Friday, 14 March 2014

Book sneaky peak...


Here's a sneaky peak from my forthcoming book, The Girls' Bicycle Handbook. It's from the Style chapter and is about the link between vintage fashion and cycling and why certain styles work well on the bike; from pedal pushers to 1920's tea dresses. As a big fan of vintage fashion I loved researching and writing this section and found it fascinating to find out what women have been cycling in over the past 100 years (before Lycra ever entered this world!).
Cycling has a very glamorous past and was also instrumental in liberating women from their restricted housebound Victorian roles (as well as their restrictive Victorian corsets). I hope you like it. Click here to see a larger version. You might be inspired to add a few vintage numbers to your spring cycling wardrobe.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Book Launch Invite


If you didn't know already, my book, The Girls' Bicycle Handbook, comes out this spring, (3rd April) and as we tend to grab any opportunity for a party, here at Cyclechic, we will be having a book launch-drinks-do, at the New Look Mum no Hands, Mare street, Hackney.

As valued blog readers, I would love you to come along, please see full details on the Facebook Event and join the event to get on the guest list or if you are not in Facebook, email me.

It should be a fun affair with the the most glamorous movers and shaker from the cycling scene in attendance (and some free booze) and the brand new range of Bern helmets and  chance to purchase my book at a discount and hot off the press!

Over the moon to have the book mentioned in Dawn O'Porter column in Glamour Magazine. Dawn is an old friend from uni and I am continually amazed as her endless talents and new ventures. A very funny and intelligent lady, check out her website.

I also wrote a piece for this months Company Magazine  about cycle style in East London. A subject close to my heart, if its close to yours to , you should like this issue as its all about East London.




Monday, 3 March 2014

What to cycle in this spring


Spring is in the air... my favourite season and the very best time of year to be out and about on your bike. Spring is also the ideal time to pin down the trends that will work for you and get yourself a new wardrobe. So what are the key things to be wearing on your bike this spring.

Midi-length skirts and trainers (Pic above from Let it be.) - I love this look, its stylish yet practical and will work a treat on the bike. Skirts looks and feel great to cycle in and the midi length it ideal for protecting your modesty but still showing a bit of leg. I like this skirt  from American apparel and these kicks coming soon (20th April) from New Balance.






Pastel coats - I find it hard to put together my spring wardrobe without involving plenty of pastels so will be jumping right on the pastel coat trend. Pic from Pin Interest 


 I am eyeing up this pastel check number from Asos, £80. And will be teaming my springy outerwear with the beautiful new Eleanor pannier bag form from Linus, £104.99.





Eleanor pannier bag from Linus

Orange -Another colour that's hot hot hot for spring is orange. I'm not sure how I am going to play this with my pastel coat but orange is great colour for cycling as it make you nice and visible on your bike. I love this girls look, cute orange smock dress with Peter Pan collar. Pic from Pin Interest.


The perfect orange bike accessory has to be the Sawako Furuno coral eye candy helmet £68. See more spring inspiration on our cycling in this spring board on Pin Interest. 
Sawako Furuno eye candy bike helmet

Monday, 24 February 2014

Competition Time!

a Rafflecopter giveaway Fancy winning a Bobbin Cape and a copy of The Girl's Bicycle Handbook? Well, to be in with a chance to win all you need to do is enter the online raffle above. The winner will be picked at random and announced on 24th March. The Bobbin Cape is the ideal addition to any stylish cyclists spring wardrobe and it could be yours for FREE!

Friday, 14 February 2014

Cyclists casting call...


Calling all cyclists who like the limelight... Sky are looking for cyclists to star in their new campaign. take a look at the casting details below and if you fir the bill get in contact with Jonny.Yapi@bskyb.com

"At Sky it’s our mission to get people back out on their bikes!
We are producing a new campaign to raise awareness of our SKY RIDE (goskyride.com) cycling website. We want cyclists across the country to discover the host of cycling related activities and info it contains.
Our campaign is based on the emotion of cycling. Everyone who’s ever ridden a bike will know how riding a bike feels, this feeling is common to all. Therefore we’d love to feature the real cyclists of Britain in the TV spot, along with members of the Sky Team. We want to illustrate and celebrate the host of cycling Britons that there now are.

