Friday, May 04, 2012

Meet Isabella, my new Brooklyn Cruiser!

I've been teasing you for a while now that I was going to get a new bike, and it finally happened! Last night I received my beautiful new Brooklyn Cruiser! I took her out today for the first time and here we are out in Manhattan on our very first trip together.

my first photo with my new bike!
my first portrait with my new bike
Now, I know you have many questions, and I think I can proactively address them here (but if I missed anything, hit me up below in the comments)-

The biggest question: OMG! What about the Hello Kitty Cruiser?!
Don't be silly. I would NEVER abandon that bike. She's like my right arm. I need her. I love her. I daydream about her. I can't imagine a life without her. We've been through SO MUCH together! That's the bike that changed my life and made me a cyclist! I rode my first bridge with her, my first tour (the 5 boro, just 3 years ago!), my first everything. I adore that bike and she isn't going anywhere. Do you realize she and I have biked over 10,000 miles in NYC in the past 5 years?! It's true! My plan is to give the old gal a rest once in a while, that's all. The way I break it down is like this: The Hello Kitty Cruiser is my bike tour bike, grocery shopping bike (because I have a large from and detachable side basket perfect for grocery shopping) and my bike-to-the-beach bike (again because I bring a lot with me and have lots of cargo space). The new bike will be for smaller rides, local rides, rides where I don't need baskets to transport stuff - including biking to work.

Which bike are you riding on this Sunday's Five Boro Bike Tour?
Were you paying attention to the last paragraph? I told you the HELLO KITTY CRUISER is my official bike tour bike. She will be with me at this tour and all the other tours I'm registered for this year.

What made you pick a Brooklyn Cruiser?
Well, a few things:
1) The design - it's elegant and beautiful to look at, obviously.
2) It's still a cruiser, which is what I'm familiar with.
3) Important: It has a coaster brake (this is what drove me nuts about that blue bike - no coaster brake!) 
4) Equally as important: There is no squeezy thing on the right handlebar (again, this was the problem with the blue bike). This is crucial for me to have the ability to take photos while I'm riding. I can't have a squeezy thing there because then I can't hold my camera while I ride.
5) The step through. I need a step through model because I'm a lady. I'm not swinging my leg over the back. I'm stepping through, thank you very much.

But it has gears. I thought you said gears are for pu$$ies?
Sure, it has 3 gears and I still feel no need for gears, so I don't have to use them, but they're there if I feel like going wild one day.

Why did you choose black?
It comes in 4 colors: black, white, baby blue & orange. I ruled out orange immediately because, very simply, I hate orange. I have an extreme aversion to that color. I ruled out baby blue because the bike I had briefly was that color and it just didn't feel right. That left me with black and white. Honestly I had a hard time choosing, I could have gone either way. Both are perfect for my already existent bike-wardrobe (mostly black, white, gray, pink & animal prints). But since my friend Jules has a white bike, I went with black.

How do you like your new bike?
Well, today was her first ever ride (though I was smart and test rode this one first - unlike the other one I ended up selling to Adele in Boston). I think it was a great maiden trip - I rode her about 25 miles today, including the Williamsburg Bridge, all over Manhattan with Felipe and the Manhattan Bridge back home and then around Greenpoint & Williamsburg, so I got a good feel for her. These are my initial impressions and observations from today's ride:
1) It's weird simply because it's different. I have to get used to it. By the end of the day I was much more comfortable with it than when I started.
2) Although it's lighter (by 20 pounds or more), I felt no difference in speed while going up the bridge ramps.
3) The thin tires are very strange to me and make me a little nervous but I just have to get used to them.
4) It's very rear-heavy, I guess because of that beautiful wooden basket. Again, I just have to get used to how to carry it up and down my stoop.
5) I didn't use the front brake much, but I tried it out a few times (very gently and slowly, while using the coaster brakes of course)
6) I still get talked to a lot while riding. And I got a ton of compliments on this bike today.

Where can I get a sweet Brooklyn Cruiser?!
If you live in the Greenpoint area, they carry them at Silk Road on Calyer @ Franklin. Swing by and take one for a test spin! Otherwise, check out their "where to buy" list.

I can't think of any other questions you might have so for now, enjoy a few photos I took today on my first ride with Isabella. (they're out of order but I can't imagine anyone cares about that...)


Untitled
my first on-bike photo! in Greenpoint, Brooklyn


Untitled
I love these tiles! At the Williamsburg Plaza Park (base of the Willy B on the BK side)

Untitled
not sure where this is but look at those sleek handlebars!


Untitled
at the BK base of the Willy B... about to make history!!!


Untitled
here we go! First ride over the Willy B (or any bridge for that matter!)


Untitled
Yay! Coming down the Willy B on the Manhattan side



Untitled
somewhere on the Willy B with Isabella


Untitled
on the Willy B

Untitled
on South Street in Manhattan with the Brooklyn Bridge in the background

Untitled
riding along South Street

Untitled
somewhere in Manhattan

with Felipe on the West Side Highway
on the West Side Highway with Felipe

Untitled
in a bike lane in Manhattan. I have no idea where.

