Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work or anywhere else! PHOTO: Crossover Helmet by Nutcase, GLC's Guilden Carry All, Craghopper's Gabriela Dress, Pistil's Straw Hat and OKeefe Scarf, Naya Maeve Sandals.

BIKE MONTH, NYC CITIBIKE-BIKE SHARE LAUNCH: While May is officially Bike Month, this is Bike to Work Week, (May 13th - 17th) with Bike to Work DAY coming on May 17th. More Americans are feeling the pinch of higher gas prices this year which makes getting around by bicycle even more attractive. NYC's plan to launch their city-wide Bike Share Program seems on track and scheduled to fully roll out on May 27th. This is really exciting because it gives people a chance to try getting around by bicycle before perhaps investing in one. Depending on where you live, keeping a bicycle in your apartment just might not be feasible.

So here are a few outfit & accessories ideas to help you along on your own bicycle or if you're using the CitiBike Program to get around.  Keep in mind that no matter which you choose, there is some amount of walking involved in every commute so it's important to make sure your shoes are comfy even off the bicycle.

Bicycle Helmets
Nutcase Crossover fits neatly inside the Guilden Carry-All
As a teen, I road around the city without a bicycle helmet for years. Now I am seldom seen without some sort of head-protection. Helmets have gotten a lot cooler these days and while I'm especially fond of my road bike helmets, they don't quite go with the urban vibe of bicycle commuting. I like the Crossover by Nutcase shown in the lead photo in Fire Engine Red. It's fully vented and has a comfortable chin strap cover with magnetic clasp. 
Once you arrive at your destination, take it with you by stowing it in the Guilden Carry All by Give Love Cycle. It will fit in this bag with room to spare and no one will be the wiser to your arrival by bicycle!

GLC's Guilden Carry-All attaches to your rear rack. Fits the new CitiBike Baskets too!

Bicycle Baskets
I've always been of the opinion that messenger bags are for well, bike messengers! That's because they are notorious for shifting during your ride. If your commute requires you carry in more equipment or supplies, consider a basket. I've found market & shopping trips to be a lot easier with a rear wire basket.  That way you can place all of your gear in a removable basket.  Since it's in the rear, no worries about squirrely steering up front. This Basil Cosa rear basket clamps securely onto my rear rack and the fold-in handles lock down in place. This is my farmer's market basket as it holds a LOT of produce!
Cosa Rear Basket by Basil NL
Bicycle Panniers
Another option for urban commuting and the downtown ride would be to use bicycle panniers that hang from your bicycle rack.  These are usually easy to put on and take off.  You can choose a variety of colors like these bright orange ones from Detours (Fremonster Flap in Poppy) which will give you extra visibility in traffic or go with something more subtle. 
Detours Fremoster Flap Panniers-totes clip on and off quickly.

Bicycle Clothing
Craghopper's NosiLife Gabriela Dress
Of course we want to ride with something that's going to be comfortable! The CitiBike has a nice step through so us ladies can wear skirts and dresses to work if we wish. Just keep in mind that being on a bicycle means being exposed to the elements. Sun, wind, insects are all just waiting for you on your ride. 

That's why I was so pleased to discover Craghopper's NosiLife Collection, specifically their Gabriella Dress which offers a UPF of 45 and mosquito repellent properties. You can dress the Gabriela up or down but it is an office ready piece that you can ride in comfortably due to the stretch jersey fabric.

Padded Shorts
You might want to add something like Pedal Panties, (Bicycle Lingerie) or a Terry Mesh Liner underneath for a little extra padding but the CitiBike seats are known to be quite cushy and wide.

Bicycle Shoes
Yes, they make pumps with SPD plates built into them! You really don't need that for a simple bike commute though. I like the Naya Maeve Leather Sandals because they are very comfortable and look great once you arrive at your destination.  The soles have a rubbery grip that keeps you from slipping.  These really are comfortable despite the heel height and you'll find them to be perfect as they require very little break-in time.
Naya Maeve Leather Sandals in Oxford Brown
Prepare for a Rainy Day
The weather can change in a second, especially during summer months. Your bike commute gear should include some type of rain wear that will cover you on the bicycle. This is where a bicycle with fenders is going to be your very best friend! That or a rear rack with a center shelf like my Blackburn. As for a raincoat, I like ExOfficio's Rain Logic Trench Coat.  Downtown chic styling but super lightweight.  Roll it up and pack it into its hood when you don't need it.  Has a bit of stretch and zip pits, it is completely waterproof and covers your whole outfit. One of the best raincoats I own.
ExOfficio's Rain Logic Trench rolls into its own hood!

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