Specifically we are after the following categories of British cyclist:
-Female: 18-35 non-competitive (ie non lycra wearing!) Loves her bike, loves riding her bike! Uses her bike to go shopping, see friends.
-Boy: aged 6-9 and his family. 
-Competitive males and females: Aged over 30. Committed weekend cyclists.
-Mountain bikers: (we’re not talking Red Bull Rampage! Just folks who like going off the road even if that means strictly “on path”).
-Non Competitive males over 35. If you use your bike to get places- that’s what we’re after.

We’re happy to shoot groups or individuals.
If you’re interested in taking part or know of someone that’s fits the bill please don’t hesitate to contact us:

Jonny.Yapi@bskyb.com

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

My book!


Without wanting to blow my own trumpet, this post is to officially announce that my book, The Girls Bicycle Handbook - Everything you need to know about life on two wheels,  is out on 3rd April 2014!

My aim was to make the book as USEFUL and as PRETTY as possible, to give the reader (discerning, stylish women) the best of both worlds when it comes to practical information and style inspiration.

The book both celebrates the benefits of cycling and tackles the barriers that put many women off cycling. I talked to lots of women while researching my book and found it hugely interesting to find out about peoples individual benefits and barriers. So in the run up to the release we are casting the net out even wider and want to find out what YOUR benefits and barriers are? Take a look at The benefits and barriers survey here to get involved.

The Survey is very short and will only take you a minute or two. We want anyone and everyone to get involved, you can be an experienced cyclist who can't go a day without your bike or you might not have been on a bike since you were 12 but are thinking you'd like to give it a go. Whatever your circumstances we would LOVE to get your feedback.

‘I finally concluded that all failure
was from a wobbling will rather
than a wobbling wheel.’
Frances E. Willard, Wheel Within a Wheel:
How I learned to Ride the Bicycle, 1895

More snippets and advice from the book coming soon, watch this space or follow us on Facebook , Twitter and Pin interest.

If you are a blogger, writer or someone who likes to spread the word when it comes to all tings bikes, books or fashion and would like to review the book, pls get in contact to request a press copy. Caz@cyclechic.co.uk.









Friday, 7 February 2014

Velove is in the air



In case you’ve been cycling around with your eyes closed, Valentine’s Day is a week today.
Cycle away from the clich├ęs and go on a romantic ride. It’s cheap and you can even boycott all the hearts and go with friends. If you really want to go for it, most bike hire companies provide tandem hire and it’s a well known fact that on an adorable scale of one to kittens, a tandem is a nine. A couple of places you can hire from in London are hiremytandem.co.uk, londonbicycle.com

Here are some things to remember when riding in tandem:

  • The person on the front is called the pilot, the stoker is on the back and under no circumstances should either of you start singing “Daisy Daisy” it will never leave your head. EVER. 

  • Work on your stage whisper. You aren’t in a car, people can hear what you say to each other.
  • When people say ‘they aren’t peddling’ about your stoker, always smile and laugh in a patronising way so they realise they are not the first.
  • If you see another tandem hold hands with them and ask if they have any good come backs to the ‘they aren’t peddling’ heckle.

  • Don’t get punctures. A whole ‘it’s your fault’ back and forth will begin.
  • Gear changes can come as a surprise to the stoker. As pilot you must either warn your stoker in advance or revel in the power.
  • The pilot should remember that they are what the stoker will be staring at A LOT. Keep your hair tidy, your helmet shiny (it can act as a mirror) and try to make your back as interesting as possible. One idea is to tape a map to your back so the stoker can navigate/ feel important.

  • You are always going to look adorable on a tandem but match outfits to look EVEN MORE fricken adorable.


Whatever you feel about Valentine's, we think it’s a perfect time to show your bike (and maybe your partner if they deserve it) some good loving. A few gifts ideas...

Wear your heart on your sleeve or anywhere you like. Write the card to your bike.


 Ding ding. This will show your bike how much you heart it. 


...but not as much as I love mine.


Reflect on the times you've shared.

BYOB? Bring your own....bike? Perfect for that romantic meal for two.

Because we all know what is the light of our lives.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Sod the tubes get on yer bike...


Have you been um-ing and ah-ing about whether or not to start cycling to work? Well, this week's Tube strike could be the perfect chance for you to strike out on the bike. From 9pm on Tuesday (4th Feb) to the morning of 7th Feb, there are MAJOR disruptions on the Tube lines and although there are still some services running I think it's fair to say getting about by Tube is going to be a pain in the ass. Check TFL's websites for details.

