It's no wonder that walking or riding your bike to work benefits your body and mind over driving. Most of us bloggers have been saying this for years, but a recent UK study has been all over the media giving the data behind this finding and it's got people talking. Last night I posted a little note to my bike on Twitter, pretty much explaining what my bike means to me. Yes, it gives me the health benefits, and yes, I have been singing Beyonce's Flawless on my bike numerous times, and of course I am happier when I'm on my bike, it's really all I think about! The benefits are so great but will this study make any difference in how we design or plan our cities for cycling and walking? I don't know but it's something to consider in how we advocate for bicycle and walking safety in our neighborhoods.

Bike Things To Know

Happy Friday! I'm excited to get this weekend and next week over cause that means London and Paris for me the following week. That's right, my adventures are heading overseas! Very excited but back down to earth, I recently expressed how I wanted to keep sharing information and adventures with you, so here I am attempting to do what I know best, consume and share information. Although fall is starting to cool things down a little, there are a lot of great things happening and being written, so here is what you need to know.

Cafe du Cycliste

I'm not opposed to cycle wear at all, as long as it fits my sense of taste. On a journey to find some tasteful cycle wear, I searched long and voila, I found Cafe du Cyclist and some really cute cycling jersey's a la French sailor style. I'm particularly fond of the Suzanne and Henriette jersey. To add in extra good news, Cafe du Cyclist is having a major sale! Plus worldwide shipping is free if orders are above 60 Euros (that's about 78 dollars for us American's).

These are perfect for serious rides or for just looking stylish around town. The breathable, wicking, non-itchy properties ensure you'll stay cool, but it combines beautifully with other layers when the temperature drops. I particularly love that their design is inspired by the French Riviera and compliment the female figure. Perfect for a comfortable and elegant style while riding.

Strava To Share Your Bike Adventures

I started using Strava recently when I started going on weekend adventures throughout and outside the city. The app's function is to track your ride by gps and rank your best time on segments with other users. This creates an element of merciless competition with friend and colleagues, which can be fun if you like that. You can get creative, challenge yourself, brag to your friends, and create a safety zone for your bike around your house, work, or lock up spot when you go to the privacy tab on the settings page. It's fun to see what others are doing to get a little inspiration on a ride your interested in taking. I do have to say I tend to forget to track a ride but sometimes it's nice to ditch the gps and just enjoy the rode.

What types of apps do you use to share your cycling adventures? Any good ones to note?

A Summer Bicycle Lifestyle

Can we officially call it summer already? Well I am. Every summer I like to provide a little recap of how to make the most of longer sunnier days while staying cool and fresh under the sun. For many of us ladies and gents who commute by bicycle in cities, we need to show up fabulous and fresh on our bikes wherever we go. It's not always easy staying cool but here are some links with tips to keep your summer adventurous while looking smart on two wheels.

Summer Cycling Tips- Everything you need to know from dealing with helmet hair and what to wear.
DIY Bike Tour- When it comes to adventure, planning a bike tour is just as fun as the journey.
Join A Group Ride- From East to West, ladies around the country are inviting you to a group ride.
DIY Bike PicnicWhen it comes to picnics and managing your goodies on bicycle, create a unique yet effortless experience.
Bike To The Beach- What's better than spending a sizzling day in the ocean?
Summer Hair Tutorials- Hair styles for hot summer days, this has you covered.

Inspiration for Biking Into Spring

Happy Friday! I've been checking the weather every five hours to see if we will have a break from the rain in NY. It just doesn't seem to stop! The forecast is showing that this weekend will still have showers and although I'm a little bummed out, I'm okay with staying in under my blankets and watching marathons of tv. I'm hoping for clear skies so that I can get on my bike but Spring showers have taken over. As I sit here and dream about adventuring out on bike this weekend, I'm wondering how many people are getting out there now despite the thunder and rain. Cool and sunnier days has a way to get us out on a bike but rain or shine there are so many benefits to just put a little spring into the pedal.

