Thursday, February 20, 2014

Roll Model: Grace Molteni

I'm a Midwest born and raised designer and illustrator currently living south of the Mason Dixon line. When I'm not slinging pastries at the best bakery in Atlanta (Little Tart, represent!) you're sure to find me posted up at a coffee shop doing work, at the bar with a book, or exploring somewhere new around the city by bike. When I first moved to here last July I was living in Inman Park but working on the west side- as you can imagine the Belt Line quickly became my best friend. That, and the view of the skyline as you fly up Freedom Parkway Trail are by far some of my favorite rides. Coming from biking Milwaukee and working in Chicago, the transportation infrastructure, or perhaps lack thereof, took some adjusting to. Aside from the need for more bike lanes/safety zones, I was most surprised by the hostility of motorists towards cyclists in Atlanta. Many drivers here (though not all) tend to make it their job to let you know they don't want you on the road. The upside to that is zooming past a rude driver at the next lights while they are jammed in a gridlock. Karma, karma, karma.

I recently picked up a vintage Japanese 1980's MIYATA touring bike and can't wait to soup that up and hit the pavement this spring, but my current ride is a TREK Hybrid that I bought back in high school and (shamefully) neglected in college. As far as my bike goes I definitely go for utility- anything added has been a necessity. After being taken out by car and a trip to Grady for stitches and a few x-rays (thank you Atlanta traffic) my brother gifted me a new set of back lights- The Laser Shark. Essentially the Laser Shark shoots two laser lights out alongside my back tires, creating a lit bike lane that reminds cars to give a bit of space. Really cool product. My favorite accessory though is my helmet. I am, admittedly, one of those people who has a hard time wearing a helmet if they think it looks silly; when I saw this awesome Dia-De-Los Muertos-esque BELL helmet at Outback Bikes, I knew it was the perfect way to protect my head and still look like myself. Skulls for my skull!

My bike is quite literally my ride- this undeniably affects my wardrobe. Because biker's butt looks good on no one, in bad weather especially I often do like the fellow cycling enthusiasts the Danes do and don on black on black on black. Growing up in Wisconsin and going to college in Northern Minnesota taught me that when it comes to weather, it pays to be sensible. I rarely buy shoes I can't ride in, I live in tights and leggings (blame 14 + years as a dancer), and swear by my Herschel Supply Co. and Duluth Pack Co. scout packs to tote around anything from my laptop and sketchbooks, to spare clothes, to my weekly Dekalb Market grocery haul. As far as style goes I rely on thrift store dresses, vintage earrings, and a handful of scarves I picked up traveling abroad to build an outfit. Throw on a Marmot jacket and waterproof mascara and I'm good to go.

Grace Molteni

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