Tuesday 22 June 2010

Our fave helmets for the summer: Nutcase

Each year we try and find a new helmet that makes us smile. In our first year it was the Bern helmets, last year it was the YAKKAYS and this summer we have the wonderful Nutcase helmets to shout about. My fave is the 'Jetson' style Starbright and we also have the stripey and dotty. These helmets are fully certified and feel light and comfortable to wear. A great practical feature is that they come with a series of padded linings that simply velcro to the inside of the helmet. This ensures that you wont have any sizing issues as you can simply select the right width padding to fit your head.
These are the perfect helmets if your just about to start cycling or are thinking about starting when the Cycle Hire scheme comes in as they are only £45, comfortable to wear and well ventilated.

Sunday 13 June 2010

Listen up Mum! The Bobike mini+ baby/child seat

I have finally found the perfect baby seat for my 14 month old daughter. She was probably ready from about 12 months but it has taken me a little while to do my research. My pre-requisites were something that feels safe for both Flo and I, doesn't cost more than my bike and looks reasonably nice on the bike.
My final choice which ticks all the boxes and more is the Bo Bike Mini+ front carrying child seat. I am so happy with it that we are now selling it and I was at the Wholefoods store in Kensington on Saturday showing parents how it works.
The first reason it receives my accolades is that I manged to attach it to my bike all by myself in about 20 mins, even with Flo crawling around and getting in the way. As someone who struggles with putting things together generally (travel cots, Ikea furniture all tend to turn me into a flustered, swearing wreck)I was chuffed that I actually enjoyed attaching the Bobike seat. It basically involves attaching a bracket to the handle bar stem and tightening the screws, you then push the seat through 2 holes in the bracket and then attaching the foot rests to fit the length of your child's legs.
The next selling point for me is that Flo loves it.As I took her and the seat for a testride she immediately felt at home, holding onto the middle of the handle bar singing away to herself.
It does takes a little bit getting used to the extra weight at the front - once your riding its fine but mounting & dismounting can initially feel a bit awkward. However after a few rides round the block I had got the knack. To avoid bumping into the back of the seat when getting going the key is to stay sitting in your saddle and adjust your pedals instead of coming out of the saddle.
The seat has an age range of 9 months to 3 years (or 15 kg) (Bobike do a full range for kids up to 10). And I think having them at the front of your bike when they are still pretty little is the ideal position. They not only have a great view of the world but it stops them from getting anxious at you having your back to them. It is also reassuring for the parent as they are in full view and you don't have the urge to keep turning round to check on them.
Next challenge is to find a suitable, small enough helmet....
If you are interested in the Bobike mini+ sear want more info, email me caz@cyclechic.co.uk or if your local to Chiswick West London I am more than happy for people to arrange an appointment for a trial.

Tuesday 8 June 2010

The saddle covers are back and coming to town near you!

After the success of last year the saddle covers are back. To celebrate the great British summer (and the inevitable rain showers that come with that) we will be distributing them on bikes to keep all you lovely chic cyclists bottoms dry.
This year we have more saddle covers and we have lovely Cycle Chic ladies in London,Oxford, Cambridge, Jersey, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Brighton and Bristol who will be distributing them on bikes we think will appreciate it.
Look out for them coming your way, alternatively they will be on sale on the site from Monday 21st June or free with any order you place with us.

Saturday 5 June 2010

Profile: Meli from Bikes and the City

Whilst in San Francisco I had the pleasure of catching up with Meli from fabulous blog Bikes and the city for a coffee. Her blog is packed with personality and gives you a real sense of Meli's adventures in this vibrant city with her trusted steed.

C: What bike do you ride?
M: My beautiful FRENCHIE! A vintage motobecane -ASTRA- model with 'Tour de France' decals from the mid 70's, made in France of course. I am only its second owner, and the bicycle was purchased in the city in the same decade.
Pretty much it is all original parts, with the exception of the fenders, basket and the usual wear/tear parts like tires and brake pads.

C: Why do you cycle?
M: Why not. SF is 7x7 miles and with so many things to see, it seems boring to be inside of any moving vehicle.

C: What’s the best thing about cycling in San Francisco?
M: The coffee, the bicycle encounters on the bike lane, the fog in your face, the cloudy cold weather in the summer (I think I stand alone on this one) the colors, and the hills. No one can say it is hard to bike to work, because on top of all 'barriers' we have hills. Mean ones. There are always too many things to do and too many things to see. Arts, drugs, hippies, bikes, money and silicon 2.0 nerds - you pick your hobbies and run with them.
San Francisco is so small that crossing 8 miles you can go from the Pacific Ocean to the Bay.

C: Do you think cycling amongst women is on the increase in the USA?
M: I have certainly seen a hike in San Francisco in the last 7 years I have biked. Which, is unlike many cities even in California. It is slowly happening, but women need more exposure and people need to know that there is more than a Lance face to the word 'cycling', and that it comes in regular clothes and cool slow bikes, around the states. We have seen this wonderful explosion of exposure, with the connections that we have all made via the blog/internet media, nationwide, a birth of the 'normal' people on bikes. Here we are now! HELLO :D
C:  What’s your favourite outfit/style to cycle in?
M: I dress normally. I don't necessarily 'dress' to go on my bike I suppose. I love fashion, I love colors and I am not afraid to show my roots and culture through my clothes with wicked patterns, the biggest hoop earrings and crazy tights/leggings. But if I'm to get dressed, or shop for new clothes, I always do the invisible bicycle dance, just to make sure I can pedal OK.

Tuesday 1 June 2010

Bicycle Portraits

Bicycle Portraits: Everyday South Africans and their bicycles, a photographic book in the making.
Although we tend to concentrate on cycle style, I am fascinated the diverse spectrum of people who use a bicycle and was drawn to to these images of very different types of south Africans and their bicycles.
The project has been started started by Stan Engelbrecht & Nick Grobler and they are looking for people to pledge through Kickstart.com to be able to put the book into production.
Sounds like a well worth cause and hopefully will become a beautiful book. For more details and wonderful images go to Bicycle Portraits. We wish them the best of luck with it.