Thursday, January 6, 2011

How to cycle in style - Part 1

You may or may not know that I am a pretty keen cycler. I like to cycle to work or just about. My husband and I cycle into the city most weekends for coffee. It's fun and healthy.

What I don't love about cycling is the lycra, and the assumption that if you're not wearing lycra you're not a cyclist (damn snobby road cyclists). Lycra is really, really unattractive - and unless you're cycling a million miles in a road race - usually not that essential.

So instead, I'm offering some tips on how to cycle in style - not Lycra.

1. Bicycle
So you have a bicycle, or you want to get a new one?
If you own one, well that's half the job done right there.

Now look at your bicycle, now back at me, now back at your bicycle.

Does it make you want to leap on it and tear off down the street? No? Why not?

Consider getting a gel seat cover - and if you're a lady, perhap a ladies' seat. It's a bit wider and more supportive for your hips and things.

Get a basket at the back or the front - or perhaps some cute panniers or saddle bags. Try weaving some plastic flowers in your basket - make it fun!

If you are going to buy a new bicycle, consider your terrain. Riding along the beach front - go for a cruiser. Live on top of a mountain - perhaps something with a few (or heaps) of gears. Ride your potential new friend around the shop and see how it feels.
The first time I got on a bike that had suspension it felt super weird and squishy - but now I love it.

If you wear skirts - like I do - get a step through frame, or at least a ladies' frame. Trust me, you'll thank me.

Also consider getting a second hand bicycle. They often have more classic style and most have nothing wrong with them except requiring a bit of paint and maintenance.

Whatever you get, make sure it's something you'll want to ride - often. I'm still a bit sad that my current bicycle is blue, but I'm considering a bit of cosmetic work to fix that *evil grin*

2. Helmet
Now you may live in parts of Europe and elsewhere that do not require you to wear a helmet when you ride. But I think you're nuts (and considering the number of odd looks I got in Europe when wearing one - you all think I'm nuts)

And with so many cute helmets out there, why would you risk have your brain come out of your ear sockets? Just check that they comply with the safety standards in your country.

Plus I'm a massive klutz and not wearing protective gear is just inviting trouble.

3. Lights
I always ride with lights on my bike - just in case I want to go off on a long adventure or it gets really dark and cloudy out.
You can buy teeny clip-on LED lights for less than $20, so unless you live in a super high crime area, you can just leave them on your bike and not worry about the weather or the night time.

4. Bicycle Lock
Once you've gone to all the trouble of making your bicycle all pretty and fun, you don't want someone pinching it.

Depending on how prevalent bicycle theft is in your country (Netherlands, I have my eye on you) you may need a heavy duty lock (or several) or just a regular bicycle lock.

Try getting a combination lock as then you have no key to lose.

Stay tuned for the next installment addressing clothing and accessories.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I guess Santa (or myself as it may be) was good to me this year. Now I just need a brooch to go with them.


P.S. Don't forget to get yourself something in my GREAT GIVEAWAY!!!!