22 August 2010

Cycling & Shopping

Relaxed Sunday Cycle-Chic:
 *Misfits T-shirt: Urban Outfitters
*Skinny Jeans: Topshop
*3D Glasses Necklace: Tatty Devine
*Indian Slipper Shoes: Stratford Market

Me and The Boy headed out on our bikes for the day - I took him (yes - I actually lead the way!) to Columbia Road to meet up with Tyla for lunch and shopping - which was a 1st as I've never carried more than my Handbag, Camera and Lock in Frankie's basket! Although I still need to sort out Panniers for the bike, getting stuff home in the basket was fine - especially when you encounter thoughtful shop owners. I bought a new top and a pair of Vivienne Westwood / Melissa Shoes from Marcos & Trump (which will make an appearance in my Cycle-Chic). The lovely lady who served me clocked my cycle helmet attached to my bag, and without asking, took the shoes out of the box and wrapped them in a shoe-bag for me and just said "for the journey, OK?" I liked this :)

Sunday mornings on Columbia Road are always a lively & pretty affair - and not just because of the flower stalls...
... you can easily get something nice to eat - like cakes in a hodge-podge Vintage Shop that has a crazy tea-room in the back...
... and be entertained by live music on the street!

Cycling on a Sunday is always a good thing :)

17 August 2010

Music & Bikes

Another music video that includes the essential combination:
  • Girl on bike
  • Chic-clothing
  • Pretty bike

It's a few years old, but this never fails to raise a smile from me - It's the carefree riding in that outfit that gets me everytime!


4 August 2010

Ridin' in the Rain...

My excitement of finally being able to cycle to work again (back in my normal office after having to move out for a major refurb) is what probably caused me to neglect checking the weather report before leaving home this morning. This meant that I pulled the rookie-move of not being quite rain-proof on my Pashley! When I left it wasn't raining - then the sky collapsed over East London at lunchtime, and I knew I was gonna be a bit screwed!

Leaving the office there was not a drop of rain, so I gathered evidence in the Cycle-Shed of a dry, but unprepared Lady Vélo...

Rookie-exhibit A: Lack of waterproof jacket / poncho. The Cardigan you see me in? That's all the cover I had over the sleeveless top I was wearing.

Rookie-exhibit B: Footwear. Yeah - strappy sandals. Possibly the brightest thing in East London this afternoon for the lack of sunshine... but not exactly great foot-coverage.

About 15 minutes into my ride - along came the rain! It wasn't too bad as I was pretty close to home at this point, but that shower came down heavy and fast. I made it to my door, with a bit of a wet saddle...
... and a rainy-chic look!

 Strange thing is I actually kinda enjoyed it. Riding always puts me in a good mood, so it was hard to be pissed-off about the weather. And besides - I had to get my feathers wet in the rain at some point :)

1 August 2010

Sunday Cycle Fun!

This morning I cycled to Columbia Road Flower Market, to meet up with my good friend Tyla for a Photography shoot of the Market being set up. Nothing too unusual sounding about this - other than I left my house at 04:10a.m and completed my 1st cycle from Canning Town to another part of London and back... alone!

Although I've cycled part of that route before, I've never done it solo - nor done anything like that on my Pashley before sunrise! It was fantastic & so peaceful. Seeing East London before it was "awake" from the Vélo-view was also an eye opener... from the odd Fox scuttling back home, to late shift workers & lads returning from a night out - so interesting to observe! It was also awesome to ride without getting spooked by too much traffic! Cycling in London still makes me nervous, but this was another boost for my confidence in getting out there and doing it!

I arrived at Columbia Road at 5a.m and was quite pleased that I did the journey in under an hour! The Stall Holders had just started to set up, so it was straight to work with the D80.

All that cycling made me hungry, so it was time to take a break and grab breakfast. This came in the form of what was essentially a fried breakfast in a Bagel! Seriously - this was one of the nicest Bagels I've ever had - and washed down with a Mug of tea, it was delicious!

