Covet: Four Women’s Cycling Jackets

Fall Cycling

With fall weather comes wetter days, chillier winds and the need to add an extra layer when cycling around town.

I recently viewed a few men’s cycling jackets that look just as good on or off of your bicycle. Today, it’s time to see what’s available for women:

The Portland jacket by Showers Pass has a reflective rear flap that adds extra visibility at night yet folds away when you no longer need it. With pit-zips and adjustable cuffs, the Portland is ready for unpredictable fall weather. Available at MEC.

Alberta-based Riyoko (meaning “to travel” in Japanese) offers their Riding Blazer, a windproof, water-resistant jacket with vents for warmer days and enough pockets for whatever you need on hand. More information about the 100% Canadian made jackets here.

Toronto-based Modrobes offers the longer trench-style Ryding Jacket made from recycled water bottles. A generous hood and vented back help you keep your cool when the winds start blowing and the rain starts falling. Available at Modrobes.

From the slim fit to the high neck, Nau’s Shroud of Purrin Jacket brings styling rarely seen in the world of “soft shells.” Learn more about this jacket made from recycled plastics at Nau.

Have you tried any of these jackets? Share your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.

Fall photo via the BikingToronto Flickr Pool

Evergreen Brick Works Helps Usher In Cycling Infrastructure on Bayview

Don Valley Brick Works - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Evergreen Brick Works recently held their grand opening, and while events and a market have been held at the site all summer, access by bicycle has been somewhat limited.

Bayview, a street where the speed limit increases to 70 km/h (meaning 90 km/h to far too many drivers) in front of the Brick Works also has crumbling shoulders. Certainly an uninviting situation for anyone on two wheels.

However, the revitalization of the once abandoned site is bringing in cycling and pedestrian infrastructure. In an e-mail from Dave Dunn of Cycling Infrastructure and Programs for the City of Toronto he explained that a new bi-directional and physically separated multi-use path will now connect the Rosedale Valley Drive multi-use trail to the Brick Works site. As well, a connection to Pottery Road will allow cyclists and pedestrians to access the site from the Lower Don Trail.

For added safety, Jersey barriers will be installed along Bayview separating cycling and pedestrian traffic, and the wooden bridge that runs under the Bayview access to the Don Valley Parkway is being repaired.

Here’s a Google Map created by Christina Bouchard detailing the changes currently being installed along Bayview (click for more details):

Photo via Flickr

Covet: Wax Jacket and Bike to Work Pants from San Fran’s Betabrand

betabrand wax jacket

Bike to Work Pant Betabrand

San Francisco-based Betabrand are just a small part of the growing clothing companies who are creating “casual-functional” cycling clothing.

Their Wax Jacket has a slim motorcycle jacket fit. Waxed cotton is an “old-timey” outdoor fabric that appears to be having a little renaissance in the cycling community. The Wax Jacket also features reflective piping along the zippers for added nighttime visibility.

The Bike to Work pants are simple khakis with hidden reflective striping inside of each leg and within the two back pockets. Say what you will about letting your back pockets flap in the wind, but the reflective leg stitching is quite useful.

For more info about Betabrand head over to their web site. Be sure to check out their Cordarounds, a corduroy pant with a twist, horizontal wales.

And hey, why not watch this short video featuring the Bike to Work pants:

Urban Repair Squad Questions Harbord’s Missing Bike Lanes

Toronto’s anonymous group of activists known as the Urban Repair Squad are no stranger to Harbord Street. They’ve installed bike boxes, comically expressed the sensations of cycling along the street pre-repairs and now they’re questioning why, with fresh pavement laid, the Harbord bike lanes do not extend between Bathurst and Spadina.

City Councilor Adam Vaughan has answered this question time and time again, stating that he believes that street parking is essential along this strip. Funny, because Joe Pantalone didn’t seem to have any issue with having less street parking on Harbord between Ossington and Bathurst that I know of. Sure, there are less businesses there, but considering that Harbord connects many U of T students and many downtown workers with their homes in the West end, this disconnect endangers many for the benefit of so very few.

Alternative Forms of Transportation

HAHA!

Jerseys That Announce “I Love Cycling, But I Also Love Hockey”

NHL, NBA, MLB… VOmax has got you covered for licensed logos on cycling apparel.

Be a fanatic, be shiny!

More info at VOmaxgear.com

Via Bikerumor

Dandyhorse Vol. 3 Issue 2 Launch Party – Thursday, October 7, 2010

Can’t wait until October 7th to get the latest issue… here’s some good news:

Be the first to grab a copy this Sunday, September 26 at Word on the Street, Queen’s Park, Toronto!

Our latest issue features original art and illustrations by some of Toronto’s top artists and photographers, including Elicser and John Lee. In preparation for Toronto’s upcoming mayoral election, we feature a mayoral cheat sheet and profiles of the city’s top mayoral candidates. We also take it to the streets and interview regular people about why they love riding in the city and what they’d like the next mayor to do for cyclists. We also have a fashion photo feature,  advice from our Polite Pedallers and a stunning new comic by artist Chimo Chan. And don’t forget to check out our new feature section, Clipped In, for the first of  a series of provocative pedal stories: this time, renowned writer Richard Poplak takes us for a ride.

Via Dandyhorse

Don’t Call it a Girl’s Bike

Just because your bicycle has a sloping top tube doesn’t mean you have to call it a “girl’s bike.” That slope can make it easier to cycle modestly while wearing a dress, sure, but it also comes in handy once you start carrying any sort of cargo on your bicycle.

Adding cargo adds weight to your bicycle and the “step-through” frame design makes it easier for you to balance your packages or children while mounting and dismounting your bike.

Here are just a few “step-through” bicycles for women and men that can help you carry your cargo and avoid the delicate dance of getting on and off your bike:

The above Linus Mixte comes with a rear rack ready for you to strap a basket to, available at Bikes on Wheels.

The Globe Live 1 Mixte will stand out in the crowd, if not for the bright red colour but also because it comes stock with a huge front rack, available at Urbane Cyclist.

While the Dutch may call this design by Electra an “omafiets” (literally, grandma’s bike) both men and women have benefited for years from this easy to step through design. Available at The Cycle Shoppe.

When it comes to really maximizing your cargo carrying capacity, the Kona Ute certainly stretches the limits. Available at Sweet Pete’s.

And that’s not all… you’ll find even more sloping step-throughs at Curbside Cycle who carry models from Batavus, Pashley and Abici.

In MTL, the Alternatives to Bixi are Less Appealing

(In all fairness, a Hunxi model is also in the works…)

Via MTLMedia

Discover the Queen West Art Crawl by Bicycle with Art Spin

Queen West Art Crawl

Today, Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm Art Spin will be meeting at the Queen and Strachan gates in Trinity Bellwoods Park to run a 2 hour tour of the ongoing Queen West Art Crawl.

Via Art Spin:

Please join us for a special installment of Art Spin this Saturday, September 18th when we will be conducting a bike led tour of theQueen West Art Crawl (see www.queenwestartcrawl.com for more details), visiting a variety of exhibitions, studios and performances.

This tour will meet  at Trinity Bellwoods park at the Queen & Strachan gate between 3:30 – 4 pm. The tour starts at 4 pm  and will end at the Gladstone Hotel around 6 pm. For those of you that have never attended the Queen West Art Crawl this promises to be a great way to get a general overview of this rather large and exciting event. Why crawl when you can ride!