But let's try and look on this as a positive... maybe what looks to be a right royal pain in the ass, could be the kick up the ass that you need to get on your bike! So here's a little bit of advice if you are thinking of joining the burgeoning bike community this week but are not quite sure where to begin...

Get your bike sorted
If you have a bike but it's not had much TLC for a while, dust it off and do a quick A, B, C, D check.

A = air (check wheels are pumped); B = bakes (check they still work); C = chain (check it doesn't make any weird noises when the pedals are turning); D = direction (check the handlebars are straight).

If you don't have a bike, or your bike is beyond repair, give the Boris Bikes a go. Although I prefer to use my own bike when I can, I often use a Boris bike when I am in town. They are easy to ride and so blinkin handy. You don't need to sign up for membership, you can simply put your credit card in the terminal and get a bike released, and if you use the bike for 30 mins or less you don't get charged at all!

Pace yourself
If you've not been in the saddle for a while I would not advise taking on a 10-mile commute into Central London. A good idea is to cycle part of the way. Devise a route where you can start with a gentle ride of a couple of miles and pick up public transport the rest of the way. As someone who lives in Chiswick and works in Shoreditch (and doesn't always fancy a 11-mile commute, taking on the Old Street Roundabout) I've been doing this for years and swear by it.

Plan your route
Make sure you plan your route, don't just set off and hope for the best. Getting lost on your way to work can be really stressful. Have a look at the cycling directions on Google Maps the night before and use your GPS on your phone while en route. Just be sure to use an Incredible Bike Band so you can keep both hands firmly on the handlebars while you're cycling.

If you want to find a bike buddy, someone who does the same route as you, check out I Bike London's "Bike the Strike" campaign. Mark is hooking up ride leaders with newbie cyclists through twitter. A brilliant idea!

Safety first
If you are nervous about cycling on the roads, maybe think about having a lesson. A lot of London boroughs offer free or subsided training. Fill out this form to see what your borough offers (Ealing, Hackney and Lewisham are three I know do). I have done two of these training sessions, one when I very first started cycling in London, and a more advanced session when I started writing my book. Both were invaluable. A few key things to remember are: keep a metre between you and parked cars to avoids getting hit by car doors; do not go on the inside of a bus or HGV; if you feel unsure about a junction or situation, stop at a safe point in the road, get off your bike and push on the pavement. Don't get yourself in a panic. Also swat up on your highway code, especially if you don't drive.

Want more advice?
I spent a lot of last year writing a book to help women overcome the common barriers that cycling presents. The book is called The Girls Bicycle Handbook and comes out on 3rd April 2014. I delve quite deeply into cycle safety and the logistics of cycling to work, along with maintenance and, of course, what to wear on your bike! The book is available to pre-order and I will be featuring snippets of advice from the book on my blog over the next two months. So keep checking in and follow me on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.







Monday, 20 January 2014

Product review: Lucetta Lights


LUCETTA, magnetic bike lights from Palomar on Vimeo.

They may sound like a type of pasta and look like a contact lens case but this dinky little kit is actually a set of magnetic bicycle lights.
 Detachable lights are a good option if you have to park your bike in public and you don't want your lights to be nicked but sometimes the attaching and detaching can be faff. Especially on a cold wet evening when you just want to get on your bike and go home  This is one of the Lucetta lights big plus points - they are magnetic so all you have to do is tap them on the frame of your bike and they stick and automatically light up. If you want to change the function from flashing to constant you just tap the light against the frame again.
And when you take them off the bike they snap together and you can easily pop them in your bag, safe in the knowledge that they will stay together and they won't switch themselves on in your bag and run the batteries down.
They are also very useful lights if, like me, you have a basket on the front of your bike which obstructs lights on the handlebars. These lights can be places down on the fork or wherever it is that means your light is visible. Similarly if you have a rack on the back or child seat that obstructs the seat post (the usual place for a rear light) these lights are the perfect problem solver.
Very clever little lights indeed! Lucetta lights, £24.99 (pair), available in red, white and black at Cyclechic.co.uk



Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Sample sale update


Thanks to everyone who came to the sample sale today, it was a roaring success! We sold out of all stock in about 45 mins. As a result we will not have a sale Wed 15th Jan.

BUT we will be having another on Thurs 16th Jan, when we have had a chance to replenish stock!

Date & time: 16th Jan, 12-2pm

Place:  Cyclechic Ltd, Top Floor, 58-60 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AU (ring the buzzer for the The Viral Factory and come up to the top floor)

What we got: Helmets, panniers, lights

Price: Everything £10, lights less.