It was back to shooting and chatting away with the Stall Holders - who are such a friendly group of people! I'm sure they thought we were slightly insane early-birds, but all the same it was a fantastic experience from beginning to end. Of course, I can't blog this trip without a mention of the Wardrobe for the day:

Top: Dorothy Perkins
Baxter Skinny Jeans: Topshop
Swallow Earrings: Tatty Devine
Necklace: Topshop
Bracelets: New Look / Topshop
Ring: Orelia Jewellery
Ballet Pumps: Primark
Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
Peonie Flowers - Columbia Road Flower Market :)

There really is noting better than seeing London by bike so early in the morning - it was such a fantastic feeling, and if you haven't already - I highly recommend cycling to Columbia Road Market. I have to add a huge "thank you" to the Stall Holders, who kindly kept an eye on our locked bikes while we were taking pictures, eating breakfast and getting to know them all!

The whole set from today's Cycle can be viewed here.

31 July 2010

Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme: A Chic 1st time user!

It's Day 2 of the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme, and I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the newly registered members of it!

Meet Tyla: she lives & works in London and is an enthusiastic and rather chic cyclist, which is exactly what we like to see :) Today was Tyla's first time using the Scheme. She tells Vélo-City about her initial experience using the Cycle Hire Scheme in London...

 *What was the nature of your journey today?
The nature of my journey was leisure & to commute back home. I hate changing at Green Park as it's very crowded and stuffy and I nearly passed out the night before at that station! I chose to cycle to Holborn instead - a lot more comfortable way to move around :)

*Was this your 1st time on one of the bikes?
Yes, the very first time. I was Boris bike virgin till this evening.

*Where did you start and end your Cycle Hire Journey?

Southwark to Holborn.

*How long did your journey take?
About 10 minutes plus about 15 minutes messing around with a certain Jools before I got on the bike (!) and 5 minutes of double checking and panicking afterwards if I docked it correctly.

* Did you find it easy to use (from taking the bike to docking it at the end)?
It was fairly easy. The bit with docking it and trying to pick a different bike was slightly confusing but I am guessing there is a couple of minutes block between returning and picking a new bike. When I dropped off the bike, I used a docking station that was labeled as 'coming soon' but all the lights were working so I am hoping that I won't get overcharged. The downside is that the web service is not working at the moment hence I cannot even check if it all worked alright.

* The bike itself - what did you make of it?

I liked it. It was bit heavy compared to mine but I guess it added stability. Adapting the seat and changing gears was easy and I like the bag holder at the front!

*Did you get any interesting reactions from people while you were on it?

People starring, pointing and gesturing in a kinda 'Oh look it's the new bikes' way! Drivers were polite and stayed out of my way unlike when I am on my bike. I won't mention certain Jools who had to document every step of the way and including nicking the bike to have a ride of her own...

*Did you see many people on Barclays Bikes on your Journey?

Nope. I saw one person earlier in the evening but no one on my journey.

*What was your reason for joining the Scheme?

Because I love cycling and I prefer to bike between places in Central London than get on the Underground. Plus it's dead cheap.

*Would you recommend the scheme to other cyclists... and if so, why?

Yessss! Because it is a fun way to commute and well, it's so much cheaper and greener than any other mode of transport in Zone One.

*Your Cycle-Chic today is fantastic... What are you wearing today for your ride?
Today I am wearing...
"Baxter" black skinny jeans: Topshop
Shoes:  Hush Puppies 
Jacket: Diesel
Black top: H&M
Jewellery: Kizmet Jewellery
Coral-Red handbag: Topshop

Many thanks to Tyla for this interview! You can catch more of Tyla over on her Flickr Stream.

30 July 2010

Saddle Up London!

Today sees the official launch of the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme in London. I'm not one of the people who registered for it, but I'm very keen to have a go when the casual scheme launches! Be great to see these bikes in action in London: it's always fabulous to see more people cycling around the city. There has been talk of perhaps extending the scheme to allow Oyster PAYG customers to use their cards to pay for the hire - be interesting if that were an option, as I would certainly use it.

As highlighted by Mark over on his wonderful i b i k e l o n d o n blog , the scheme will hopefully inspire a new wave of Cycle-Chic across the City, with the casual user being able to hop-on a bike and go for a ride to get across town quickly. (thank you Mark for selecting me in your Chic round-up).

If all goes to plan, I should be heading out on Sunday for a cycle though East London, starting at an insane hour of the morning... hopefully I might spot some of the Barclays Bikes and people using them.