Feeling like having an adventure this weekend? Here are just a few tips and reminders of why getting out on two wheels this Spring is the perfect win.

Group Ride: Join one to meet people or get your friends together for a fun ride.

Feel Good: A working heart = a healthy body and happy feelings. Breath in the fresh air.

Dress Up: Feeling good will keep you looking fabulous on and off your bike.

Tour Your City: The bike is the perfect tool for discovering new places, it's an open museum.

Skip the Train: Believe it or not, a bike will get you to your destination faster, plus it will save you money and help you avoid traffic.

If you're in the NYC area and looking for a new bike or other few bits and bobs, check out this weekends New York Bike Jumble. Also, don't forget to wish your mom a Happy Mother's Day if you're in America this Sunday. Have a great weekend!

Book Review: The Girl's Bicycle Handbook

I've been long awaiting for this book to land onto my doorstep and when it did, I was ecstatic! Just over a year ago, writer and Cyclechic enterprenuer Caz Nicklin asked me if I would like to be interviewed for her recently released book,  The Girls' Bicycle Handbook. I've known Caz for a few years now from her blog, shop and had considered her a mentor of all things cycle chic so of course my support to her was head over wheels and accepted. We officially meet at the SF Bike Expo in 2010 where I commented on her gorgeous scarf to begin a conversation that would follow to becoming internet friends with a like minded goal of giving tools to inspire women to live life on two wheels.
When I first found Caz, I stumbled on her blog London Cycle Chic many years ago, a blog who's mission is to promote cycling as a desirable lifestyle choice and encourage more women to take to 2 wheels while being fashionable. Shortly after, she started her business Cyclechic, where she sold cute bicycle accessories for the stylish cyclista. This book is sort of a journey of her years of experiencing cycling as a woman looking for the cutest gear, finding practical ways to cycle in a dress, fix a flat, and learning how to deal with helmet hair.

The book starts from the basics of cycling to riding in style. It touches on everything one needs to know to get riding from choosing a bike, saftey, knowing your components, bike accessories, fitting a helmet, riding in the winter, and commuting to work. It's filled with so much knowledge that is explained simply and beautifully with illustrations and pictures taken by Caz and contributors from various blogs and businesses. One can cover the entire book from front to back wanting more inspiration out of a page that is both beautiful and practical to use. There really isn't ever a dull moment! 

Here is just a little excerpt covering what you need to know about accessorizing your ride.
Since I'm pretty familiar with how the English spell, write, and term certain phrases (Oy! I was an English major and date an English man!), I knew editors tried hard to make the book easy for American English speakers to translate and I was very sensitive to that. Every now and then I would find a phrase or term like "tube" meaning train, "indicators" meaning car signals, and "rubbish" meaning garbage or crap, I knew this was very English and was tickled by it because it's not everyday American English and that's okay, we can use a little slang education! That aside, I enjoyed the simplicity and visuals of the writing style as the messages were clear.
One thing I absolutely loved most about his book is the collaboration Caz took with having bloggers and business owners contributing a profile to this gem. See up there, there's a group of us from SF being represented!! It's filled with some new and some familiar faces. I learned a whole lot more about these women who love their bicycles and have since followed them. If there is one thing that I have always known Caz for, is her openness to community with others. This book shows how passionate she is to sharing knowledge with women and how we can all learn something new from each other.

In all, the book collects everything a woman needs to know about practical cycling and serves as a great guide to everything you need to know about enjoying your bike and cycling in style. I've read many books about cycling, albeit very sporty, but this is especially dedicated to women who just want to live everyday on a bicycle.

Thanks Caz for allowing me to be a part of this project and giving us a great book to share and inspire others with!

New Iva Jean Collection On Kickstarter

Iva Jean started as a brand for the fearless and passionate city girl, the ladies that live in the moment, that are effortlessly sophisticated, the women whose lives demand functional style. 

Link Love + Weekend Inspiration

There are lots of great events happening near and far from where you are and the weather is perfect to make adventures happen. I figured since it's Bike Month, we spin things off this weekend with a little link love and inspiration around the webs just to get your enthusiasm flowing.

