Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Longer Bicycle Days

After exclaiming last week how I was at breaking point from cycling in the cold weather, I was delighted to find that the sun has finally put his righteous hat on and has treated us to a taster of Spring! The sunny weather arrived just in the nick of time before I bought an oyster travel card and became angry tube passenger.

And even more important is that it is now light outside when I leave work! The day you cycle home from work in daylight is always a landmark in any bicycle commuter's calendar and signifies the end of flashing disco bike lights and dare I mention it (because I know that everyone is very fond of these) but the end of donning those fluorescent yellow jackets. Can I tempt you to come to terms with letting go and wearing a normal jacket which doesn't look like you're a) working in a building site or b) going to a 90's drum and bass rave? Well? #Just putting it out there.

Putting gaudy bicycle attire aside, I have decided to celebrate the longer days and fair weather because, well you know, I'm british and I love the subject! I'm sharing with you my jubilant ride home in daylight last Friday evening.

I'm free!

Whitecross Street

Passing over Regent's Canal

Upper Street
Broken traffic lights attracted policemen in leather trousers. Not my favourite sight.
Nearly home now
I want to live in this house 

I hope you all enjoy the lighter evenings!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Misery

Trying to muster up inner strength to face the chill


Man alive, is it me or did the weather forget all about that lovely beaming thing in the sky called the sun? The last three months have finally taken a toll on me. Winter has nearly defeated me and my bike cruising ways. Usually I am defiant in the face of rain and snow but the last few days have caused me great misery. Yes, cycling is fun and it’s great to be committed to cycling whatever the weather but I have a threshold and for the first time in my life I have nearly gone over it. Life on two-wheels has become mighty challenging.

For example:

+   My gloves have officially become my chief nose wiping instrument. Snotting onto my gloves I'm      sure wasn’t the plan for their lovely glove life and now they resemble snot rags. Hey ho.

+   My right eye has spent the winter permanently streaming making me look like I am forever mourning the loss of mild weather. As a consequence, my eye makeup on my right cheek is permanently smudged making me look like I work in a coal mine.

+   Sometimes both snot AND tears run into my mouth when cycling and I get confused and don't quite know what to make of the curious taste.

+   The sleet, snow and icy wind has dried out my face like a ugly prune and I am now concerned that my youthful looks are a distant memory.

+   My lips and hands have also suffered from chill burns.

+   The sticky, dirty snow of late has tarnished my once beautiful sparking green bicycle.

+   And the dark nights are making me feel like I am a cycling vampire.

Winter is giving me major first world pains. Are you fed up yet?

Will I manage to last the rest of February commuting every day? Will my eye stop streaming? And what will become of my ‘snot-ragged-gloves’?  Stay tuned kids….

Monday, 11 February 2013

The Vulpine Merino Jersey


Bicycle heroes and villains, MAMILs and froggers, messengers and roadies, lone wolves and righteous cyclists, yes everyone who loves their bicycle should now rejoice because I give you a cycling brand which offers simplicity and style without a spec of lycra to be seen! Yes, lycra  has been replaced with cosy, merino wool from New Zealand's finest sheep. Unflattering figure hugging apparel have been relegated in favour of classic, modern style and it's brought to you by the wonders of Vulpine.

Specifically I'm talking about some hydrophilic, antibacterial sheep action going on in the form of the VULPINE MERINO BUTTON JERSEY!

So here we are, the first piece of cycle apparel I have ever worn. Voted by Road CC as 'Women's garment of 2012', the button jersey sure is sleek with its modern shape offering hint of 60's charm.  I have been sporting this gem of a jersey through the cold, snowy commutes and the drizzly January rain and it is is proving to be wonderfully snug. Claiming to be exceptionally odour proof, I thought I'd put this antibacterial fabric through it's paces and wear it on one of my runs. Indeed there was not a whiff of a pong afterwards! (Please bear in mind that I am like the Queen and of course don't perspire).

Not only does it looks stylish and can go with many items in my wardrobe, but it also has a supercool pocket on the lower back which is a perfect size for a bag of my favourite Haribo Starmix sweets! The silicon waist gripper stops the jersey riding up and exposing the bits of flesh which rather look better hidden.

It's incredibly soft and comfortable to ride in and looks great teamed with a pair of jeans. Being available in either blue or black, I'm impressed that it doesn't come in any vomit-inducing, tacky colours  which the cycling world is strangely fond of. This is a garment which will will work all year round layered up in the winter, or teamed with some nice shorts in the summer. Indeed I am very much looking forward to what Vulpine will offer female cyclists in the future.

Social media wizards, Nick Hussey and Velo-City-Chic's, Jools Walker are the ultimate Twitter tag team and have worked hard promoting the Vulpine brand. If you haven't heard of them then pedal a little bit faster folks! Or pop along to one of the cycling fetes they are so good at organising (next one is in Manchester this weekend, 16th & 17th Feb).

This garment gets the Help! My Chain Came Off salute, well done Vulpine!