Q: So, tell us. Who is BlueRoses? There are people who read this blog who know your real name, and yet, you use a pseudonym.
A: I’m a girl, with a bike. I prefer to keep myself minimally anonymous, because as a girl, it is just easier/better/safer being a little anonymous. Especially with rides and stuff, I’d like to not broadcast to the world where I’m at on any given ride day. Keep a bit of the mystery, you know?
Q: Ok. International Bike Girl of Mystery. Fair enough. As far as the title, I get the bike thing, but what about the Books and Blues part of this blog?
A: Oh, that’s relevant too. I’m a graduate student in art history, so the books are a pretty common thing around these parts. Also, the blues: I started seriously riding my bike with friends after a particularly yucky breakup – but I also deal with chronic anxiety, both as part of the grad school thing, and as my own thing I deal with on a pretty regular basis. Regular exercise is a good fix for that, and the bike does help. There’s something about being on a bike that allows you to go faster than your fears – but there is enough that gets my attention on the road as well that puts me right back into an anxious place. Sometimes, that’s enough to make me not want to ride. And when I don’t want to ride, I am sad.
Q: So, blue, for depression and anxiety, and then roses for….?
A: Actually, not quite. I love the color blue. My old bike was blue, my new bike is blue, my car is blue, my office is blue, if I buy an accessory, it is either white, black, or blue… So, blue. And my only college roommate was my grandmother, Rose (ז״ל) who I loved loved loved. So, Blue, Rose – Blue Roses. But there is more to it than that. I also loved the Tennessee Williams play The Glass Menagerie, and the character Laura’s nickname was “Blue Roses”. From the wikipedia page:
The Glass Menagerie is accounted by many to be an autobiographical play about Williams’s life, the characters and story mimicking his own more closely than any of his other works. Williams (whose real name is Thomas) would be Tom, his mother, Amanda, and his sickly and (supposedly) mentally ill sister Rose would be Laura (whose nickname in the play is “Blue Roses”, a result of an unfortunate bout of pleurosis as a high school student). It has been suggested as well that the character of Laura is based upon Williams himself, referencing his introvert nature and obsessive focus on one part of life** (writing for Williams and glass animals in Laura’s case).
So that’s where it came from.
Q: So, why a blog about bikes, books and the blues?
A: Why not?
Q: Ok….fair enough. Anything else you’d like to share?
A: How about the “rides in my stable”? The one pictured above is my 2012 Cannondale Synapse 5 Women’s design full carbon road bike with Shimano 105 gearset. I love that bike. However, before I got that, I was riding a hand-me-down from my best friend (who gave up bikes to ride horses). The hand-me-down bike is a 1984 Raleigh Technium 440 in powder blue. About 3 of the gears work. It was on that bike that I did my first 1/2 century last year.
Q: Oh, real rides – now you’re talking. So tell me about real rides….
A: They’re all real! But what you mean is sponsored/supported rides. I don’t do too many of them, because as a grad student, biking is already an expensive hobby, and at $50+ a ride, sponsored rides get expensive fast. But, last year I did the Buffalo Bicycle Classic with my best friend (before she moved to PA). We did the 50 mile ride, and that was pretty much our longest ride to date for either of us. She managed to rent a road bike, and smoked me pretty much, since she had been training on a 27-pound hybrid with flat pedals. I was, like I mentioned, on the old hand-me-down. Hills were a bitch.
This year, my boyfriend and I are doing Elephant Rock, for the 34 mile route, at the beginning of the season, and at the end, we’ll be doing either the 50 or the 70 Buff Classic again.
A: Yeah. The breakup last year led to riding, *and* to a new, nice, long-term relationship with a guy who likes books, bikes, and the color blue almost as much as I do.
We even have matching bikes: