Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike!

On Saturday morning, I participated in a group ride along the Lakefront Trail, Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike, put on by Active Trans and the Dutch Consulate in Chicago. The event did not attract a huge amount of people outside the Dutch bike community, possibly because of the threatening skies and mid 40’s temperature, but the fact that we have a Dutch bike community is pretty cool. Socializing among ourselves was fun, including groups from each of the city’s three Dutch/Danish bike shops, Copenhagen Cyclery, De Fietsfabriek and Dutch Bike Co. Chicago is the mecca of beautiful bike shopping in America.

I rode an Oma bike from De Fietsfabriek (full review soon) and my husband finally rode my WorkCycles Oma. Once he stopped trying to launch off, he caught on well to the Dutch bike riding style.

The Copenhagen Cyclery crew.

This awesome dog, Brother, trotted along the entire ride.

Vince of Dutch Bike Chicago.

Jon, the owner of De Fietsfabriek, with me and Elizabeth on his bikes.

Although I took exception to the ride’s legal waiver, as noted on Copenhagenize, I’m happy to report that no one made helmets an issue.

If you’re in the area, I hope to see you next year at the 2nd Annual ride :)

{You can see more pictures from someone else’s flickr set here.}

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41 thoughts on “Go Green Go Dutch Go Bike!

  1. AJ says:

    oh my god, Dottie, those shoes are HOT! sorry i was out of commission this week – i got a crazy head cold that had me in & out of bed for days. i’ll email the founders of the BGB soon about a thrift store/bike store outing! :)

    • Dottie says:

      Merci! The shoes are Prada (deeply discounted from a Saks outlet). Hard to walk in, easy to bike in :)

      • eva says:

        “hard to walk in, easy to bike in”… as are most high heels!

        Looks like you had a great time!

      • Evie says:

        This looks like such a jolly good time! Makes me wish I lived in Chicago so that I could join in the fun.

        I was also wondering if I could include the “DefeatsTheCar.com” photo in my blog (with due credit and a link back, of course). It’s simply fabulous.

      • patrick c legein says:

        that looked so fabulous my compliments, like i am in Holland we wear normal clothing on bikes not all that American stuff, like we Dutch say “doe maar gewoon dan doe je al gek genoeg”!

  2. Jennifer says:

    This looks so much fun Dottie. I like the blue colour of your bike.

    Seeing the bike set up for Mr Dottie has reminded me that I’ve been meaning to ask you whether you find it difficult to adjust the saddle height on your Oma. I also have a Workcycles Azor Oma bike now and it is impossible to keep the saddle positioned at the correct height. My local bike shop has raised the height three times for me now and each time it has gradually slipped down to the lowest position while I’ve been riding. I don’t have the muscle strength to sort it myself. Any suggestions welcome as to what I could do about this unexpected problem. Thanks!

    • Dottie says:

      Hi Jennifer. I haven’t had that problem. You bought your bike locally, right? If so, I would demand (well, ask nicely) that the shop fix the problem permanently, even if that means setting you up with a new seat tube.

  3. JC says:

    Great update and awesome pictures! I want to bring the dutch bicycle movement to Denver. Everyday I see more and more people on sit-up bikes. Despite the cold it looks like everyone had a great time.

  4. Karen says:

    Ooh, boy. My Dutch bike obsession has now returned. Cute blue bike and I like the front rack.

  5. dukiebiddle says:

    I read that waiver. I understand the necessity of waivers. What I don’t understand is the necessity of waivers AND a compulsory helmet policy. Once you sign a paper taking responsibility for your own safety, shouldn’t that be enough? I bowed out of a May Day group ride last weekend over the very same issue, and I really wanted to go. And I have nothing against helmets, and happen to always wear one on my go-fast bike; but I’m not going to participate in a leisurely and low impact group activity that mandates helmet use after signing a waiver.

    • Vee says:

      FUN!!! I wish I had a dutch bike community to ride with. So nice! I love love love the woman inthe red jacket withthe Mobii! The red, the swing of the coat and the crisp jeans and cuffs together with the bright yummy orange make me very happy.

      That blue bike you are riding is also so sweet. I have to say I want this dutch bike thing to catch on BIg time as I want a shop in every city and a place to rent dutch and cargo bikes as I travel around. So there.

      • Dottie says:

        Isn’t she fabulous? That’s Shawna and she and her husband Brent (the guy in the pic below hers) own Copenhagen Cyclery.

        You live near Harris Cyclery – that’s pretty sweet!

  6. BikeWorkPlay says:

    Haha, I love your “Hard to walk in, easy to bike in” comment! It looks like you had a great day indeed.

