Was ever woman in this humour woo’d?

The easiest way for bicycling to woo a person is on a bright, sunny day with birds chirping. However, to move past the initial stages of infatuation and build a solid relationship, bicycling must endure the ups and downs of real life. By trudging through, you will realize that the bicycle allows you to feel alive and connected to the world.

On the bike

On the bike

People nowadays are too hermetically sealed. When’s the last time you played in the rain? I like being able to answer that question: “Today!” The force powerful enough to send me on a 12-mile roundtrip in 50 degree rain was a showing of Richard III at the Shakespeare Theatre. My toes and fingers were freezing, my tights were soaked through, and my bow was dripping water down my neck. I’m not sure if the ride was fun, but it was exhilarating.

Me, Oma and Lake Michigan

Me, Oma and Lake Michigan

Under the raincoat, helmet and droplets, this is what I looked like. Thrifted dress and vintage bow. Ankle boots next time: it’s officially too cold for pumps.

My Outfit

My Outfit

A ride to a show at the Shakespeare Theatre is my favorite way to spend a Saturday.

Was ever woman in this humour woo’d?
Was ever woman in this humour won?
I’ll have her; but I will not keep her long.
What! I, that kill’d her husband, and his father,
To take her in her heart’s extremest hate;
With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
The bleeding witness of her hatred by;
Having God, her conscience, and these bars against me,
And nothing I to back my suit withal
But the plain devil and dissembling looks,
And yet to win her, all the world to nothing!

Oh, Richard, such a romantic!

I think America’s love affair with cars is analogous to Richard III and the subject of the monologue – cars keep killing people and still we marry them!

Greg braves the elements

Greg braves the elements on the Lakefront Trail

I know my relationship with cycling was cemented by the long winter we spent together. When did you realize that your relationship with cycling was serious? Or if you’re new to cycling, what do you think about the possibility of continuing to ride in the rain and snow? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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31 thoughts on “Was ever woman in this humour woo’d?

  1. Doug says:

    “When did you realize that your relationship with cycling was serious?”

    When I decided to sell my truck seven years ago and try to get around on a bicycle 12 months out of the year in Northern Minnesota.

  2. Jeff Schneider says:

    “When did you realize that your relationship with cycling was serious?”

    Basically, my whole life. Unfortunately, I seem to have been born a few decades too soon, as my peers mostly preferred cars and strip malls…

  3. Steve A says:

    Good Friday. This year.

  4. Emma J says:

    I’m still on my way to the cementing – I have biked through the winter here but winter in the Pacific Northwest is bit more mild than along the shore of Lake Michigan. I still fall back regularly on the car for moving kids and their equipment around. But your pictures and stories convince me I’m letting myself off too easy when I make a little rain an excuse to drive when we could all ride!

  5. lorenza says:

    Hi Dottie! lovely dress as always : ) This autumn-winter is my first on Pash, and to be truthful so far I am thoroughly enjoying it, come rain or shine I am just happy to be out and about with Pash! I ride usually every day but sometime I walk to work (I like walking too, it gives you another dimension of time!) and even when I do, I miss Pashley and the following day I jump on it again, happy to be doing so : )

    Manchester is famous for its rain, and our winter can be cold and frosty, but so long as I can choose the right attire (and cover in case of rain), I shall be fine. Mostly because I love my Pashley too much for leaving her behind at home and because not only it’s fun but the exercise is doing the world of good to my health and fitness level!

    (I just need to remember to take pics more often to record my achievements lol! I ride alone usually to work, so it’s all about panda shots which are not easy in our traffic!!)

    L xxx

  6. cyclemaniac says:

    My bike …my constant and faithful companion, how so often have you conspired with the rain … and brought me beautiful moments – which I to my memory encased! :=)

  7. mary says:

    I am just beginning with my new Oma. Yesterday my daughter and I rode in 40 degree light rain to breakfast. It was exhilarating and a hearty start to a rainy Saturday here in eastern Washington! The biscuits and gravy were a welcome anecdote to aching ears and fingers! ; )

    I am enjoying your blog, you are an inspiration!

