I want to ride my bicycle, bicycle, bicycle
It wasn't until moving to Ancaster that I even had a driver's license. I've always been an active user of public transit and an advocate of sustainable transportation. I guess its fitting that I work in marketing for Metrolinx - GO Transit. Moving away from downtown has come with its challenges. Being reliant on a car is something I struggle with everyday. I know I'm being dramatic, but I sometimes feel like I'm living in the country. I loved the convenience of living downtown, walking to wherever I needed to go or hopping on the train to get to work. I'm so intrigued by programs like Smart Commute, Hamilton Carshare, BIXI, and such. But when you live outside the downtown core, these amazing sustainable modes of transit aren't really an option. Since moving I've been trying to figure out ways I could cut back on using my car. I've been long dreaming of owning a beautiful ivory bicycle, with brown leather details and wicker basket, (yes, I'm that descriptive in my dreams). Lucky for me, Adam helped make it happen. Sean from Downtown Bike Hounds built me this gorgeous Linus Dutchi 3 speed. I literally broke into applause and jumped up and down when he wheeled it out from the back of the shop. I asked our friend and super talented photographer Jeff Tessier, to see if he'd help photograph my new bike around town. Jeff and his family all cycle, so he was the perfect person to appreciate and capture all it's beautiful details. And so, from Dundas, to downtown, to the East end, we went..
In my world, (or in my head), the streets are cobblestone, and my basket is filled with fresh flowers and bread from the market. Dundas is the perfect place to visit for that old world, European feel. Detour Coffee (below) is one of our favourite spots. As we ventured out to shoot, Jeff showed me that I can cycle via trail from Ancaster all the way to Dundas which is pretty amazing. It continues the other direction to the downtown area as well. This was a great discovery, as I had felt a bit restricted living on the escarpment. After heading out to the beautiful Chedoke Radial Trail to see for myself, I'm thrilled that I have this option for heading downtown.
They say the Linus Dutchi model is inspired by 50s style French bicycles. How could I not fall in love with it? It's classic, simple, sophisticated. But really, the low step-through frame is perfectly suited to me, and convenient and comfortable for riding in style. Wearing dresses and skirts is no problem. Like this beautiful floral shirtdress that Amanda Moss, the designer of Covet sent me. It's one of my favourite pieces for summer. Jacklyn and I love her collections, and her use of sustainable fabrics like tencel, bamboo, organic jersey and cotton. Amanda proves that designers can be environmentally conscious without compromising on style in their designs.
The details on this bike are so understated and chic. Like the subtle stitching on the leather handgrips or the Mid-century alloy bell.
The one accessory I had to have on my bike was a beautiful basket. I was drawn to the Nantucket oval basket with it's willow weave, honey finish and leather handlebar straps. Though I'm sure over time I'll be adding either a market bag, wooden bike basket (this one from Offcut Studios or thistraditional wood crate by Bowery Lane Bicycles) or a leather bag by Hide & Cyc. Leave it to me to accessorize my bike.
The whole series of photos Jeff took are stunning, but these two in front of Shoe King really stood out to me. What better visual for Barton Street than this iconic spot?
Stephanie is wearing a floral shirtdress by Covet, a Rodarte x Target skirt, Zara boots
Photography by Jeff Tessier