Thursday, 27 May 2010

Helen Pidd's Book: The Bicycle

Helen Pidd's new Book The Bicycle, published by Penguin, hits the shelves today. Its a great read and ideal if you are thinking about starting out on two wheels but are looking for some advice. Bicycle books can often be somewhat factual verging on dull so Helen's book is real breath of fresh air in that its funny, imaginative and highly relevant to the modern woman. We were at the launch party last night (cycling's schmoozy event of the year!) at London's new Cycling cafe Look Mum no Hands, to raise and toast and wish Helen (pictured) & Penguin all the best with the book.

Pic from the book, featuring our Kitsch Kitchen panniers and the wonderful Pink Jazz YAKKAY.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Profile: Christa Clark Jones of Bike by the Sea

During my visit to Santa Barbara, I had the pleasure of catching up with Christa, writer of the blog bike by the sea and organiser the Santa Barbara Cycle Chic show.

Caz:What bike do you ride?
Christa: Red Electra Amsterdam

Caz: Why do you cycle?
Christa: Many reasons - health, community, financial, fun - but I'm mainly interested in observing the urban environment.  I'm most fascinated with sustainable urban design and cycling is my favorite way to explore Livable Cities.

Caz: What's the best thing about cycling in Santa Barbara?
Christa: It's sunny almost every day in Santa Barbara.  There are some beautiful bike paths along the ocean.  It's stunning!  Also, since it's a small town, I love seeing friends and familiar faces while cycling.  It's easy to stop and have a conversation.

Caz:Have you noticed a rise in women cycling in Santa Barbara?
Christa: Compared with many North American cities, Santa Barbara has a high cycling rate, but there is a growing bicycle culture.  I see more women cyclists on a variety of practical urban bicycles including electric and Dutch bikes.

Caz: What's your favourite outfit to cycle in?
Christa: I enjoy cycling in classic dresses and heels.  Lately, I've been wearing a lovely straw hat and it's just tight enough so that it won't fly off while cycling.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Sun and Cycles in Santa Barbara

photo by Jeff Clark
Apologies for the lack of posts over the last week. I have been battling with jet lag since my return from California and this is the first evening I am have managed to stay awake after 7pm. Although missing the perpetual blue sky's it is nice to be back in London even if it is a little grey.
Our last week in the US was spent in Santa Barbara were I was lucky enough to get involved in the Santa Barbara Cycle Chic show which was a great evening. Models and guests mingled for an hour or so before the show in the evening sunshine, drinking local beer and wine. It was such a lovely atmosphere without the pretence and preciousness that one sometimes encounters at fashion shows.
There were some beautiful bikes involved, from our old favourites Pashley to Electra and New York's Bowery lane Bicycles and of course great accessories from our new US online store and great local shop The Wheelhouse. It was full house and the army of models strutted (and cycled) their stuff with style. A few pics to give you feel of the evening.

Friday, 7 May 2010

Cyclechic USA launches today

Our US online store is now open for all your wonderfully stylish cyclists in the USA. We have the same exclusive range of Chic cycling accessories but products will now be shipped from our base in San Francisco so shipping will be much cheaper and quicker.. horrah!

Please help us spread the word and email, twitter the link to anyone you think might be interested.

I have had a marvelous time in California,its great to see how the cycling culture is really blossoming over here. I hope we can encourage more women to take to 2 wheels and ensure you look good doing it!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Santa Barbara style

My US travels now bring me to sunny Santa Barbara for their Cycle Chic fashion show tomorrow. I was invited by the lovely Christa of blog, Bike by the sea and have the great pleasure of modeling in the show, along with a whole host of Stylish Santa Barbarans!

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Profile: Adrienne Johnson of Change your life ride a bike

Having blogged about cycling and women a fair amount, cycling and children is still unknown territory to me. Although my daughter is now one I have not yet got a child seat sorted and taken to the streets on my bike at 2 instead of 1.
However meeting Adrienne Johnson from San Francisco based blog, change your life ride a bike and cycling with her and two of her 4 kids gave me a so called 'kick up the ass!'
She made it look like a doddle and what more made it fun as she guided us through the streets with her son Declan on the back of her Dutch bike and 10 year old Una holding her own behind. I think a lot of people fear cycling with children but Adrienne is an example of someone who has mastered the art and reaps the benefits in her life.

Quick Q and A with Adrienne on her & bicycles and where she gets all the energy from...

Caz: What bike do you ride?
Adrienne: A 2007 Batavus Socorro. It is called "the Bat" and is also known as my "land yacht" unless it has just fallen on me and then it is called all kinds of things you probably do not want to print on your lovely blog.

Why do you cycle?
A: I could probably write a blog about that : ) I ride because it is the only way I have found to get from A to B that makes me feel better about myself.

C: What’s the best thing about cycling in your city?
A: San Francisco is tiny- 49 square miles and only 7 miles wide at its widest point. I see people I know all over the place all the time. Seeing friends and neighbors all over the City makes me feel grounded. That does not happen in my car- the best I can hope for when I drive is that I see a friend's cars pass by.

C:Do you think cycling amongst women is on the increase in USA?
A:I can't speak for the whole country. It is certainly on the rise in the SF Bay Area. I do not really focus on women and cycling vs just people and cycling. I get more excited about kids and people who are perceived as "disabled" being out on bikes for transportation. One thing I can say is "lady's bikes" or "bikes specially designed for women" turn me off. The marketing for them is horrid and it usually means a poor quality bike, at least here in the US. I rode 5000 miles last year, half of the time with a 45 lb child and groceries on it- I need a tank, not a "lady bike".

C: What’s your favourite outfit/style to cycle in?
A:Whatever I have on that day. I admit that my wardrobe has changed a bit since I started riding as my primary means of transportation- not my style so much as how my wardrobe functions. No super tight skirts (too hard to ride comfortably), no cotton sweaters (they get sweaty), no skinny jeans (I hate how tight denim feels when I am active)... To be honest, all of my favorite clothes have that designation because I can nap in them- no buttons, lots of stretch, no wrinkling.... funny that I occasionaly blog about cycle style. Ah well, those who can't do, teach. Can I just live in yoga clothes?