Have you signed-up for the scheme? Have you given one of the bikes a go yet? Drop me a comment and let me know! :)

5 July 2010


I love finding new things to wear to add to my Cycle-Chic wardrobe - and this T-shirt will be mine when it comes back into stock:

(Yes - it does say "Hold my bicycle while I kiss your Boyfriend")

This "Cycle-Cheek" comes from the very style focused Copenhagen Cycle Chic online shop. More designs can be found here and are certainly worth checking out. I'm sure this tee and the rest like it will turn some heads on the roads! :)

2 July 2010

Canning Town Blues

If you didn't already know, the Barclays Cycle Superhighways are currently being rolled-out across London. I've had a ride along (bits of) the Highway from Cable Street onwards - and now its arrived in my part of East London:

Work started on repainting the old Green Cycle Lane along this stretch of the A13 yesterday morning...
 ...and by the afternoon, they'd moved along quite a bit. Slight battle between Cyclists and Pedestrians yesterday, as the only lane available was the walking path. Really, the fella on his bike should have dismounted as the sign asked - naughty! The original cycle-lane wasn't in too poor a condition, but I don't think this has been resurfaced, just painted. You can't really confuse the Cycle Lane and the walkway now, can you? :)

28 June 2010

Music & Bikes

I adore this version of the song, and have done for some time. It takes on a whole new meaning when she sings it, which gets me. It's also fantastic that the video is of Meghan looking beautiful while riding that wonderful red bike.

Her style in this is simple elegance and it's amazing. This always makes me want to throw on one of my Polkadot dresses, jump on Frankie just ride around, without a care in the world. Escapism on 2 wheels is a wonderful thing - something that I need to do a lot more of... if I can look this chic while doing it, that would be a bonus :)


22 June 2010

Big Days Out: My 1st Cycle Saturday

I went on a “Cycle-Date” from East London to Richmond with the Boy and our friend Tyla on Saturday. I was pretty excited about this, as it would be my 1st ‘real’ riding experience in London (and beyond) on Frankie - something that was long overdue! The date-plan: meet Tyla at Richmond Station & then cycle along the River to Hampton Court Palace. The weather was kind enough to hold back on the rain that we’ve been having in London this week (huzzah!) - allowing me to wear my planned cycle-chic for the day :) I raided my wardrobe and put this together:

This was my 1st time cycling in Shorts... “short” ones at that too, so I was concerned that it might not work. It was in fact a great outfit to ride in - comfortable & no wardrobe malfunctions with the pants riding up too high... and no snagged tights either - result! 

Headscarf: Dorothy Perkins
Jacket: Gap
'Tache Necklace: Tatty Devine
Earrings & Bracelets: Topshop
T-Shirt - Tee & Cake at Topshop
Belt: Oasis
Shorts: Gap
Tights: M&S
Winklepicker Shoes: Topshop

We set off early so we could have a breakfast-stop along the way... Borough Market was the order of the morning, as it was en-route to Waterloo Station. I’ve seen people cycling into the Market early on a Saturday morning, park-up, grab a bite & just sit and enjoy the atmosphere of the place and now I can totally understand why :) 
Breakfast had, we cycled to Waterloo Station, which presented another new experience for me and Frankie: manoeuvring a bike through a train station! The Boy has done this many times when he comes from Portsmouth with his, but a Pashley is a different matter. She’s not exactly a small bike and Waterloo is a manic station - add to that people heading to Royal Ascot, it was busy! Managed not to get stressed at this (or run over any Ascot toes) and nabbed the space on the carriage for us to store our wheels:

We met up with Tyla at Richmond Station and started our cycle to Hampton Court. Richmond is a really pretty stretch along the Thames - but I didn’t realise how gorgeous it actually is until cycling though there. Other than the beautiful houses along the riverside (I want one!) and the nature/flora, there were cows. Yes COWS!

... and this little one came over to me to say hello & get a pat on the head! Hey - I’m a City Girl, so seeing Cows roaming around like that isn’t something that happens every day :)

Continuing along the river at a lovely pace, we ventured back onto the roads and arrived at our destination of Hampton Court Palace. I have to say - the bike-parking facilities there are very impressive as they are located next to the reception, with a constant guard watching them! This put me at ease, as this was the 1st time I’d left Frankie locked in public, so I was a little apprehensive about that. 

We spent a few hours checking out the Royal Gardens and getting lost like children in the Maze - fantastic fun indeed!