  8. MelissaHopeS says:

    Love your thrifted dress. I don’t think my relationship has quite cemented yet. It’s still so hard for me to put it into my planning. In Aurora, one has to add an extra hour of commute time. But, I get there, with more planning!

  9. Daniel says:

    Amen. A rain cape can keep you wonderfully dry and in the south I have yet to find weather too cold for me to brave on my bike.

  10. Cosmo says:

    This will be my first winter on a bike and I am not so much worried about the weather but about the way people drive in it. People here in LA drive like they have never driven in rain before every single time it rains.

  11. That is an interesting distinction between just riding a bicycle, and having a “cemented relationship” with it.

    I think what mainly solidified (and continues to solidify) my relationship with cycling, is my intolerance of other methods of transportation in urban and suburban environments. I don’t mean this a philosophical or environmentalist way, but in a selfish physiological well being way. I hate being in a car in the city – whether my own car or a taxi cab, I hate being on a bus, and I even hate the subway. They make me claustrophobic and motion sick, arriving at my destination feeling exhausted, battered and puke-y. So once I realised that I could use a bicycle for most of my local transportation needs, for me this was not only the perfect solution but really the only solution.

    This weekend I had to attend a conference in a town 1 hr away – and the nightmarish trip there and back made me so happy to see my bicycles again that I wanted to hug them.

  12. Carolyn says:

    I knew it was meant to be when I would extend the biking season longer into the winter months. When I first started biking, just fair weather please. Now I can just about bike in any kind of weather.

  13. Scott says:

    For me it was when I moved to a neighborhood with very little public transportation. I knew I would have to ride in all weather including the times for work when I was appearing in court or otherwise could not show any sign of having been on a bicycle even if it was extremely cold or wet out etc.

  14. Catherine says:

    I am on a quest. Maybe if others join me in this quest, we will prevail. I want rain gear to wear while riding that looks more-or-less like normal clothing. This is mostly out of vanity but also for the principle of the matter.

    I know from experience in Vietnam (a very very very rainy country where most people get around on bike and motorbike) that “bike ponchos” exist–with clear plastic in the front to allow the motorbike headlights to still work. These are less than attractive ( see?) but they work.

    These are available in the US, but do not look long enough to (a) cover the stuff in your front basket and (b) they seem to leave your legs too exposed–the guy is wearing rain pants, too (which is totally against he point of a rain cape to begin with). Also, I’m still looking for something more “real clothes” looking.

    Something useful like this (so that hand signals still work) but which looks more like an article of clothing rather than camping gear (I’m all about camping…just not every day!)

    Something out of trench coat type material, or waterproof resistant wool. That zips in front for easy on/off. With a pretty lining. It’s to the point I went talking to seamstresses at the Renaissance Festival because they make cape-y things but they seemed uninterested in my business as I need this for a modern and useful pursuit. Ah well.

    So…who’s in ?

    • cycler says:

      Ah, yes, the elusive quest for stylish raingear.
      I’ll keep you posted, because I haven’t really tested it, but I treated a poly-cotton trenchcoat with Nikwax wash in water-repellant and we’ll see how it works.
      I suspect it will be fine in a drizzle, less fine in a downpour. Which is fine, because honestly if it’s a downpour I often take the bus.

      I have been known to bike with an umbrella (slowly, carefully) but that’s kind of silly too.

      I’m very interested in finding out more about this: http://www.velonews.com/photo/98397 While it isn’t super fashionable, it’s much better than the yellow plastic ones, whilst still incorporating some reflectivity. Since it was just demo’d at Interbike last week, I don’t know when it will be available…

      • Catherine says:

        Interesting…..I think I might just break down and go to a tailor and have something made. It’s not just the vanity thing–it’s that what’s available just does not do what I want it to do, so I may as well have one made to my specifications….and get to choose the fabric :)

  15. Kay says:

    Anytime I went down a hill as a child made me fall in love with biking all over again, each time.

