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.
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