A summer cycling date would not be complete without a nice lunch / dinner to round it off. On the recommendation of a local, we headed to a rather nice pub, for an epic pub lunch! The amount of cycling we did for the day totally justified the portions of food we ate - and it would all be burned off on the journey back to East London, right?

It was a fantastic day and further reminded me of why I wanted to get into cycling so much. I encountered so many happy cyclists and pedestrians enjoying the day - all very friendly and happy to stop and chat. That’s exactly what it’s all about - getting out on your wheels, and being happy. It certainly provided a boost to my confidence on the roads around London too. I’ve never cycled that much around London before & realise that I do have it in me. Of course, that doesn’t mean I’ll be doing anything crazy on the roads, but I’ll certainly be doing stuff like this more often.

More pictures can be viewed here on Flickr.


    17 June 2010

    Inside My Locker - Check it out!

    A few months ago, I did a cycle-interview with the rather cool Bianca for a project that she was working on... this project has now come to fruition in the form of the excellent Inside My Locker - a blogazine for women who like to mix style with sport.

    It's always fabulous to see fashion & cycling together - especially when the message is being promoted to a wider audience & reminding girls that you can look good while on two wheels! It was lovey to be featured on their Bicyclette Edition in this interview.

    I totally recommend checking the site out - I know I'll certainly be keeping my eye on this one for tips & more!

    16 June 2010

    Berlin on a Bike: The Update

    A bit later than expected - but this was how Berlin on a Bike went...

    Berlin itself is a wonderful city - but the one thing that really blew me away about the place was the cycle culture. In all honestly that was the 1st thing I noticed when we were heading to our hotel in the car. Bleary-eyed and tired (we'd been up since 3am that morning), I was staring out the passenger window and every other person I spotted was either on a Bike, or parking one up somewhere... already I was impressed.

    The initial plan was to rent Bikes from our hotel when we got there, but even in my excitement I realised that going for a cycle the 1st morning & feeling so knackered probably wasn't a great idea. After a much needed breakfast and freshen-up at The Circus, we headed out for a walk to check out "home" for the next 5 days. It didn't take long to encounter more cycle enthusiasts on our walk - other than being surrounded by seriously chic people on 2 wheels, we bumped into a cycle tour that was just about to set-off from Rosenthaler Straße:

    They looked like they were going to have fun touring the City... my mind wondered about doing that instead of renting bikes ourselves and heading out.. but then I saw these 2 beauties parked up together:

    As I was busy taking pictures, I didn't realise the couple that owned them were stood behind me watching! Had a brief chat with them (thanks to my limited German) and gathered that they were having a day off work together & just heading out for a ride across the city... which swayed me back to doing exactly that with The Boy :)

    The "rent from the hotel" plan didn't happen: they had run-out of bikes the morning we wanted them - but I have to say I wasn't that taken by selection they had. Instead, we hired from the excellent Fat Tyre Bike Tours!

    We set off from under the TV Tower with nothing more than a Map, and an idea of places we wanted to visit... and that was really all we needed!

    The freedom of just jumping on a bike and seeing Berlin from the velo-view was excellent. It was also surprising how easy it was to navigate and follow the routes The Boy had mapped out. Our stops included the Deutsche Guggenheim, the Dali Museum... and of course, a stop-off for the ultimate German food experience...


    I was nervous about cycling out there: I still consider myself a newbie to cycling, so the idea of riding around the roads of a new city spooked me a bit. But in comparison to London? - I felt much safer in Berlin than I ever have cycling in London. The cycle-culture out there is a world apart from that over here - cycling accounts for 12% of total street-traffic & the City's riders are catered for with the awesome wide and smooth cycle lanes on both the roads and sidewalks. London really could learn a lot from Berlin & I hope one day that it will happen over here.

     In a nutshell: it was fabulous...and I'll certainly be going back for more :)

    More pictures from the break can be viewed here.

    12 May 2010

    Berlin on a Bike...

    Quick update - I'm off to Berlin tomorrow for a 5 day break... and some cycling should be involved along the way...

    The hotel that me and The Boy are staying in have a Cycle-Rental scheme, so we should be getting our bike-on in Berlin - this pleases me. Of course there will be photos & now that I finally have a decent mini-camera (well, Boy has loaned me his Ricoh) I can easily take pics while cycling - as lugging the D80 wasn't an option.

