Introducing Lulu

The Store

Don’t let the daunting exterior of Joe Mamma’s dissuade you from entry. Although it appears skateboarder meets snowboarder meets bmxer (the three of whom are dudes) they are very patient with Those Who Know Nothing Of The Cycling Riding Gliding Bumping-Off-Balconies World.

Their experience and ‘riding is living’ attitude rendered them very gracious and kind when I walked in and said: “I don’t know anything about bicycles, just that I want something pretty.”

joe mamma

joe mamma

joe mamma

joe mamma

Apart from Joe, there is Denver, Cameron (a sponsored snowboarder), and another sponsored bmx-er who is currently en route to someplace in the US to pick up his portable thing on which he rides his bmx and spins into the air and does not crash into the ground. Also, there was another young man (I recently turned 87) who had just been to Lansdowne with the King Cheeses of the bmx world from all over North America, one of whom did something very impressive that had to do with a jump and a balcony.

I managed a strong ‘Woooow’ before I started playing with Maillot Jaune and hoping none of the men would notice my complete cluelessness. This last man from the staff helped me choose a helmet – and although technically, he is young enough to be my child, I couldn’t help but notice his beautiful face. He’s still relatively shy and he may be Denver’s brother, because they look so much alike and I was thinking he would make an excellent boyfriend to Marah of Videoflicks, mentioned here.

I wish to make one final note for those of you considering heading over to Joe Mamma’s. Don’t let the name fool you for it is not Joe who runs the joint, but rather Maillot Jaune who takes care of the books, liaises with the partners and pleases the customers. Joe is nothing more than her front-man and she is very good to him.

maillot jaune

The Purchase

At precisely 5.31pm on the 26th of July, 2007, your blogMistress became the very proud new owner of one Electra Hawaii Cruiser. This is the latest colour: Really bright and pearly orange. It’s so new that Joe had to take her out of the box and assemble her for me so that I would then be able to cycle her out of the store.

I had originally wanted to name her Lucy, but Lulu kept popping into my head and mama confirmed that as a very small fat child, I used to call all of my dolls by the name of: Lulu. And so ‘Lulu’ she is.


Lulu’s seat is black, painted with white flowers. Her tires are etched with flowers and all over her orange body are more white flowers. I purchased for her a wicker basket and a little ringing bell (but only because they did not sell honky horns). I now need to purchase a gel seat cover – because OUCH! – and a rear view mirror.

While Joe was assembling Lulu, the rest of the men filled me in on the logistics of sponsorship in the world of snowboarding, skateboarding and bmxing. It was actually quite fascinating to understand how the intricate details of these three worlds collided and also…blablabla because I have no idea what I’m talking about and so I am going to stop. And maybe take a nap.

Right. So, Joe finished assembling Lulu and carried her outside for me where Maillot Jaune joined us. I was so excited that I forgot to remove the massive tag from my helmet – made for those prone to multi-impact – as I walked out the front doors of Joe Mamma’s. Lucky that I noticed something scraping the side of my neck, or else I would have looked completely stupid riding around Ottawa with the tag that measures approximately 4″ x 6″.

The Ride

Lulu still has an aversion to cars. She is scared of them and in order to assuage her fears, I walked her away from Joe’s for the first few blocks. When I could sense she was a little more comfortable, I let her ride around on the side streets leading to the walk/run/bike only pathway along the canal.

For two hours, I rode her all over the parkway and the experimental farm on that first evening. (I had to pay very close attention to the speed limit as I am certain I was madly cycling well above the 10 km/ hour allowance with my thighs of steel.)




There were cows (the blobs on the left):


I even took a streaming video of my very first ride so that I may share it with you (likely not the best of ideas as it meant I had to steer with one hand and I nearly crashed into a tree…but I didn’t). Look at how terrified happy I am:

maha ride

The following morning, I awoke with a very sore bum and abs that were screaming. BUT THAT DIDN’T STOP ME. I put on a skirt, a shirt, flip flops, and my helmet. I placed my lunch in Lulu’s basket and CYCLED TO WORK along the parkway. People waved and honked. I received several thumbs ups and two people cycled by and yelled a variation of ‘AWESOME BIKE!’

Because I was too busy concentrating on the ride itself, all I could do to respond was ring Lulu’s bell as a sign of thanks. I continue to do this often. I sometimes even ring Lulu’s bell randomly when I am alone because it makes me smile.

I am considering placing a miniature boombox in her basket for the times I feel like dancing.

I am very proud of Lulu and wish you could all meet her. If you are in the city, look for the girl on the orange bicycle ringing her bell randomly, smiling and looping a little all over the place in search of the straight path.

The Inaugural Fall

Since Thursday, I have been taking Lulu out for a minimum of two hours a day. Yesterday my friend and I went out for a relatively long ride and a picnic. Nearing the end of that ride, I was tired and sort of didn’t turn Lulu’s wheel properly causing me to tumble off of Lulu. We were immediately picked up and hugged; neither one of us has scrapes or fractures and so we are okay. A little shaken up at the time, but immediately Rode Again (Hurrah!) to avoid fear and confusion.

Complete photo set may be found here. To come: Streaming video!