Bike Expo NYC, if you're there and see a short girl with curly hair and bangs looking around like she's in a candy shop, that's me, come say hi!
If you're new to cycling and want to explore life on two wheels or just need a good challenge, join the National Bike Challenge.
I want to to start one and heart this guide with 4 Steps to Starting a Local Bike Gang.
Donate to Iva Jean to help fund their beautiful bike apparel line here!
I'm still wrapping my head around comments from this article, "Is There Such a Thing As a Feminine Way To Cycle". I wrote a post related to this topic a while back, you can read it here. What do you think? Bike Talk chapter on this to commence.
I'm totally digging this Strava app, does anyone else use it too? What's your experience?
If you're on Twitter or Instagram, follow me for more updates and tips for adventuring on bike!

Have a great weekend, see you back here on Monday.

Bicycle Inspiration & Mantras

"When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day's sensations:  bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay's call, ice melting and so on.  This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead.  I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity.  But I am mentally far away from civilization.  The world is breaking someone else's heart. "

Diane Ackerman

Do you have daily mantras while riding your bike? When I read this quote I thought about my daily mantras that I practice and remember what it felt like riding my bike feeling these exact sensations. It's the perfect way to start the day, let alone, the week.
Spring Cycling Essentials

Spring Cycling Essentials

spring cycling essentials

Spring is in the air and it's time to pack winter up, along with those heavy boots, nubby mittens, and gargantuan scarves, and poise yourself for nothing short of a spring revival. This year, my sights are set on a bounty of fresh seasonal picks — from a delicate floral scarf and wedge sandals to the perfect picnic dress and bicycle basket to carry fresh seasonal flowers in. And just because I'm expecting 60 degree and sunny weather to bound, that doesn't mean I don't have my mind set on spring showers and chill mornings that may damp your ride a little. Feeling inspired? Just read on to get your new spring shopping essentials secured... I'm right there with you. 

Barbeque Charmer Dress// Trench Cape Hoodie//Tretorn Elsa Rain Boot//T-Bar Wedges, Welcome Backpack// Quilted Riding Gloves// Floral Digital Print Scarf// The Row Sunglasses// Origin8 Brass Bike Bell// Asungtaba Bike Basket// Bookman Lights// Yakkay Cambridge Gold Helmet

Winter Bicycle Body Fit. On A Stationary Bike.

I'd like to begin by saying I have a seriously difficult time getting myself to workout — especially in the winter in NY. So, when I do manage to peel myself out of bed and trek to the gym onto some sort of exercise equipment, I want to make sure I'm getting the most bang for my buck. Or, ya know, the best workout I can for what little time I'm able to commit that day. And since I miss riding my bike for fitness, I just skip on over to a stationary bike to put some pedal to the metal.

While it's often overlooked at the gym, the exercise bike can help you burn tons of calories and tone your legs. When working out on a stationary bike, the trick is to make sure you have the machine set with enough resistance. This way, you won't pedal yourself off the bike, but you'll also be able to sprint when necessary, which can make for a great interval workout. Mixing up the pace challenges the heart and lungs, but interval bike workouts also prevent boredom while pedaling on a road to keeping your bicycle body fit. As long as you mix this 30min interval workout with some great tune's, you're set to go!

