Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bike-jeweled and my bikey identity

A gift box almost too pretty to unwrap.
Do the important people in your life see a bike and think of you?  Mine do.  I get bike photos from Paris and Dublin (posted on this blog!), emails with funny bike stories, postcards of bicycles and most recently some really groovy bike themed jewelry.

My sister sent me a card from The Adventures of Bicycle Bunny and Beezlebug and Friends for my birthday.  This is need to research further.
I turned 49 on December 15.  Yep, I can say it.  One year aways from 50 and no tears from me.  My identity has nothing to do with my age but everything to do with my interests and how I spend my time.    When I develop an interest I tend to throw myself into it wholeheartedly.  Time spent on that activity might wane due to circumstances but my passion for it rarely dies.  Among my family and close friends, I am associated with ceramic art, gardening, running, all things French, and bicycling.  My husband celebrates and nurtures my bike identity at every opportunity.  Each birthday and at Christmas, he bestows me with bike gear or accessories that I've been craving.  One year, for no particular reason, he surprised me with my Breezer Uptown 8.  This year we've been unusually distracted with some personal projects, hence the paucity of posts in the last couple of months.  Neither of us was paying much attention to my birthday but he wanted to recognize it nonetheless.  Knowing my preference for the artful yet delicate, feminine jewelry, he dropped Zani after work to check out the possibilities at their jewelry counter.  Maybe it was fate!  How could he have known that he would find a collection from Velo Bling Designs

A lovely surprise awaited me.
Handmade in Colorado, Ed Dunne crafts each piece from recycled new and recycled bike parts obtained from bike shops in Denver and Boulder.

An image of a bicycle cut into the ring.

Part of a bike chain refashioned as a pendant.
Dunne creates jewelry for men and women, as well as clock, wine stoppers and Christmas ornaments.  Everything is available on his website, too, so if you can't drop by Zani (always worth a visit if you happen to be in Flagstaff) his work is still easy to obtain.

A charming bike.
Thank you so much Planner Guy.  As usual, you've outdone yourself.  Now, rather than just euphemistically wearing my enthusiasm for bicycles on my sleeve, I can literally wear it on my finger, my wrist or around my neck!

Other pretty thing at Zani. . .
I see these shawls draped across my shoulders while sipping wine outside of Cuvee this spring.
I shop locally whenever I can and never had a problem finding the perfect unique gift at Zani.  Whether you are looking for a scarf, jewelry, a card, art or home decor, Zani pretty much as it all.  Here's just a peek at some of their latest offerings so stop by  when you're in the Southside neighborhood.
The softest faux fur ever for snuggling your hands, neck and head. 

These would look lovely lit up at night under a covered porch (like ours).
Because they are just so pretty.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A bike question that has really been dogging me: why name your bike?

When I ask this question, I do so respectfully as I do not wish to alienate some of my readers, but here goes.  Why do people give their bikes names?  Names like Betty, Myrtle, Josephine or any name other than the one bestowed on that particular model by the manufacturer.  Prior to being a regular bike commuter, I wondered the same thing about naming one's car.  Why?  I'm not judging . . . okay, maybe I am. . . . but it's not important to get into my numerous judgments of other people's choices.  I just want to understand why people do name their bike (or cars, for that matter).

I have three bikes, and I really love them all.  I'm very attached to them.  Each I associate with some happy memory or unique experience, making the idea of selling a couple of them in order to pay a the Workcycles Oma really difficult.  I understand the emotional attachment one feels for a bicycle.  But I don't feel the type of love or attachment for my bikes that I do for our dogs, all of whom we eagerly named.  Pets are living being with personalities and, yes, feelings.   Not only do I have an emotional response them but they respond emotionally to me and the world around them.  It makes perfect sense that I would not refer to Jade as Smooth Fox Terrier, to Ashby as mutt or to Daisy as pregnant Chihuahua (it appears we found a pregnant Chihuahua but I'll discuss that later).  On the other hand, Breezer Uptown 8 seems a perfectly sufficient name for that cherished bicycle.

Naming one's bike seems to be a woman thing.  I could be wrong, and I don't mean to sound sexist, but anyone who I've ever known who has named a bike has been a woman.  Anyone who has ever asked me what I named my bike has been a woman. 

So here are my questions:  Do you name your bike?  Why or why not?  Is anyone else as bemused by bike naming as me?  Does it only appear to me that it is a woman thing, or do men also name their bikes? 

It just now occurs to me that I haven't been on my bike in the last 10 days because of all the ice and snow on the road and bike paths.  Not enough snow yet for skiing either, so maybe I'm worrying about this question out of sheet boredom. And I just need something to write about.   It's not an important question that keeps me up at night but one that crosses my mind from time to time.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

From Paris in heels!

Ah, the crumbling elegance of Parisian streets.  Even that cigarette butt is cool.
My friends Dennis and Jeff visited Paris, France recently (as opposed to Paris, Texas) and were quite the photographers.  Dennis sent me this cool, bike-themed, street shot.  It has it all - beautiful urban setting; cobblestone streets; the classic, lean on the curb pose; sexy, late afternoon lighting; and, of course, heels.  I have to admit, I'm more than a little jealous.  Thanks for the photo, D.