Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Getting to Know Irene

Irene Fenderbottom, my early 70's Raleigh mixte is proving to be a delightful bike.  I've now taken her for several short rides around town to do errands and today I rode her to work.   I'm so pleased with my decision to flip her handlebars. It gives her a touch of sportiness that matches her ride nicely.  She's responsive and literally glides down the street.  Her 52-18 gearing is proving to be just right. 

My original intention with her was for a rainy day bike. 
I bought her cheap and used mostly re-purposed parts to get her on the road again, so she's certainly nothing fancy.  Knowing how little I invested in her makes me appreciate her even more. I'm a sucker for a good deal, living for thrifts, consignments, craigslist and freecycle.  I've even been known to alley prowl from time to time.  I get an immense amount of satisfaction when I spend virtually nothing and get something fabulous and Irene is proving to be quite fabulous!

After work I ran by The Bike Depot to chat with our staff about some business and pick up some parts I'd ordered.  The place was hopping - a wonderful thing to see! 

When I got home I found B1 in the back yard gathering veggies for dinner.  One of the best things about having a garden is picking and eating goodies before they ever make it to the kitchen!

Had to pop back in this post and add a note about my lunch today.  I had to meet with some consultants - actually my favorite consultants because they love food as much as I do.  We went to Parallel 17 a beautiful little spot near my office that does an amazing job of creating today dishes from traditional vietnamese staples.  This isn't fusion, it's good traditional food with a modern twist here and there.  I go there a lot in the colder months for their deeply flavorful pho but had never actually been there during warmer months for some righteous patio eating. 

Today I had the Sizzling Saigon Crepe.  A traditional Southern Vietnamese dish of a coconut scented crepe, sautéed mushrooms, onions, bean sprouts, pickled daikon, carrots, cucumbers and a bouquet of fresh herbs.  I had mine with crispy tofu.  After I'd eaten half of it I kicked myself for not taking a picture before digging in.  I've searched the interwebs for a photo of this little bit of lunch heaven with no luck but I promise I'll go back soon, order this dish again and take a photo first!  It was stunningly beautiful - but not too beautiful to dig into immediately and not stop to so much as utter a word until I was done...OK, I uttered a few words like, "Oh man!" and "mmmmmm!" and "Holy smokes this is amazing!"


  1. What a nice looking bike! And the flipped handlebars, combined with the white frame, really do give it that "racy" look.

  2. I search and search and search for a Raleigh mixte in my size. I'm so jealous! She's lovely.

  3. Charlotte, They come up here in Denver a lot on craigslist - typically in the $100 - $150 range but I totally lucked out on this one at $40 only because I logged on right when it was posted. By the time I got to pick it up (20mins) he said he'd had 7 or 8 more calls. You might stalk it and ask folks about shipping. You never know!

    There was a Motobecane cream and navy mixte a couple of weeks ago for $15!!!! I wasn't fast enough for that one.

  4. Irene is gorgeous! The color scheme is really sharp. Having secured my Dutch bike, my errant thoughts tend ever toward mixtes.... Maybe I need to come to Denver?