04 March 2008

Inspiration for this Blog

I know I am not alone in realizing that bicycles can be ridden on occasion in the total absence of lycra or "sports gear". I commute by bicycle year-round in Boston and I do not own sweatpants!

That said, there are a number of useful items that I either lack, or need to replace. This blog will chronicle the items I see, make, test, or otherwise enjoy, relating to cycling and fashion; or just cycling in general.

In terms of clothing, I am currently looking for the following items:
  • Scarf/muffler with reflective ribbons woven in
  • Replacement for my worn camel-colored pea coat (must be short, and light colored for visibility)
  • Long warm gloves for covering my forearms when reaching forward to the handlebars
  • Tall boots with a short stacked heel, which would protect my trousers from the chain grease without making me wear one of those dorky pants protectors
  • Sunglasses with lenses that are light enough to wear as safety glasses but which don't look like safety glasses
  • Ideas for combating helmet hair
  • And I think everyone except Sheldon Brown longs for a more stylish helmet

The idea is that when I step off my bike and remove my helmet (a very American addition, but necessary here) the person on the street would not realize I had been on a bike. I could go to work, shopping, or the most elegant café without embarrassment.

With cities like Boston and New York implementing bicycle programs similar to the Velib program in Paris, urban bicycle culture is increasing. Cycling has myriad benefits: a feeling of community, protecting the environment, reducing our dependence on expensive gasoline, promoting personal health, reducing obesity, and it is more relaxing than racing around in a car. I enjoy all forms of cycling and I look forward to sharing what I know and learning more.


PS. This blog is inspired, in part, by Sheldon Brown (1944-2008). Thank you for your passion, Captain Bike!


Erica said...

Glad you are making cycling to work a green, healthy way to commute but also fashionable and chic. Good luck with your shopping quests, I will keep an eye out for you!

MarkSF said...

For sunglasses, you might try a brand called Native (nativeyewear.com). Native makes great sunglasses with polarized lenses. The model I have, Dash SS, has interchangeable lenses and came with brown polarized lenses, rose polarized lenses, and night (yellow) lenses that enhance night light, but I think they now come with *clear* lenses as well. My sunglasses hug my face and have airholes along the top of the frame to prevent fogging. I bought mine a few years ago at a no-longer-open sporting goods store in Harvard Square, but a friend of mine found them recently at another sports store in the Boston area. They're also available online. Here's one option:


Native makes other styles that also come with interchangeable lenses, including night lenses and clear lenses.