    Hopefully see you soon with some European Cycling Adventures :)

    4 May 2010

    Raleigh Girl

    It's here!

    The Raleigh Twenty was delivered this evening - and the cheesy smile on my face tells you that I'm happy with it ! Electric Red, with a Chrome finish, Pannier, Ding-Dong Bell & a Brooks Saddle... nice.

    Took it for a spin around the block to see how it rides & I'm pleased, but I'm gonna get it serviced properly to make sure it's alright. Probably bad that I'm already thinking of little ways to possibly 'Pimp my Ride"... ooops.

    I'll be taking it to Portsmouth in the next few weeks, so expect tales of cycling by the Seaside (at last). I feel a lot less 'precious' about the Raleigh... I like how The Boy put it this afternoon: 
    "Frankie is the Bentley of Bikes for London - this one is for all things Coastal."

    1 May 2010

    Another bike!

    The search for a 2nd set of Wheels has resulted in success... come next Tuesday, this Red Retro baby should be with me!

    It's a vintage Raleigh Twenty & is exactly what I was hoping to find. It appears to be in fantastic condition from the further pictures on the listing for it, and has been well loved by the previous owner... Loving the colour scheme & the totally Retro vibes to it :)

    I guess that I must have the 'Cycling Bug' bad, as I've not even had my Pashley for 6 months and already I've bought another set of wheels... Its permanent base will be in Portsmouth, so expect some seaside summer pictures of me on my Raleigh at some point soon!

    22 April 2010

    Sunsets from the Saddle

    The withdrawal symptoms I was suffering last weekend have gone: I've been cycling into work all week & loving it! It's funny how much I missed it - especially when I was in Portsmouth last weekend where it felt like every chic being was on a bike...

    Anyway - back to this week: Weather has been fabulous for cycling in London (not too hot and not too cold), so it's been early morning starts for a leisurely ride to the office. The boots have been replaced with Ballet Pumps...

    ... the stuffy & sweaty carraiges of the DLR in the evenings after work have been replaced with fresh air and views without dirty windows..

    ... and my grouchy mood travelling home has been replaced with a feeling of being relaxed and taking it all in...

    I'm liking this - a lot.

    17 April 2010

    I'm still here: Cycle Planning

    I have been rather lacklustre on updating further adventures on Frankie. I've not been able to ride her over the past week due to things & events happening after work, which would not correspond well with me on a Pashley. Will be back on the saddle next week... I've been missing the feeling of how energised I get riding!

    In the meantime, it would appear that the Sun has decided to stick his hat on - meaning more people are out in force on two wheels - which is always lovely to see. I'm in Portsmouth at the moment (a long weekend which started on Thursday afternoon) and there are plenty of cyclists out and about, soaking in the good weather. I've yet to see any Pashleys, but there have been some wonderful looking girls on retro bikes... all of which have made me crave having one here.

    It's not very likely that I will be taking Frankie for jaunts to Portsmouth, so I've decided to get a second bike for here! It might not be anything on the scale of a Pashley Princess, but I am after something that looks retro and cute. There are at least 2 bike shops here that I will be checking out for a little cycle to keep here - and I'm very excited about this to put it mildly :)

    Will update when more is sorted, but I'm hoping to get it all done in a matter of 2 weeks - fingers crossed...

    6 April 2010

    Spring & Ting

    "Thank you!" Spring for finally showing your sunny face today...
    "Thank you!" Easter Holidays for giving me clear & quiet roads this morning...

    After not getting to ride over Easter, a cycle on Frankie was just what I needed to start up the (short) week. Left home at 08:00 in the sunshine & took a leisurely pace... clear roads meant that I wasn't freaked by cars - I even managed not to get spooked by any Buses behind or in front of me.

    Cycling back at 18:00 was really lovely: sun was still out and everything looked rather nice in my corner of East London from the Vélo view... I've discovered a set of Squirrels that live along the path I ride through too - will try and get pictures of them at some point. Anyway - as I don't lug my D80 around, this is the best I could do with my iPhone:

    29 March 2010

    Work it

    Back on the Saddle after a slight absence - I've finally started cycling into work :)

    Last Friday I received my set of keys to the secure Cycle Shed for staff on Campus, meaning that I have a safe location to lock Frankie in. Saturday was the day: I was going into the office and with there being no DLR running, riding in was the perfect answer. Although I've done a practice-ride to the office, this was a bit of a big deal for me, as I was doing it without the guidance of The Boy: cycling alone on the road = huge.

