Wednesday 28 April 2010

Profile: Kristin Tieche of Velo Vogue

In the lead up to the launch of our US online store, which goes live early May, I have been interviewing some of the key female cycling bloggers over here in the States.

First up the lovely Kristin Tieche from fabulous blog Velo Vogue

Caz: What bike do you ride?

Kristin: My most frequent ride is my Motob├ęcane mixte - the bike I call Le Rouge et Noir. My friend Bike Man Ben just fixed it up with new handlebars and new pedals, so I'm much happier and more comfortable on this one now. I also just got a folding bike, the single speed KHS Latte. Doesn't go so fast, but it's very practical and super cute.

C: Why do you cycle?

K:Personally, I cycle because it's fun. I love the feeling of exhilaration you get when you're flowing along. I also love running into friends on the bike lane, which happens quite often in San Francisco. So it's very social, whether you're riding for fun or even commuting to work and back. I also know that I'm doing a great deed for the environment and my city by riding a bike.

C: What’s the best thing about cycling in San Francisco?

K: The best things about cycling in SF - because there are so many - are 1) the friends you make in our very active bicycle community,  2) all the great views to take in on the most simple of rides from point A to point B, and 3) all the little details you notice that you might not see if you're traveling by bus or car. Biking gives you a whole new perspective on the world and on your life.

C:Do you think cycling amongst women is on the increase in USA?

K: I do believe cycling among women is on the rise in the U.S. Though I can't quote any statistics, I feel like I see more women wearing normal street clothes and work clothes on their bikes going to work or play. I also know that I've met - both in the cybersphere and in person - more amazing and inspirational women who are committed to cycling through keeping up with my blog.

C: What’s your favourite outfit/style to cycle in?

K: My fave outfit? I will have to go with my Diane Von Furstenberg dresses. Everytime I wear one of her patterns and designs, I feel so uber-womanly! And then coupling that feeling with being on a bike brings the Wow! factor to a entirely new level. It's riding with confidence all the way to my destination!

Monday 19 April 2010

Sunday Streets with a few stops along the way...

Yesterday my Pashely and I had the pleasure of joining some of San Francisco's best loved cycling bloggers for a day of leisurely cycling.
Velo Vogue's Kristin and Shelly from Riding Pretty and I met for morning coffee at cycling cafe Mojo. After our caffeine fix Kristin guided us through the city to the Bayview area for the Sunday Streets event. Its a fantstic initiative, basically every few weeks in the Spring/summer a certain ares of the city is blocked off to traffic and cyclists and pedestrians are King of the road.
Along the way we met up with Adrienne, author of Change your life, ride a bike, and her two kids and then stopped for a iced tea at the Oasis that is Flora Grub.
Thanks to the powers of the internet and the sociability of the cycling culture. I was able to come half way around the world, meet up withe lovely group of ladies and ride and chat in the Sunday sunshine... thanks guys!
A few pics from the day: Stopping at Flora Grubs we had a bike swapping session, Adrienne's daughter, Una, looking right at home on my Pashley (above)
Shelly's sensational Raleigh 20 soaking up the sun

Shelly and Kristin guiding me to the traffic free streets

Drink stop

Bloggers unite, Myslef, Adrienne and Shelly

Saturday 17 April 2010

Cycling the streets of San Fran

The last week has been somewhat of a whirlwind. I got married last Friday, which was wonderful and then it was on the plane with my husband and my little one to sunny San Francisco.

A couple of days in and having just about conquered my jet lag and got my bearings it was definitely time to get myself a bike and have a ride in this beautiful city.
Those lovely people at Pashley had arranged for me to pick up a pastel Blue Poppy from cooler than cool bike shop Citizen Chain. My challenge now was to cycle back to our apartment in Haight Ashbury. Now having never cycled in the States and only ever visited San Francisco once before I was a little nervous. It makes you realise how used to your local roads and route you get a commuting cyclist and when faced with a different city, a different road system it feels kinda daunting.

I acquired a cycle map from the San Francisco Cyclery, put my Pashley in the lowest gear possible (San Francisco has a lot of hills) and off I went. The roads feel much bigger and wider over here which initially made me feel quite vulnerable but following my map I soon found some great cycle lanes and began to gain confidence. I was also encouraged by my fellow cyclists, San Francisco has a really healthy cycling culture and there's nothing better than other cyclist on the roads to make you feel safe and proud to be on your bike.
I arrived back to meet Robert and Florence for a much needed early evening drink at our new local Magnolia. A great ending to an exhausting but wonderful week.

Thursday 15 April 2010

Springtime Sunshine in London

Loving this picture of Victoria Todd, posted to our facebook Group. Such a lovely springy feel, cycling through London's Dulwich park, floral frock, wicker basket and flowing locks...
I have just arrived in San Francisco to get our US site up and running, will have pics and more news on the blog very soon.

Monday 5 April 2010

A Girls Guide to the Tweed ride

So ladies it is well and truly Tweed ride season, the London run is fast approaching (Sat 10th April)and there are forthcoming rides in Sacramento, San Francisco and New York. Have you got your outfits organised? If not here's a few pointers to get you suitably attired for the day.

- A Tweed jackets or cape is essential and forms the basis for your outfit. The only exceptions ladies is if the weather is particularly clement then a simple shirt or blouse will suffice. I recommend having a hunt around the charity shops and vintage fairs. I picked up my Harris tweed hunting jacket, pictured above, from a vintage fair for £25, proving it doesn't have to be a costly purchase.

Outfit Accessories
A neck scarf is ideal to give your look a hint of femininity and catch the eye of those those Gentleman tweeders as you go by.
We also recommend a pair of Dashing Tweed legwarmers to add some flair to your overall outfit and to cover some leg for those of you wearing a shorter skirt. Be warned though girls to much leg on show may be a safety hazard as could take the tweeding chaps eyes off the road. Remember, less in more.
A pair of ankle spats can also keep your feet dry if it should rain during your ride.
You can bring a flash of colour to a neutral tweed outfit by sporting a cheerful bonnet or perhaps some brightly coloured hosiery.
Pipes, monocles and pocket watches can also enhance to your overall look.

Skirts or trousers
A Tweed skirt will give you an air of sophistication and elegance but you must ensure it is not too tight that it makes bicycling uncomfortable or awkward. Another option is a pair of plus fours, pictured above, ideal for cycling and teamed with a tweed jacket and brogues will look very smart. Jophurs and boots could also work for the Katherine Hepburn look.

Bike accessories
A Good pannier is a must, you may need to pack a picnic, hip flask and other essential items. We recommend the deluxe shopper, pictured above or the safari double.
We also have the perfect helmet to complement the neutral tones of your tweeding outfit, the Matt Cocoa Bern Muse has an elegant, equestrian feel for the safety conscious tweeder

So where ever you are tweeding this spring have a jolly good time and please post picture to our Cycle Chic facebook group. We will be sure to showcase some of the best outfits on the blog.