Come early to avoid disappointment!


Thursday, 9 January 2014

Sample Sale 14-16th Jan


We have an assortment of helmets, panniers, basket and capes that are looking for homes with you lovely London cyclists. Products are either the last few of a range or have slight marks on or don't have the original packaging.

To make it simple we will selling every item for £10!

So please come to our office for a root around if your are looking for a bikey bargain this Jan!

Office sample sale times

Tues 14th Jan       12-2pm
Wed 15th Jan       12-2pm
Thurs 16th Jan     12-2pm

Office address: Cyclechic Ltd, Top Floor, 58-60 Rivington Street, EC2A 3AU (ring the buzzer for the TVF and come up to the top floor)




Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Happy New Year and a few Jan Bargains


Yippee, a brand new year has begun! Congrats to all those who are cycling through the winter, and bearing the brunt of these rather unpleasant storms. Dropping my daughter at school, by bike, yesterday, felt like completing some kind of an Iron man challenge!

Hopefully we can help you along your way by offering you some discounts on products that will help you survive the winter by bike.

My top 3 recommendations in the sale are:

Bookman lights: These are nifty little lights, I have been using them all winter and they haven't let me down. Although the bulb looks small they actually emit quite a beam. The other bonus is that they attach with an a hairband type band so they are flexible and can be attached to baskets and rear racks as well as the usual handlebar and seat post. The clay colour is my fave as they work very well with my brown bike but dark jade and white are also nice. 40% off. Now only £10.


Bike cover - If you have to keep your bike outdoors in the rain and gales, make sure you cover it up. This jazzy little bike cover is just the ticket and comes in pink/white/navy or monochrome. It also has velcro and ties so it will stay secure on your bike and not blow away. With 20% off, its now only £27.99.



Bern Lenox Helmet Purple - I wouldn't be without my Bern Lenox when winter cycling. it's snug and cosy and gives me the confidence to face the harsher road conditions. The Bern helmets are also great for cycling in rain as they only have a few ventilation holes so your head stays pretty much dry and the peak prevents rain going in your eyes. The nice bright purple colour is good for visibility too. Now with 30% off, its only £34.99.










Friday, 20 December 2013

Happy Christmas!

Whether you'll be out on your tandem on boxing day (with Santa??) or your hanging up your helmets for a few days break, have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!

Caz & Lavinia x

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Free Delivery for 24 hours! (noon 18th Dec - noon 19th Dec)

Got some last minute online shopping to do? Well, for 24 hours you can order from us and get delivery for FREE! 
We also offer a Guaranteed next day delivery service for £8.89, allowing you to continue shopping over the weekend and right up until 12pm on the 23rd Dec, and still get your Christmas gifts in time. See full Christmas delivery details here.
Happy shopping!
Caz & Lavinia x

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

The Cyclechic Awards 2013


No. 1 The Cranberry Bern Lenox, £49.99
We' like to take a little moment to look back on the year and congratulate the products and brands that have triumphed with all you discerning cyclists. Here we have our top 5 sellers of 2013:

In first place we have the brilliant Bern Lenox helmet and are pleased as punch that it's our exclusive cranberry shade that has been the biggest seller this year. This is a helmet close to my heart as Cyclechic was started, all those years ago, when a tracked down a sample of a Cranberry Bern Muse and knew it would be the first product I would sell. Five years on and the Lenox is a marked improvement on the Muse as it has added vents but still has the flattering shape with peak and remains the most comfortable helmet I have ever worn. Big shouts to Denis and the gang at Bern!

No. 2 The Linus Sac £49.99 
The fact that we were not able to get stock of these babies for more than half the year and they still rock in at No. 2, is pretty impressive. It has to be one of the most stylish and versatile panniers ever created. Your particular fave is the navy with yellow base and we have to say we agree - there's something about those two colours together that just works. Well done Linus and well done to you all for having such impeccable taste. 


No. 3 The Bobbin Gold helmet £36.99


In at number 3 is the cool-as-can-be Bobbin Gold helmet. This helmet has stolen the show this year and has been featured all over the place; in The Times Style, Evening Standard and Living etc to name just a few. It's a helmet that likes the lime-light and we love the fact that so many of you cycling starlets are whizzing around town in one! Big shouts to our good friends at Bobbin Bicycles for coming up with this gem of a helmet. 

