World Premier: Our First How-To Video

Attentive readers might remember Dottie’s passing mention of us filming a how-to video when I was in Chicago two weeks ago. We decided to start with the basics and demonstrate how to start and stop properly. As befits a LGRAB production, it’s a little goofy and definitely unscripted, but we think we shared some useful information  — and hey, if nothing else, you get to see Dottie’s beautiful bikes in motion! This is just the beginning of our YouTube adventures, so stay tuned: we’ve got a channel to fill. And now, without further ado, our video debut:

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53 thoughts on “World Premier: Our First How-To Video

  1. dukiebiddle says:

    D, are you sure you don’t live in South Chicago? Because that is the most southernly accent I’ve ever heard coming out of a Chicagoan. ;-)

    • dottie says:

      I’ve only lived in Chicago two years :)

      • Trisha says:

        It’s funny because I don’t think you sound especially Southern. Not Midwestern either though…I think grambev’s New England heritage won out. :) Or perhaps it’s just that in contrast to Mr. D and the accents I hear around here, yours sounds positively neutral.

        • dukiebiddle says:

          Oh, you’re not off the hook either, Ms. “eut of the saddle.” That eut screamed northern midwest. It’s all about listening to the truth words… those words that we pronounce colloquially no matter the thickness of our accents. For you, it’s “eut.” Dottie’s was “straight dewn,” plus a few other markers. I’ve got a few truth words that betray my upbringing too, but I’m not going to upload them onto the internet. ;-)

          • Trisha says:

            You’re not? I’m crushed. And yep, you have me pegged. Apparently 18 years in the south can’t take the Minnesota out of this girl.

            • dukiebiddle says:

              About 100 or so of my cousins grew up in northern Iowa, which has the same accent as Minnesota. They used to really get a kick out of laughing at the way I spoke as a kid, while I thought they all sounded like the Swedish Chef.

  2. Ghost Rider says:

    Trisha, I liked all the “oops — whoa” exclamations as you almost plowed into the wall. Funny stuff!

  3. Congrats on your lovely film debut!

  4. Mamavee says:

    That was lovely! And I love the southern accent of Dottie and was surprised that Trish did not have as much of one. Seeing the comment thread above I now see why!! I have no accent at all. :-)

    • I also expected the accents to be the other way around
      : )

      It is downright painful when someone asks me “Where are you from?” and tries to guess my accent, because it is not from any one place, but an odd mixture of several European countries and New England. No way am I making a narrated cycling video and opening myself up for that guessing game!

  5. Mamavee says:

    hrm- the smily face was a big “yeah right” in case it didn’t come through….

  6. Looks like Bicycling TV is on all around! Maybe crosspost to Vimeo; all the cool bicycling kids are there. ;-)

  7. Aw, I feel as if this video was made for me! I have been cycling since April and still have not mastered the Proper Mount and Dismount. This reminds me to get going on that. Thanks ladies, my neighbors should be getting a kick out of my fumblings soon.

    The biggest problem for me, is not falling over when stopping. When stepping down from the saddle, I tend to crash into the handlebars and the whole bike wants to go down, taking me with it. I need to understand how to prevent this and simply step down gracefully while bringing the bicycle to a stop.

    • dottie says:

      I used to have that problem, too. Maybe you are stopping too abruptly?

    • Trisha says:

      Sounds weird but I think it requires using your core strength to keep your body straight up and down while moving forward, without putting too much pressure on your arms and hands (and thus crashing into the handlebars). Also, try keeping more weight on the foot that is still on the pedal.

      • Thanks – I will give it a try keeping these things in mind. Exciting!

        • Mamavee says:

          yes. I find that when I want to stop and put my foot down fast I crash and burn. But if I trust that I won’t go over and stop slowly and let the bike almost get to a stop then put foot down and step down it works. It’s slow motion which feels very weird.

    • Keri says:

      One possible explanation is that you are unconsciously rushing the stop for fear of falling if the bike stops and your foot is not on the ground. My Mom did this a lot when I was teaching her to ride (at age 62). Trust me, it’s horrible to watch your Mom fall off a bike — retribution for every terrifying thing you did as a kid!