    Left home at a reasonably early hour, so that I didn't get hooked up in any Saturday-traffic. This was a wise move as the main road that I had to take was pretty quiet - and there was a moment where I almost came off the bike, which shook me up! I'd not had an incident on it yet, so that was bound to happen at some point... and I now have my 1st cycling-related injury: a cut on one of my Knuckles - Ouch! Funny thing is, I didn't even realise my Knuckle was busted until I got into work and the adrenalin had calmed down. To be frank, I had more fear that I damaged Frankie... thankfully not.

    Made it into work with no further incident and locked her up in the Cycle Shed - which looks a bit like a massive Greenhouse. There is a small gap between the door and the ground, which explains the untidy leaves & such scattered around:
    No other cyclists were in work on Saturday (probably out having a fun ride I expect), so it was just Frankie alone in there. This was also the 1st time that I've left my bike unattended. Even though everything was locked and secure and I can see the Shed from my office window, I still had feelings of paranoia about leaving her. I know that a Pashley parked in there will draw attention from the other cyclists that use the sheds... I hope I can meet the other members of staff that use it at some stage too.

    Anyway - other than the slight knuckle dusting I got, the ride was excellent! I was full of energy when I arrived at work, which made a change to how I usually feel. It was a million times better than getting on the DLR & put me in such a good mood. Sadly I couldn't ride into work this morning to repeat that sensation: I'm not exactly 100% well & having dizzy spells on and off, so cycling in would not have been wise for anyone! Actually sucked being on the DLR too. Fingers crossed I'll be riding in again this week...


    25 March 2010

    I'll be behind the Bike Sheds...

    I got the news I was hoping for this morning: I have a bay in the secure Bike Shed at my workplace! Put in an application for one last week etc and its all been sorted... I'll be given the key tomorrow morning, so I can finally start riding Frankie into work. Coming into the office on Saturday (which isn't an ideal weekend, but work needs doing & I certainly won't say no to the overtime...) and the DLR is down - how else to get in but in style on a Pashley, right? The path to work should be pretty quiet too as I'm planning on leaving home early. Just hope that the weather holds up & I cycle in without any issues. This will be my 1st proper ride 'alone' - no Boy this weekend to guide me on his wheels. Anyway - I'll no doubt blog about the ride with pictures - will be iPhone quality only, as I don't want to lug my D80 around.

    Speaking of pictures, an email I got from Clarins this morning which made me smile. They're currently advertising beauty products with the aid of this image:

    I can't say that I'll be riding around in that outfit with a touch of Clarins on my skin, but it's nice to see the Bicycle being used in advertising in a kinda Chic / Cool & sexy way!

    17 March 2010

    Time apart...

    The feelings of attachment to my Pashley are official: this weekend will be my first without Frankie and I'm going to miss her terribly! I'm heading to Portsmouth to see The Boy for the weekend, but will not be taking her with me. As I'm still not cycling to work yet (currently sorting out a personal Bay in the secure Bike Parking sheds for staff on the Campus), I can't peddle her in on Friday & have her parked-up someplace secure. I'm also no where near the point of being brave enough to ride to Waterloo from East London...

    When the time does come for me to take Frankie to Portsmouth, I just know that it's going to be fabulous. The Boy lives in Old Portsmouth, so he is not far from the seafront. The idea of riding along that on a warm Spring or Summers day makes me smile a lot. The area is quite smooth too, so it will make for a great riding experience. Seeing this post by Dottie over on the rater nice "Lets Go Ride a Bike" has really got me thinking about the joys of Spring riding by the water too... beautiful! I must admit, I do envy The Boy when it comes to his journey to work on his bike, as he gets to take in such a lovely sea view every day.

    In the meantime, I can work on more chic items to add to the Cycle-Wardrobe for riding in the Sunshine. Yesterday, these 2 chic-hits were ordered and should be with me tomorrow:

    Chloé 'Jackson' enamel pendant - which I think would go rather well with a simple dress or skirt / shorts & tee combination...