No.4 Georgia in Dublin Leggits £44.99

The Mother and daughter team from Ireland really know there stuff when it comes to rain and bicycles - the Leggits are quite simply a life-saver for cycling on those rainy days. Well done ladies!

No. 5 Sawako Furuno Leopard Helmet
An lastly but by no means leastly, the stunning Leopard print helmet rocks in at number 5. Sawako Furuno has achieved something that many might think impossible... the talented entrepreneur has created a sexy cycling helmet and for that we take our hats (and helmets) off and applaud.


Thursday, 28 November 2013

Product review: Samsung Galaxy S4 Active



I've not had too much luck with phones. I jumped on the iphone bandwagon in 09 only to have my screen crack well before I was due an upgrade. Ok - I may have been taking ariel shots of myself whilst cycling, and I may have dropped it but I expect my phone to be able to cope with my occupational hazards. I then moved onto a blackberry curve but it never really liked me connecting to the internet and then it just gave up altogether after less than a year... and I didn't even drop it.

So when I was asked to test out the Samsung Galaxy S4 Active, I was eager so see if this was a phone that could actually work for me instead of wimping out on me!

So what is it that I need from a phone and does the Galaxy S4 Active deliver??

Out and about on the bike: I need a phone that I can connect to my handlebar with my incredible bike band and use GPS as I cycle: The S4 works very well for this with it's huge viewing screen and it was very easy to activate Google maps. The bike band fits well and the phone is stable as I cycle;  also, I don't need to worry about putting it back in my pocket when it rains as it can more than handle a spot of drizzle. Perfect.

Blogging/social networking
Facebook and Twitter are already on the phone and it takes me seconds to download the app for my new favourite, Pin interest, and my old favourite, Blogger. Again the big screen makes all the Social networking apps really nice to view and use. I was able to upload my images below directly from my phone onto this blog post which saves tonnes of time.

Work
I am often out and about and need to check and send emails, access files in my dropbox, check sales on our website or check Google analytics. It was very easy to set this up and is already making my working life much more efficient. The internet is pretty fast, sometimes I've had to wait a few seconds for a page to load but on the whole it's good and I can get the info I need pretty quickly.

Life
My mornings are often hectic - getting my daughter in her seat on my bike, getting her strapped in, helmet on, both our bags in the basket - and I have been known to drop my phone when doing a quick time check. So the fact that the Galaxy S4 Active doesn't mind a few knocks and bumps is a very good thing for those clumsy mornings!
It has a nice selection of ring tones and is easy to use for calls, although it did take  me a few times to get the swiping technique right to answer but I can do it with ease now. It makes nice plinky- plonky noises when I type things and open and close apps, although I was aware this might be a little annoying to others when I was playing around with it on the train earlier this week (note to self, turn off the plinky plonky noises when on the train). I am eager to test out the walking and fitness apps and the underwater camera and video but may wait until the weather warms up a little for the latter...

Camera
I am very excited to at last have a good camera on my phone as I love taking snaps when I am out and about. And after a cycling accident with my digital camera (yes, I dropped it) I have decided to stick with phone photos for a little while. Below are some photos taken on a Sunday jaunt out on my bike. My only crit is that the zoom is a little fuzzy but on the whole I am really happy with how the images look and the different finishes I can put on them and how easy they are to upload in other apps.
A quick stop at one of my fave antique shops

cheap delights at the market


flowers at the market
quick snap of the little one on the way back from school
Pretending this is my house on a Sunday cycle along the river...

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Dreamy inspiration on Pin Interest...

Have a look at our boards and follow us if you like what you see

I have finally got around to setting up a Pin Interest account  -very slow on the uptake I know but better late than never as am loving it!  Simply looking through an eternal stream of pretty pictures and pinning the ones one likes is not just a treat for the eyes but is also remarkably calming and satisfying . So if you have a spare 5 mins and can't be bothered to tweet or talk have a look at our boards, and get taken on a journey of discovery on the smorgasbord of inspiration and  loveliness that is Pin Interest.

See our board of nice Bicycle pics

See our favourite pics from all our photoshoots
See our board of random stuff we like


PS. I have not yet figured out how to add a Pin interest widget to my blog... when I upload the widget it just published as a link not a button (see below) and Pin interest is not on the share options in blog settings. If anyone knows how so it and has the time to explain it, pls email me...caz@cyclechic.co.uk



Cyclechic