Time        RPE*    Notes
0:00 - 5:00      3 -  Warmup
05:00 - 05:30   7 - 8.5  Sprint
05:30 - 06:30   3 -5   Recover
06:30 - 7:00     7 - 8.5  Sprint
07:00 - 8:00     3 - 5  Recover
08:00 - 08:45   7 - 8.5  Sprint
08:45 - 09:45   3 - 5  Recover
09:45 - 10:30   7 - 8.5  Sprint
10:30 - 11:30   3 - 4  Recover
11:30 - 12:30   7 - 8.5  Sprint
12:30 - 13:30   3 - 4  Recover
13:30 - 14:30   7 - 8.5  Sprint
14:30 - 15:30   3 - 4  Recover
15:30 - 16:00   7 - 8.5  Sprint
16:00 - 17:00   3 - 5  Recover
17:00 - 17:30   7 - 8.5  Sprint
17:30 - 18:30   3 - 5  Recover
18:30 - 19:15   7 - 8.5  Sprint
19:15 - 20:15   3 - 5  Recover
20:15 - 21:00   7 - 8.5  Sprint
21:00 - 22:00   3 - 4  Recover
22:00 - 23:00   7 - 8.5  Sprint
23:00 - 24:00   3 - 4  Recover
24:00 - 25:00   7 - 8.5  Sprint
25:00 - 26:00   3 - 4  Recover
26:00 - 30:00   3   Cooldown


Valentine's Gifts for Lady Cyclists

If long-stemmed roses and five-course meals aren't your girls' thing or you simply prefer to keep the holiday celebrations around bicycle adventures, I rounded up a few gifts that'll leave all of your bicycle enthusiast loved ones wowed — seriously. Which means that in addition to spoiling your special someones with a heartfelt card and maybe a surprise cuddle or two (if applicable), you can treat them to even more of life's simpler pleasures as well.

Valentine’s Day is coming up fast and now is the time to plan ahead a special something for your loved ones. Minted has such a gorgeous selection of arts prints, especially for Valentine’s Day, so be sure to check out their special offer for Free 2 Day shipping on all Minted limited edition art prints and all custom art prints to make sure you get your order just in time for Valentine's Day.

Book: A Girl's Bicycle Handbook

With Spring and bike month just around the corner, Caz of Cycle Chic, has a book being release on April 3rd where you can get the chain dirt on all things lady cycling for the adventures ahead.

"The Girls' Bicycle Handbook is for women cyclists everywhere who need practical no-nonsense advice and information on cycling, and cycling in style.

Whether you're a committed bike commuter or a complete novice, cycling entrepreneur and blogger Caz Nicklin gives the low-down on making cycling part of your lifestyle. From choosing the right bike for your needs to looking stylish and comfortable whatever the weather, and from combatting 'helmet hair' to road safety and fast repairs, The Girls' Bicycle Handbook tells you everything you need to know about life on two wheels."

You can pre-ordethe book and Caz will be featuring snippets of advice from the book on her blog over at London Cycle Chic for the next two months. So keep checking in and follow along on Facebook and Twitter for more updates.

Meet Elizabeth Bennet

It's been over a year now since I've had my own two wheels. I haven't been able to find a bike that I absolutely felt the most comfortable on or that's worth my investment. After years of having WendyBird I got accustomed to riding a certain way and living on bike with a certain type of lifestyle. Since moving all the way from SF to NYC, I have been taking much time to settle into my new life and A LOT has changed. Shopping for a bike in Brooklyn has been no walk in the park either. Looking on Craigslist wasn't simple, I had checked weekly to find the right bike, hoping to find a similar model to WendyBird while visiting new neighborhoods, used bike shops, and surfing the webs for something old or new.

However, while recently surfing the net, I had found an ad on Craigslist for this 1969 Raleigh Sports women's bike with a Brooks saddle and a front basket in top shape. I took the opportunity as I was enchanted but unsettled. When I had made the journey to South Brooklyn, I learned that this seller in particular had been selling used bikes by word of mouth making a decent living by up-cycling bikes, repairing and selling them. He then tried using Craigslist, selling 40 bikes out of his garage within the first month. A major success.

I was able to to test the bike, to get a feel of what it would feel like on the road. It was as if I was riding WendyBird again however different with the chill and sun, yet still liberating. I took it right away, carrying it with me all the way home to plan the rest of my life in NYC. I decided to name my English Raleigh Elizabeth Bennet, the Jane Austen character that I have been referencing my life to in the past 2 years. Although I have taken my time to find the right bike, it took time to find the right pace for my life here, and yet that day was the first time I could say that "New York is starting to feel like home now."
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