We've been talking lately about how our passions come through in our style, and it got me thinking.
I'm pretty passionate about bicycles. If you ask me, the bike is up there with libraries, antibiotics and sanitation as just about the best thing the human race has come up with. It keeps you fit, it's non-polluting and it's fun. Of all the things I love about living in the Netherlands, and there are many, bike culture is right there at the top of my list. My Dutch friends sometimes take for granted the freedom we have to ride around on two wheels, but I will never loose my sense of wonder and gratitude for the traffic infrastructure that privileges this modest form of transport. There's no better way to get around in my opinion.
Like everyone else around here, my trusty steed is a heavy weight single speed omafiets or granny bike and I use it every day to get around town. I don't need to dress specifically for this (although I draw the line at pencil skirts and wide legged pants) so bike style isn't much of a thing in my every day life. I am, however, the proud owner of a very stylish bike friendly waterproof (props again to my good friend Mel for designing the thing).
This spring, I'm kitting myself out to start sports cycling again. I took the plunge on the bike this month and I've been putting together a little capsule to match. And being me, I have to do it in style.
Back in my mountain biking days, bike gear was all about garish lycra, so I was relieved to discover that things have changed since then. There's still a lot of shiny spandex about, but there's also a growing trend for a more low key old school classic style. Think plain striped merino jerseys, peaked caps and crochet gloves.
Leading the field are British brand Rapha, who are making some truly fabulous gear. The design is superb and the quality exquisite. They carry a price tag to match, but I was so impressed with their bib shorts (bike ladies will know what I'm talking about when I say it's all about the chamois) that I splurged on a discounted bundle to get the matching jersey. Luckily, I made some savings on the rest of the kit, completing the look with a plain black windproof from Primal and pair of very cute crochet mitts.
There's some seriously good cycling fashion out there these days and I'm sorely tempted to slip a few pieces into my day to day wardrobe. Particularly the classic cycling jerseys at Jura, which look far too good to break a sweat in.
Control yourself girl. Resist, resist.
UPDATE! and what a glorious morning that was!
Just christened the whole kit and caboodle on a 60k turn around the polders. Too warm for leggings, so on a whim I reached for a pair of striped thigh highs, which to my astonishment worked really well (warm, wicking, breathable) and added a whole load of roller derby attitude. I am going to have to buy more of these before American Apparel go out of business.
And of course, the most vital equipment of all. Protect your brains, kids. Wear a helmet!