lululemon rain gear for cyclists

Prominent yoga clothing brand, Vancouver-based lululemon, has recently released a line of cycling gear. For women, a rain cape and tights, under the moniker “First Gear,” are simple designs in subtle earthtones. For men, a cool weather jacket and pant, their “Bike Lane” pairing, are available in black with subtle reflective details. The clothing is currently available only at the lululemon Lab in Vancouver, though is expected to reach stores the second week of October.

Earlier this year the Yorkville location made some Twitter noise with their rather political “More bike, less Ford” window display:

While first impression of the men’s jacket doesn’t really stand out to me, the women’s cape looks like a functional design (how many times have you arrived to work in full rain gear yet still soaking wet because you’ve been cooking and sweating under all of that plastic?).

Via Momentum

Biking to the Die-in in my Armani Jeans

Not sure what to make of the end of this video… a protest? they met that guy from the Radiohead video?

What I Wear For Winter Cycling

It’s officially winter in Toronto. That time of year when many people believe outdoor physical activity grinds to a halt. It’s that time of year when excuses are passed off as reasons and it’s that time of year when I keep on doing what I do… riding my bicycle.

In the spirit of “how to do it” posts, here’s a look at my winter cycling wardrobe.

Let me state first that I tend to “run hot.” For some reason, I have a great tolerance to the cold. I don’t mind the biting wind on my cheeks and only once the temperature drops below -10 C do I add an extra layer to my legs.

That said, let’s look at outfit #1… the everyday ride:

1. Wool jacket with light lining (pocket handkerchief for running nose is essential).
2. Wool scarf
3. Toque
4. Merino wool sweater
5. Cotton shirt
6. Jeans (reflective strap since I don’t have a chainguard)
7. Fleece gloves
8. Merino wool socks

Not pictured: fleece long johns, leather boots.

My everyday rides take me to the grocery store, to the bank, to a new remote office (coffee shop), to the library. These are all short trips that see me on the bike for no more than 20 minutes at a time. In light snow, I’ve never had a problem with wet clothes and because I have a set of full fenders the amount of slush and grime spray on my shins is very minimal.

When I reach my destination I sometimes remove the pant strap and I’m ready to go. Easy as pie.

In addition to grocery hauling, errand running my bicycle is my only “exercise machine.” So, for longer, harder rides where I’m cranking up my already burning internal engine I dress differently… here’s a look at the active rider:

1. Waterproof/Breathable shell
2. Wool cap with ear flaps
3. Fleece half-zip
4. Merino wool base layer
5. Soft shell pants
6. Liner shorts
7. Lined water resistant gloves
8. Merino wool socks

Not pictured: Gore-tex hiking shoes, helmet

My goal on longer, harder rides is to have my outer layers block the wind and my inner layers fight to manage sweat. While I like the bright blue jacket for visibility, I bought it because the fabric is reliably wind resistant and waterproof and because it was on sale.

In the end, I suggest wearing what you feel is comfortable. I like my “advanced plastics” outer layers as much as I do my natural fibre one. Each outfit works for what I want them to do and finding the right mix that suits your body and your needs is how I feel you should determine what to wear on your bicycle in any weather.

What is Prohab and Who Are These Ladies in Helmets?

Vancouver based Prohab Helmet Society is a non-profit incorporation that donates helmets to the Vancouver area community. In British Columbia, where helmet use is mandatory, the Prohab Helmet Society is working with partners to provide helmets to those without.

To raise funds for their 2011 campaign the Society has crafted a calendar featuring cycling beauties wearing their helmets.

To show your support and help provide helmets to those without you can purchase the 2011 calendar here: Prohab Society Calendar

Image via The Deadly Nightshades

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

Art Spin’s Final Ride for 2010 to be Followed by Special Party

Via ArtSpin.ca

Art Spin invites you to join our final bicycle tour of the season for an interactive and exciting adventure through Toronto’s west end art district visiting art galleries, artist’s studios and installations or performances in unique places. The September 30th tour of this hugely successful and incredibly popular art event promises to be our most exciting outing yet.