      This is an area where I’ve spent a lot of time working with other women. Many had been cycling for years and never got comfortable starting and stopping because they had adopted precarious techniques when they started riding. (I had one student who had completed a half-ironman, and still, every stop looked like a near crash. She fell a lot and was terrified of her bike. The tri-coaches she’d been paying never bothered to notice and help her correct it.)

      The first slow-motion stop at the opening of the video shows a good practice technique: stand on one pedal with the landing foot off, coast slowly, brake slowly, feel the balance of the bike as you’re standing on one foot… allow the landing foot to come down softly as the bike stops. Find an empty parking lot and take your time with each stop, feeling the bike. With a little practice it becomes graceful and second-nature. Then add in a stop line for accuracy. It’s a huge confidence-builder.

      Thanks for this video, Ladies! It’s one of the most overlooked foundations for confident cycling.

      • E A says:

        Wow.. I never realized the technique involved in the start and stop motions, but you’re right. And different styles of bikes have a different feel to them. When I test rode an Oma with coaster brakes — whoa! — I felt like I needed start/stop lessons again.

        But I agree with Keri about standing on one pedal and keeping the landing foot off. I tend to land on my left, but I know many who land to the right. It’s just a matter of knowing which side is best for you.

  8. Cosmo says:

    This is a brilliant bit of video and quite entertaining. I start and stop my bike like an elephant would. I am still pretty wobbly, but seeing this makes it much clearer how people who are not me can do it.

  9. Zweiradler says:

    Very, very interesting. I didn’t know that there are so many people who have or had difficulties dismounting from a bicycle. I wish I could show you how I do it. :) One thing that might be worth mentioning is that your bike will remain stable for one or two seconds when you stop abruptly (because of the inertia). That gives you time to dismount. If you stop very slowly, your bike may already become instable before it stops completely, making dismounting more difficult.


  10. Sungsu says:

    I’m glad this is your first how-to video. When I taught my kids to ride their bikes, the first thing I taught them was how to stop. Riding is a lot less scary when you have confidence you can stop without crashing.

  11. Elisa M says:

    This is great…I have no idea how I stop and start, but I seem to be doing ok. Will have to pay attention the next time I am on a bike. Which will be in Chicago with Dottie!

  12. Yvette (Slow Bike Miami wife contingent) says:

    Thanks for the tutorial, ladies. Lovely as usual! I do have one little problem applying the stopping tips, as I have coaster brakes on my Amsterdam. Hm. Stopping hasn’t been a big problem, it’s starting back up. So I will try your lessons and see how it goes.
    Looking forward to more videos from ya’ll! (And I don’t hear too much of a southern accent anywhere on this video. Weird.)

  13. Scott says:

    I’m a fan of standing on the left pedal while the bike is moving and bringing my right foot through the step-through part of the oma for the dismount. This allows for a very quick and smooth transition from riding to walking.

  14. Allison says:

    It’s your first Vlog!!!

  15. sara says:

    I like hearing you.

    I do have to say, Trisha, I can’t wear heels like that walking– very impressive that you are wearing them in the demo start/stop video! (I am more of a Wolky & Dansko clog girl….)

    • Trisha says:

      Those are my very favorite cycling shoes–BCBG GIrl brand, with rubber soles. They’re on their last legs after three years, unfortunately, but I just can’t let go!

  16. Pete says:

    I was 40 years old when I first read the Sheldon Brown’s advice to beginners, I’d been starting and stopping without technique for 35 years! changed my life!

    Sheldon decribed it all rather well, and I like that I think of him a little every time I start to ride.

  17. cratedigger66 says:

    very entertaining!

    Interesting thing about two wheeled vehicles- bikes, Scooters and motos- they become more stable at speed, the slow down/ start up portions of a ride can be the most precarious. The bike wants to wobble at slow speeds.

    Thanks for posting, it seems like you have hit a chord already.

  18. Doug says:

    I think it’s great what the two of you are doing with your blog, and now videos. Keep at it!!

  19. Karen says:

    Love it! Great shoes, too. I’ve been planning one myself but am too damn lazy and scared. I now feel motivated.

