14 June 2010

Critical Lass at last!

Fifteen fabulous girls came out to ride yesterday despite 27C heat! First we met at Edmonton Bicycle Commuters' Bikeworks. A journalist from Metro Edmonton and a photographer for the Edmonton Journal met us there and took some photos while we did a lap through the back alley.

The front page of today's Edmonton Journal. 

I would like to point out that Miss Sarah is riding without her customary helmet because she lent it, along with a bicycle, to a pregnant visitor from Vancouver so she could join the ride! Do follow the link to her blog, she has all kinds of beautiful photos documenting our outfits that were taken with a better camera and better eye than Angel or I possess. That's me in the polkadot helmet right behind Sarah; Angel is in black helmet and blue skirt toward the back of the other line.

Then we headed off to Ritchie Park (with some water and koolaid from EBC for the players) to watch some of the Velo Polo match. There wasn't much happening when we arrived.

Laura's retro polka-dot blouse was super cute. Not to mention her bike (see previous post). 
I also love the floral print on Sarah's strapless dress, and the fact that it has hidden pockets. Genius.

I love the dresses Marilyn and Leanne were wearing. Sarah is serving some of the koolaid we carried.

Soon a game was started. It looks so cool! I think I'd need a much nimbler bike for the quick stops and starts and a lot of practice to play.

There wasn't enough shade at the hockey rink where polo was being played, so before long we were off again. We rode on residential streets down to the bike path on Saskatchewan Drive, at the top of our city's beautiful river valley.

Poplar fluff snowed down on us as we made our way to the bicycle bottleneck at the end of the High Level Bridge.

We crossed busy 109th Street on the crosswalk, then parked beside Transcend Coffee's new Garneau location.

Mary Poppins parked in the inadequate racks out front.

Iced coffee was the order of the day. A few of the girls also popped into Da Capo for ice cream. I think next time I'm in the University area, I will too.

Then we hung out beside Garneau School's playground and chatted and took photos.

Waiting for more adventures.

Coreen's CCM-built farm-abused Garry... just like Nicki's, but handpainted green instead of red. 
She came to the ride on just 2 hours of sleep after working the repair-a-thon, and was super helpful in orienting our neophyte riders to riding on the road. 

I love how Marilyn's Brompton sits to park. Good puppy.

Some people had to leave at this point, but a few of us took the residential streets of Old Strathcona...

...to our final destination, Fuss Cupcakes. Mmmm, cupcakes, gelato, and Italian sodas.

We spent time both outside and in. Our bikes were all nested and locked together. One guy walking by told us, "Gangs are illegal you know!" What, even when they're as beautifully dressed as we were?

Speaking of beautifully dressed, I do regret that I didn't get any better photos of my outfit or anyone else's in my excitement (Luckily Miss Sarah did.). I wore these brand-new heels...

...and I can attest that it really is easier to ride in heels than walk in them! I also wore the Missy Skirt in eggplant from Nomads Hemp Wear, who are carried locally by both Bedouin Beats on 118th St and Lucid Lifestyle on Whyte Ave. Being a bellydancer, I also have several of their ingeniously seamed yoga-style pants and tanks, and the hemp-blend fabric that they use is super comfy and breathable for summertime wear. The ruffles on the skirt's hem weighed it down so it didn't flip up while I was riding at all. I'm a huge fan (in fact I'm wearing their capri pants as I write this). I was also wearing a teal cotton-jersey blouse from the Gap and a red-violet cotton-jersey cardigan, which was quickly swapped out for sunscreen. But not enough of it. Ouch.

Update: Coreen has more sweet photos of the ride up on her blog, Breaking Chains and Taking Lanes!


  1. This looks like such fun! I'm a little behind on the Critical Lass concept - did you two come up with it? This needs to be emulated in Chicago :)

  2. Great pictures and all the ladies were truly lovely looking:) I wish I could've been there but I'm looking forward to the next ride...hopefully I'll have my Pashley by then too:)


  3. Your shoes are so fabulous! It was so nice to meet all the stylin' girls on bicycles. Everyone was very friendly. Looking forward to the next one.

  4. Yay! What a fantastic success. Congrats!!! I was sad that our Lovely Sunday Ride got canceled due to a weekend-long downpour. I'm glad you all were out riding in style!!!

    On our first LSR, as we were all parking our bikes at the coffee shop and ice cream shop a guy walking by made a similar "gang" comment LOL

  5. Great post! Thanks for having my back on the helmet thing:) I'd most definitely be up for a suburban t town ride. I find it really cute in there. And I could take the bucket bike on the train, then ride the rest of the way! We could take turns having the moms tow their kids. Nothing more suburban than towing kids...

  6. @Dottie: the whole background is in our prior posts. We came up with the Critical Lass name, as a play on Critical Mass (you'd be surprised how many people we had to explain it to). However, our models for pretty-girls-in-pretty-outfits-on-pretty-bikes came from all the girl bike bloggers like you, describing going for rides with impeccably dressed girlfriends to great little local shops and cafes. It was originally conceived as something on that sort of scale. But when we started talking about it on twitter it quickly became apparent that there were a LOT of girls locally who were interested in coming. We didn't really mean to exclude the dudes, but in retrospect I guess the language we used is pretty girls-night-out, so I can understand why they didn't come.

  7. @MandG: Too funny! I guess by extension all us girl bike bloggers belong to the same gang. =) When's your next Lovely Sunday Ride?

    Fiona and Judy: let's not wait until August, yeah? Let's have a smaller ride sooner. Perhaps a Pashley-warming-party ride. =D

    As @miss sarah mentions, we're thinking we might try a suburban ride for the next CL in August, probably in my neighborhood, just to prove that we can! Bike on train would be totally doable. I'm not sure how long it would take to ride 23rd Ave from Heritage to T Towne but there is a nice wide sidewalk the whole way (I should check if it's meant to be multiuse but it certainly is used by lots of cyclists). I'm aching to try the bucket bike. Yes, please! And it would be so sweet to have more kids at the next one! Dexter was super cuddly yesterday.

  8. Deborah, Our next ride will be in two weeks - whatever that date is. I was bummed to have to cancel one so early in the game but I'm sure we'll survive! :-)

  9. Great idea! Pashley-warming party or any occasion, I'm up for a ride!

  10. Hooorrrayyy!

    I had so much fun. Thank-you thank-you thank-you for organizing this ride!It was a joy hanging out with you all. I'm looking forward to the next ride. It could be fun biking down to t-town, and it would help quell any urges to bike further or faster during the ride :-)

    I also finally got some pics up, if you'd like to check 'em out.

    Also, looking at the picture of the old CCM I can really see how the steer tube and probably head tube is bent, even after bending the forks back into ride-able position. Poor old girl. Did I tell you I'm going to name her Poplar?

  11. Coreen - Sweet photos, you. I'll edit this post to include a link to it for everyone.
    Poplar! ROTFL that is AWESOME. (For those of you who didn't see them yet, she has photos on her blog from when she repacked the bottom bracket, which was full of poplar seeds and all kinds of crazy crap.)


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