    Chloé square framed Sunglasses - nice retro shape to these & perfect for riding in the sunshine & stopping the sun-glare!...
    Anyway... lets hope the bike withdrawal isn't too bad this weekend :)

    13 March 2010

    Routes & Rides

    After nearly a week of not riding I was back on Frankie* today. There was the plan of heading out for rides in the week but due to working late (boo) and meeting up with friends (yay!), it didn't quite happen. It was great to get back on the Saddle today & continue finding my cycle legs. As it was just a casual ride to work out a cycle route, it called for casual cycle-chic - or my take on it at least...

    Hat: Missoni
    Track Top: Emilo Pucci for Adidas
    Scoop Neck Top: Topshop
    Jeans: Topshop
    Trainers: Adidas

    Bagwise - practical and the right size to fit in Frankie's basket: a Longchamp Le Pliage tote in Lilac:
    I still need to decide on which Pannier I want, as quite a few have caught my eye....!

    The cycle-plan I did today was the one for work, when I start riding Frankie to the office. I live pretty close to work (less than a 20 min journey, including the train), so riding-in would not be a huge mission. It would also be much nicer than being on a crammed DLR! Although I "know" the route, it's not that straightforward on foot or by pedal: there is Dual Carriageway to tackle... something that I'm not quite ready to be riding along as a still "inexperienced" cyclist. I've found one that I can happily use to get to work & back, which avoids the Carriageway. It also doesn't force me to cycle on the pavement and annoy people :) Sadly, the main Cycle-Path on this route isn't very well marked out at all - I guess as a cyclist, I'm now noticing these things, which I go past every day. I do wonder if my local council will get round to re-marking & painting it...

    It was an enjoyable ride: The Boy came up to London this weekend with his bike, so again I had that much appreciated guidance & my Cycle Partner :) I'm looking forwards to eventually riding Frankie into work - sorting out the route today was a good idea & has boosted my confidence about doing it...

    * The Pashley Princess has a name!

    10 March 2010

    Prêt-à-Porter - Vélo Style...

    I'm amazed at how a bicycle can have an influence on a persons wardrobe and style... Since making the decision that a Pashley Princess was the bike for me, a wardrobe revolution was put in motion & is gathering pace!

    Some of this style inspiration has come to me in many guises, including:
    • the visual romance of the bicycle itself: a traditional loop-frame like this conjures up images of classic style & grace. Add to this the quintessential Britishness of a Princess, and you get the idea of the style direction it may point you towards
    • international cycle-fashionistas, thanks to the excellent blogs/sites that I've come across. From those listed on here, to the blogs that I've yet to discover - there is so much out there & it's fabulous to look at the cycle-chic all over the world & gather inspiration from it
    • the corner of the City I live in and come from: East London. The City as a whole is quite a fashionable place, but there is something unique about East LDN and the occasionally quirky nature of its cycling fashionistas.
    I've been adding various pieces to my wardrobe, including vintage-style Tea Dresses & Kelly Handbags (think "the girls from Mad Men" if that helps - also a huge influence), which will eventually have their cycling debut... perhaps when the weather is kinder! Along with Dresses, the other staple that I'm becoming more enamored with are Smart Shorts, which I think will be great for Cycling in. I have a few pairs already, but a new pair became one of the latest additions to my "Wardrobe Revolution" yesterday, along with the following pieces from Topshop.com:

    (Coloured Tights will be thrown into the mix at some point, to keep it lively & add a touch of quirk to the look.)

    I suspect that my cycle-fashion quest will continue & will of course be blogged about here. I'm also very excited at the idea of submitting to the 'Wardrobe Remix' on the very fashionable Vélo-Vogue blog. Of course, this will be done with the Pashley in shot... a formal introduction to her will follow in my next blog update.

    So, are there any other cyclists out there (Male or Female), who have found their bike has had a direct influence on their style of dress?

      7 March 2010

      Girl Gets Bike.

      Cable Street, East London.

      I am now the proud owner of a Pashley Princess Classic!

      The day started off on a good note: no rain & bright sunshine - which is exactly what I'd hoped for... not to say that I'm going to be a fairweather rider, but I really didn't want my 1st experience of riding through the city to be in the wind and rain.