Untitled
posing Isabella on Broadway at 23rd St, in front of the Flat Iron Building

my first time parking her
her very first time being parked/locked up! (on 23rd St in Manhattan)

Untitled
riding along somewhere at a brisk 14 mph

Untitled
on Allen St in Manhattan

Untitled
on Essex, about to turn onto East Broadway to hit the bike expo


Untitled
coming home on the Manhattan Bridge
Hopefully that addresses your questions and satisfies your curiosity. Yes, it's a new bike, but no, it's not a replacement. It's just an addition to the family. A different bike for a different purpose. If you still have questions, leave them in the comments. Thank you :)



28 comments:

  1. That flatiron pic terrifies me. Thought you should know.

    Welcome to the world, Isabella!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was actually going to say "MELANIE, DON'T LOOK!" oopsy! too late :) xo Go, marathon girl!

      Delete
  2. How did you choose the name Isabella?

    With the weather getting better, I think I'm actually going to get my bike out this weekend. Yay!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. oh sure! a question I missed! Thanks Jill ;) I have always loved that name. It means beautiful, it's Italian and it starts with an "I" (like my last name), so I just love it. I was out a few weeks ago when out of nowhere it came to me and I decided that would be her name. So it is!

      Delete
  3. That is a sweet looking bike! Love the wooden cargo box! And am totally impressed that you have ridden over 10,000 miles. Keep going!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Very awesome! I know all if my questions are answered. It's so great to have options when riding about.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Did you choose your beautiful seat detailing? Looks awesome! Great photos, must have been an exciting day.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a beautiful bike! We don't really have cruisers so much here in the UK, they're available but by far most people (including me) have hybrids, racers or mountain bikes. I'm very envious, much as I love Annie (my hybrid) I'm not sure I wouldn't rather have had one like this instead!

    (This is Annie (forgive the awful Instagram photo, it's the only one I have on my laptop!): http://flic.kr/p/bEqEvJ )

    ReplyDelete
  7. Nice bike! I love reading about your adventures! Your shirt is freaking awesome.

    We have a flat iron building in a neighboring town, though it's much smaller. I will try to get a picture this weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Congrats on Isabella. Wishing you happy rides!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Recently on vacation on a coastal island, my husband and I rented bikes to ride on sandy trails through a maritime forest of oak trees and ferns. My first ride on a cruiser-I picked the vintage aqua colored one. I said to my husband "Can you imagine Bitchcakes rides a cruiser all over Ny and in races?!" This was after my 2nd wipeout in the sand. I just couldn't get used to the coaster brakes. We were in awe.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Please tell me you normally lock your bike through the frame and not just the rear tire... That is how you end up coming back to a tire! I would hate for that to happen to your lovely new bike!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. you're right - I always lock the hk cruiser through the rear wheel & frame. I don't know how I missed this but thanks for pointing it out so I don't do it next time.

      Delete
  11. Congratulations! She is absolutley beautiful.

    I was at the Bike Expo yesterday and hoped to see you both at some point. I actually took the same photo of the Brooklyn & Manhattan Bridges that you Tweeted. What a great shot!

    I signed up for the tour when I read your post and you provided the link months ago. I got my bike, joined a gym, got a Polar Heart Rate Monitor (and did so many other things) because of your inspiration. Phenomenal Inspiration is the caption of your photo on my Pinterest fitness board.

    I hope to see you guys at some point on Sunday. Isabella will be the bell of the ball!

    Thank you Sheryl for the motivation.
    Ev

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry I missed you- I was there for about an hour yesterday. Im so excited you signed up for the tour! I hope you have a great ride. I have a 745am start in the blue section.

      Delete
  12. AnonymousMay 05, 2012

    Love your new bike and I also love your outfit today - very lady biker! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Congratulations, Sheryl, she's lovely and thanks for the shout out! I won't tell Betsy that you referred to her as "that blue bike" because I know that if she had felt right and you kept her, I wouldn't have her and I probably wouldn't have met you, so everything happened the way it should!
    Safe and fun travels on both of your bikes!
    -Adele

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You made her Betsy - she was only "that blue bike" when I had her. I'm SO GLAD you & she are a great fit and bonded! Sincerely. Im really glad it worked out so well! :)

      Delete
  14. she's beautiful and elegant so you'll be very stylish travelin to and from work and i'm glad hello kitty has a sexy sister and not a replacement! as always my dear you are spectacular and lets face it you could ride a diamond studded disco ball bike and you'd outshine it..............so when are you gonna be painted pin-up style all over grand central station? it's bound to happen darlin! xoxoxoxo

    ReplyDelete
  15. I hope your two bikes get along well and don't get jealous :)

    Love your activity journals... would like to see a food journal sometime as well! You used to post a lot more about food/recipes/points and I always find that very inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  16. She's beautiful! Now I have bike envy.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hey I saw you today outside of Traders on 14th getting your pic taken. You were wearing heels and I plan to do the same during the 5 Boro. Mine are wedges though.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My husband wanted me to inquire about the bag you are wearing that straps across your chest...Beautiful bike!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Love the bike it rocks

    ReplyDelete
  20. But but but!!!! Diamonds are a girl's best friend!!!

    Isabella is lovely! Did the crate on the rear rack come with her? I <3 <3 <3 it!!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Congrats on your new bike. I love it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. Question about the bike: from the website, it seems like the seat and handles are leather. Is that right? Did you manage to get a vegan substitute? I love the bike and want one for myself but I'm a bit uncomfortable with buying leather. That said, I have some leather shoes from my pre-veg days that I haven't been able to replace, so I understand having limited options.

    ReplyDelete