  7. theron says:

    anyone know who makes the orange trike with the enclosed child carrier in the picture?

  8. David says:

    I don’t understand the whole dutch bike thing. Can someone explain it to the un-cool?

    All I’m seeing is a high-priced heavy old styled bike. So I’m obviously missing something, yeah? And what’s wrong with all of those vintage schwinn’s and raleighs that are for sale at the local used bike shop?

    IMHO, it’s even more green to not only ride a bike, but to ride a bike that is used. So not to have to waste fossil fuel producing some new bike, when there are PLENTY of bikes just like it already made.

    I realize I’m saying this on the wrong site. Sorry………

    Anyway. Who cares! You’re all so freakin’ cute!!

    • Dottie says:

      We’ll just agree to disagree :)

      • David says:

        I didn’t know I was disagreeing with anyone?
        I just asked for someone to explain the dutch bike phenomenon to me, that’s all.

    • dukiebiddle says:

      I think arguments over which cyclists are ‘more green’ are unwinnable. I LOVE old Schwinns, but they’re usually rickety and probably not well suited for reliable 70+ mile per week regular commuting, especially with their steel rims. Old Raleighs have that antiquated discontinued bottom bracket threading issue, the Sports have the same issues as the old Schwinns and the Roadsters cannot stop in the rain. They’re all probably good options for getting around a college town or district, but anything longer distance and more consistent and you’re putting a lot of stress on a beautiful machine that has seen better days.

      I’m not a Dutch bike guy either, they’re a bit too genteel and aristocratic for my sensitivities [or at least their American marketing is], but they’re super sturdy and reliable and if their beauty and example inspires a thousand new transportation cyclists in every metropolitan area everybody wins, and I bet more than a few old Schwinns and Raleighs get saved as a consequence.

      • David says:

        Thanks for making those good (okay probably obvious) points. That makes sense, if the old bikes can’t hold up to a really commute day after day. Seems like you could mod them up a little, to make them ridable at least.

    • Herzog says:

      Great question! I’ll try to take a short at answering it.

      First try: the main difference between Dutch bikes and vintage 3-speeds is the uprightness and size. Dutch bikes are 100% upright, have large wheels and long wheelbases. This allows for one to ride with distinctive grace and dignity. 3-speeds share many of the same virtues, but not 100%.

      Additionally, Dutch bikes come with enclosed chains (very rare on old Schwinns and Raleighs) and come with heavy-duty racks and generator lights (both very cool and hard to upgrade to).

      • David says:

        I’m watching reviews on youtube, and I really dig all those features. Built to last, enclosed chains, built-in lights on some, heavy duty racks, heavy duty kick-stand, looks.

        But these are made for smaller trips, toting around town, hauling your groceries and beer. Being heavy, and upright, they are not for the long commute with hills and headwinds.

        They would be an awesome second bike, or for work commutes around 5 miles or so.

  9. Nicolas says:

    I have to say… the bike that caught my eye the most is the CPH Cyclery lady’s Velorbis Dannebrog. My fiancée has the same, and it’s just the hottest bike around, no question. I figure an Azor is probably marginally more solid, but… the Dannebrog’s such a showstopper. Velorbis has its faults as a company, but they do produce sexy bikes.

  10. We had one of these Dutch-sponsored bike events in Miami a couple weeks ago, with the very same uber-orange T-shirts. :-)


    We had some nice Dutch bikes around, including a bakfiet, but nothing like the oodles of bike porn you’re showing off here. My wife’s Amsterdam, however, got the thumbs-up from the local Dutch community, and it was my new Townie’s first big ride. All in all a great day.

  11. Scott says:

    I was still in my work clothes from the night before, and got pretty cold before we left. But it was nice to meet everyone, and good for the soul to be around so many other practical Chicago cyclists! How was the end? I had to cut out at North Ave to meet some friends for brunch.

    • Dottie says:

      I was disappointed that I didn’t get a picture of you. I hope your girlfriend is loving her Pashley! Has your Flying Pigeon arrived yet?

      • Scott says:

        We picked up the Pashley on Sunday. It has the Brooks B18 saddle with skirt guard and a small front rack to hold the basket. I think it’s awesome!

        Also, the pigeon has landed. It took Boulevard Bikes some extra time to assemble it because the parts did not fit together well. The seatpost that came with it was unusable, but the ebay seller refunded me $17 to get a new one. The bottle generator can only stand about 50% of full speed before it starts an unbelievable vibration that makes it sound like a small motor bike. We had to adjust the brakes very carefully, but it seems to have fine stopping power. My roommate has been riding it around and for her 1.2 mile commute to the metra stop.

  12. Gina says:

    Great pics, Dottie.

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