    But in my adult life (biking to work, run errands and such) I have to say I fell in love with biking when I was headed to work, trying to out bike a very large thunderstorm in Boston. Racing nature, and then being caught right in the middle of it, my wheel spitting water back into my face, was quite exhilarating. I showed up to work completely soaked, but I didn’t care.

  16. Beany says:

    I am not sure when I realized it was serious. I guess everytime I sit in a car and am scared to death because of the speed with which the car moves. Every year has been a wonderful year better than the previous one.

    I know I’m especially lucky to live in San Diego where perfect weather is a god given right every single day. It certainly makes me love biking more here than I ever did in Philadelphia.

    Frankly, when I saw the title of this post, I thought it was about wooing by bicycle. Supposedly a big stumbling block in the singles scene is that no hookups can occur on bicycle. I am proof that that is a lie.

    Back to the main thread however, I think I’ve growing more in love with cycling now that I’ve started to see my body as this well oiled machine. It can do so much on so little fuel.

    • dottie says:

      I thought of that subject when writing this post, too. That’s a whole other discussion that we’ll definitely have some day.

      I’m scared in cars, too. The worst part is that no one else seems to notice the inherent danger they present.

  17. Beany says:

    Not that I was a product of wooing by bicycle, but that I was wooed by car free men before I met my husband.

  18. Catherine says:

    Oh, also, I realized how used to riding I’d gotten when I started going the “wrong way” in my car. For example, it took me a couple tries to realize why I kept getting off the 14th Street bridge headed to Arlington instead of toward Alexandria. Turns out that it’s because I was on autopilot….on the bike path route. In a car, taking that exit is the wrong way….on a bike it is THE way.

  19. Lorraine says:

    I take my Velorbis for a 1 hour commute each day – 30 mins to work and back. It’s so exhilerating and is a great way to relax and unwind. That’s my workout. You really experience the elements and pass by all the commuters in the traffic jams. I also reward myself with a sweet treat when I get to work. Cycling energy used = calories saved for something nice. Very satisfying.

  20. 2whls3spds says:

    It has been an on and off again relationship over the years…But I am headed back to the freedom of the bicycle just as quickly as I can.


  21. Carrie says:

    hi, what an awesome blog! I’ve hummed and hawed about riding my bike all year long but got seriously intimidated by Manitoba (on the Canadian Prairies) winter weather. So glad to read about someone doing it in a really wintery city, and with amazing style to boot! Can’t wait to read more, and blow the dust off my old bike! thanks, Carrie

  22. Dean Peddle says:

    “When did you realize that your relationship with cycling was serious?”

    I guess when I purchased my 6th bike I realized I was serious. Wait, did you mean serious or serious problem :) Or maybe when my wife caught me downstairs looking at bike porn instead of real porn. And this is the time of year with Interbike going on….can’t get enough of all those pictures of new bikes and gadgets!!!!

    I love your comment about adults in the rain…it’s so true. I told my wife the other day when it was raining I was going to pick up the kids at daycare on the bike….she looked at me like I was from outer space. I said “Don’t be silly….kids love the rain!!!” And I was right….they had a great time!!

  23. Doohickie says:

    People nowadays are too hermetically sealed. When’s the last time you played in the rain?

    Last Thursday. =D

  24. Karen says:

    I’ll ride home in a light rain with no problem. I even love it. Unfortunately, there is just no place to do serious hair repair where I work so I don’t ride to work in heavy rain. Plus, it just isn’t safe here. Monsoon rains can cause rapid flooding and there are too many monsterously large SUVs going to fast on the road for me to feel safe in heavy rain. I road home last winter in an early snow and it was delightful. When it snows at 7000 feet, it can get very deep. I got stuck several times last spring trying to bike through some still melting mounds of snow on the urban trail. I see other people doing it but I’m just not there yet.

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