

    Thank you for share.

  14. grambev says:

    We’re getting rain and almost nothing but rain here too. This is the rainiest June since 1980 here. Almost all of my week long all day, outdoor summer institute painting class was spent painting in the gloom of a cloudy day or ducking out of the rain.
    I like the way you have brought Betty to life on here. : )
    P.S. How do they anchor those fake palm trees to keep them from sailing away?

    • dottie says:

      Sorry the rain is interfering with your art class. But I bet your stormy paintings still look fab! I have no idea how they anchor the palm trees or why they bother. I wish they would sail away :)

  15. grambev says:

    BTW, “Here” is north of Boston in the Witch City.

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