Friday, 28 January 2011

The Retro Bicycle Post

I nipped out on my bike this morning to buy some fabric from a local haberdasher and instantly wished that I’d worn ear muffs - it was bloody cold. I’m usually quite good with bike attire, in so far as I wear appropriate clothing - I’ve got nasty waterproof trousers and matching amorphous waterproof jacket for when it pours, I always wrap up warm and tend to wear trousers rather than skirts. Earmuffs are a problem though as they muffle traffic noise and I want to be able to hear what’s thundering up behind me.
I love my bike - I'm sure you can see why.

It’s a modern version of a vintage classic and generally turns heads when I’m pedalling along and of course there's a ton of accessories I'd love to add - Vintage Schwinn bike enthusiasts take a lookee here.

I can guarantee it’s the bike that causes the interest, not me - there is a dearth of stylish cycling attire out there, especially for Britain’s climate. So imagine my surprise when I walked into a cycle shop in London only to find amongst the inner tubes, a rather beautifully cut swing coat with a nipped in waist and wait for it - detachable hood. See below.
Water Off A Duck's Back, waterproof coat.
The bike shop guy registered my surprise and gave the low down on the coat, a new range by designer Antonia Maybury her company is Water Off a Duck’s Back stylish coats for women who want to look good and stay dry.
This is the answer to the prayer I’ve often muttered - decent cycling outerwear with integral reflective tape. I’ve gone so far as to source reflective tape myself in order to design and make such a jacket.

This mac has a reversible belt, one side reflective - flip up the collar and roll down the cuffs for more of the same. It buttons in such a way as to keep the fabric far from the back wheel. I was too busy to try the coat on that day and the £130 price tag just before Christmas meant I’d have to be content just to drool. But my hat goes off to Antonia, an innovate design and a market gap well and truly exploited - I hope she extends the range.

There is quite a classy range of cycling capes and cycle hats to be found at Cycle Chic Clothing, along with some fancy panniers. 

CycleChic, panniers.
I don’t like to spoil the clean lines of my bike with bulky panniers and simply hang my Mexican made plastic shopper from the handlebars.

Note the wonderful Sunburst front gate which I bought online last year. I’ve had a long love affair with Beach Cruiser bikes ever since I saw Pee Wee’s Big Adventure many moons ago. These are two from my stable that I’ve since said farewell to - one stolen, one sold on to an enthusiastic Cruiser newbie. 

For the ultimate in cycling in style - and heels - check out this lady whose blog I’ve followed for quite a while as she cycles around NY on her pink Hello Kitty bike. Sheryl’s blog is a fitness and weight loss blog - not something I aspire to - I simply got hooked on her ballsy attitude to cycling alongside lycra clones whilst wearing fishnets and corsets!

So back to my earlier bike trip to purchase fabric, I bought some blue check suiting which is pre-washing as I type. This is what I’m going to make - and yes I hope to cycle in them, watch this space!

(NB: I had a really glitchy time composing this post, Blogger wouldn't give me consistent font size or let me delete white spaces. Hope it looks OK on your browser!)


Thimbleanna said...

Oh, holy cow -- that outfit you're going to make is awesome! (Can I call it an outfit?) And your bike -- Oh SWOON! We just got bike paths in our area before the snow hit. I'm really looking forward to being able to ride around in the spring. Sadly, we don't live close enough to work and shopping to ride to those places. I love that you get to ride your bike around!

Deb said...

Thanks for commenting on my Scavenger Hunt post. I'm having such a great time with these monthly challenges.

BUT...I'm commenting because I am just crazy about old bikes...Schwins, especially. Last spring when we visited California I made my husband go to the Gene Autry museum because they have an old 20" "cowgirl" bike from the late '40's early '50's. It was a fun place to visit because it had two of my favorite things...cowboys and vintage bikes.

I love the "retro-ness" of your blog and will be come your newest follower!

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