      As the weather was nice but stil pretty cold, I went for the cycle-outfit that I thought would be practical for the weather, but still stylish (it was really too chilly for one of my new tea dresses):

      Coat: Warehouse
      Jeans: Topshop
      Vintage Saddle Bag: Absolute Vintage

      I also had on a wonderful vintage diamante Bike Brooch that I bought & promised I'd wear the day I went to collect the Pashley :)

      The Boy set off on his Ridgeback & I made my way on the train to London Bridge to meet him there, as he was going to be my guide home... and make sure that I didn't break my arse attempting to cycle! It was funny being sat on the Underground, knowing that this wasn't going to be my transport back to base. Not going to lie - there was a real element of nerves and fear about cycling back home, after having not been on a bike for years & using real roads... but of course I was excited about it too.

      Got to On Your Bike, met The Boy & sorted out the last of the CycleScheme paperwork. When the man dealing with me wheeled out the Pashley from the storeroom, my heart melted - it was glorious, graceful & mine. This was also the 1st time that The Boy had seen the Pashley and he was also very impressed with how great it looked too. They were very helpful in OYB: the lights had already been fitted for me, and they made sure that the Saddle and Bars were the correct height and comfortable before I set off.

      And then it was all down to me.

      We walked our bikes to a quiet area near to Monument station (I didn't realise such a thing existed) and I had a practice-cycle. It was certainly much needed, as I really couldn't find my balance for a while which was a worry for both of us! The lack of balance was a combination of getting used to being back on a bike, building my confidence up & not wanting to smash the Pashley on its 1st outing! Eventually that old adage "you never forget how to ride a bike" kicked in, and I was doing it! We set off on the planned cycle-route back to East London - I rode in front & Boy followed, to watch how I cycled & I know to keep an eye on me. Other than being really wary of the cars on the road, it was such a free feeling. Already I predict my addiction to cycling and the Pashley will be pretty big...

      I feel that I'm not quite at the point of being able to write a full review on it, even after having done the ride home. There is still so much to learn about the Pashley: exactly how it handles etc. What I can say though: the ride was smooth, and more than enjoyable & has got me psyched-up about cycling as much as I can. It's a beautiful example of craftmanship & really captures the romance of riding.

      Getting back on the Saddle (especially this one) may have been the best decision I've made in a long time.

      2 March 2010

      The Cycle Revolution

      So, lets get this started...

      Even at 20something, I'm nowhere near as accomplished as the bloggers I've listed as my inspiration here. I'm essentially a new girl to the world of Cycling - both as an adult & in this City.

      The last time I actually owned a bike was years ago: I'd been given my sister's BMX, which had been lovingly restored by our older brother. It was simple (if not a little boyish), but I loved it. He taught me how to ride on it & used to take me to Gloucester Park on a weekend to go cycling & build up my confidence on 2 wheels. As I got older I started to ride less & eventually stopped all together, but the desire to pick it back up was still there. Back then it was 'easy cycling': around the park, down to the shops or with friends after school - carefree and simple. As an adult, the idea of it was taking on a whole new perspective: Safety (not that I have a problem with this), being aware of cars & traffic... trying not to become pavement pizza. In all honestly, the idea of riding around my own beautiful City gave me the fear... something that I didn't want at all.

      Fast forward to now & all I can think about is getting back on a bike - and preferably the one that I'd been lusting after for ages. My boyfriend rides and is a keen and experienced cyclist. He's been a major source of encouragement of getting me back on the Saddle, and making me realise that I didn't have to be a top athlete or something to own a bike and just enjoy riding. My idea of it being a world dominated by aggressive commuting riders who have the fastest bikes with 101 gears, Lycra outfits (no thanks) & all the cycling knowledge ever kinda put me off & honestly made me feel that maybe it's not for me. But thanks to blogs like the ones listed & The Boy I've realised it's not all like that - and I can do this just for me & the sheer enjoyment of riding... and hopefully looking as chic as hell on my wheels!

      This weekend it all begins: I'll be heading to OnYourBike with The Boy to collect my new ride that's been in their storeroom waiting for me: a black Pashley Princess Classic.This is the bike that I've been lusting after for so long...  a simple and absolutely beautiful piece of traditional bicycle craftsmanship. Combining this with my love of Photography, Fashion & London, I'll be noting all things 'bike & visual' here.

      There is no real structure to this blog - it's going to be side-project to keep track of all things cycle, chic and enjoyable about riding... comments & followers are more than welcome... and I'll also be tweeting too - link is on the right of the blog (in red) if you care to follow :)
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