  20. Catherine says:

    Love it! Very helpful. When I’m on my Amsterdam it’s a little tricky because it has coaster brakes, but otherwise great!

  21. cylemaniac says:

    My oh my, … such elegant and cultured way to get on and off a bike.
    My ‘very crude’ and an inelegant way is to stand on the left side of my bicycle, place my hands on the
    handles .. with my left foot on the left pedal I push the bicycle forward and when it has gained some momentum I would swing the lower part of my body over .. thus ‘flinging’ my right leg over to the right side and right foot on to the right pedal and my ‘bum’ crashing onto the seat.
    To get off, I just jump off!
    Is there any bodily movement more inelegant than this?? :-P

    Thanks & have a nice day. ;-)

    Ps: I’ve no ‘complaint’ about your accents – nice voices. Hope to see, hear and learn more from both of you .
    Have ‘instructed’ my cute nieces and boisterous nephew to follow your course on how to ride a bicycle. (They would probably ask their friends and classmates to do the same.)

  22. Merlin says:

    Adorable! More, please.

  23. Saya Hillman says:

    Congrats on the Gaper’s Block plug! Thought your readers might be interested in an amazing bike sale that I recently stumbled upon – $429 bikes for $175!!

    Mac ‘n Cheese Productions

    • dottie says:

      Hi Saya. Thanks! That’s a great sale. Last year my sister bought a Specialized Globe from them at a fraction of the original price.

      You should come to the cocktail party ride on Friday!

  24. Saya says:

    Ohhh, cocktail party ride sounds like mucho fun — but am hosting a Mac ‘n Cheese Mingler. ABC’s coming to shoot a segment! Have to learn how not to appear like a jerkface on camera in the next two days. Good luck with the ride, totally in for a future one…

    • Trisha says:

      That Mingler sounds like so much fun! I should visit one next time I’m in Chicago and pick your brain on how to start something similar in Nashville. Love the idea of making people come solo so everyone’s on equal ground.

      • Saya says:

        Definitely reach out next time you’re in town – have been approached by people in London, Seattle, NYC, Milwaukee, etc. about ‘franchising.’ People are hungry for ways to make new connections other than bars and stuffy networking events – and who doesn’t love a game of Taboo combined with a glass of wine combined with 30 new people?!?

  25. lorenza says:

    hello girls! Great video and how fantastic to hear your voices :) I have mastered to recognise all the british accents, but I am no good with the American accents, you both sounded lovely to me!

    People can’t quite figure out where I am from either, as I don’t have the stereotypical italian accent, although for sure I sound ‘foreigner’, and as I have lived in england since I was very young I have picked up a northern, mancunian accent, which I can soften or strengthen depending on how fancy ;) and I love it! I love languages and so accents, they give us character and make us unique!

    L x

  26. Frits B says:

    Found this on the VeloVision website:
    Now that is a challenge!

  27. Welmoed says:

    Hi! Here a Dutch cycling girl. I’ve just found your blog and it’s been much fun to read your bikes and cycling. This video is also great!

    I wear mostly skirts and when I’m cycling I try to use a more feminine style to start. I don’t know if you know it? But basically you start standing with your left foot on the left paddle, keep your hands on the handles. Then you’re going to step with your right foot, so to make speed. When you’ve got enough speed you’re going to mount by pulling your right knee up and to the right paddle, while at the same time putting your bum on the saddle. It takes some practicing but after that you’ll have an elegant start. And that’s how most elder women or women with skirts start their bike in the Netherlands. But if you already knew this, forget all I wrote.

    Also, with cycling with a skirt you often face the problem of your skirt hiking up because of the way the saddle sits between your legs. I’ve noticed on the video your saddle has a very long “snout” (don’t know what else to call it ;-)). What helps against that is a skirt saddle! Don’t know if you’ve heard about it, but I can greatly recommend it! A pic over here:

    I’ve got one too and it makes me even sit taller and elegant on my bike when I’m wearing a skirt. And now my skirt also doens’t get wrinkled after a trip. And you’ll get more easily off your bike ;-)

    I’m putting this blog to my feeds, love to read more about it! :-D

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