The wide ranging programming of this month’s Art Spin will include visits to XPACE, Gallery TPW and The Gladstone Hotel, and will feature a choreographed performance by Miko Sobeira, and a special musical performance by Art Spin MC and trumpeting cyclist Michael Lewis Johnson, plus many more surprises. For the grand finale of this event, the adventure will end at an undisclosed 10,000 square foot warehouse location for an exciting exhibition curated by the members of the Art Spin team – Casey Hinton, Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta. It will include works from over 15 emerging and established artists representing a broad range of media, materials and artistic practices; all followed by what will be a lively and entertaining after party.

With over 150 participants at the last event, this upcoming tour promises to be a huge success, an event that shouldn’t be missed.

Art Spin meets at the gate to Trinity Bellwoods Park at Queen St. & Strachan Ave. The tour departs at 7pm sharp, and wraps up around 9:30pm with an after party to follow, light appetizers and drinks will be served, accompanied by live music. Join us at 6:30pm to Art-Up your bike and participate in the fix-it session courtesy of Bike Pirates. This is a free event, and anyone regardless of age or cycling ability is welcome.

Grab your bike and join us for the final Art Spin of the season on Thursday September 30th, 2010.

To get a glimpse of past events, watch this video courtesy of the Neighborhood Arts Network:

For more information visit www.artspin.ca, email us at info (at) artspin(dot)ca

Covet: Men’s Cycling Jackets

Maybe it’s because I’m too big a fan of Mad Men, or maybe it’s because working from home means I get too much wear out of my t-shirts and jeans, but seeing big labels make jackets with cycling style really has me longing for more reasons to “suit up.”

J. Lindeberg recently introduced the “Dreyden” blazer with technical mesh to wick away sweat and reflective striping hidden under the collar (see above).

Rapha’s Tailored Jacket features a back pocket and fabric that repels dirt and water:

Another option is the Shroud of Purrin blazer from Nau featuring a wind and water resistant fabric and new soft lining:

J. Lindeberg photo via Style Salvage
Rapha photo via Rapha
Nau photo via Nau

Mark Ronson’s The Bike Song (featuring Kyle Falconer and Spankrock)

This video has the same feel as those 1980s Sesame Street shorts that explored how stuff is made. Fun song and a fun “cycle chic” video.

Via Creativity-online

Covet: Repurposed Car Parts and Inner Tubes Become Mariclaro Bags

CADILLAC LIMITED CAR EDITION - RECYCLED bag by MARICLARO - CADI X002 MADE IN CACADILLAC LIMITED CAR EDITION - RECYCLED bag by MARICLARO - CADI X001 MADE IN CA

Way back when I bought my first used car, friends of mine took me to a local scrapyard. We searched for abandoned and forgotten parts to “spruce” up my new ride. Had I had a bit more ingenuity, I may have stripped down the old car seats and removed the seat belts to make beautiful and functional bags.

Thankfully the team at Mariclaro had this fantastic idea and the results are certainly “Covet” worthy.

Cadillac Bags are available here and here.
Lincoln Bags are available here and here.

Now, if car branding and seat upholstery aren’t quite your “bag,” then Mariclaro has something else in the works. Bags made of old inner tubes. Here’s a peek at a bag being assembled and the finished product:

DSC_0242

Mariclaro inner tube bag

For more information about Mariclaro visit their web site, their blog, their Etsy shop or their shop at 457 Roncesvalles Ave. (just south of Dundas West) Toronto, ON M6R 2N4

Functional Fashion Inspired By Cycling and Perspiration

The above video was part of the !ola team‘s submissions for promoting urban, everyday cycling in the Yoxi Pilot Competition.

When I reviewed my Modrobes Euca Tee I took a few post-ride photos of my sweat-stained t-shirt. I opted not to use them in my review, but I’m kicking myself now for not seeing the fashion-forward concept in those soaked sections of my shirt.

Learn more about the Yoxi Pilot Competition and view the winning entries here.

Via 1 girl + 2 wheels