A secular Chicago cycling Christmas


The Chicago Cycling Club’s Bagel Ride – photo courtesy of Kathy Schubert

[This piece also runs in Newcity magazine.]

Christmas is a great time to be in Chicago, even if you’re not a Christian. As a mostly nonobservant Jewish person, I usually make a point of staying in town during the holiday because I always have a blast. It’s the best of both worlds. I get to enjoy the spirit of brotherhood and good cheer that prevails, and pedal the nearly traffic-free streets, but there’s no pressure to gather with relatives (Thanksgiving is when we do that) or exchange gifts. For me Christmas is a chance to spend quality time with members of my family of choice, my longtime friends from the local bicycling community.

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The second annual Bike Fashion Panel: sharp dressed men


Panelists James Schonzeit, Adolfo Hernandez and Rubani Shaw

Let’s Go Ride a Bike blogger Dottie Brackett recently told me she thinks Chicago’s male cyclists could put a little more effort into their appearance. “I see a lot of women on bikes who are looking really nice, but I think I’ve only ever seen one man riding a bike in a suit,” she said. “It’d be nice to see more than just jeans and a t-shirt, and if you’re going to some sort of event why not spiff it up a little?”

Last year Brackett participated in the first Bike Fashion Panel organized by the Chicago Cycling Club (CCC), an exploration of how to get around the city on two wheels without sacrificing your personal style, with a focus on women’s fashion. The panel also included Emily Taylor and Maria Bousted from PoCampo bags and Alexis Finch, who produces the Thought You Knew pin-up calendars. The participants discussed their favorite clothes, bikes, accessories, tips and tricks for pedaling with panache.

Earlier this month the fellas finally got their say. This year’s Men’s Bike Fashion panel, also presented by the cycling club takes place in a cozy upstairs room at Schubas Tavern, 3159 N Southport. The three male panelists include product designer James Schonzeit, Active Transportation Alliance staffer Adolfo Hernandez, and graphic designer Rubani Shaw. All three are known as natty dressers who spend plenty of time on bikes.

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