A Very Cool Bike Bag Made in SF

cool-bike-bag-made-in-sf Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 12.16.20 AMI have to be honest. When we first met, I was not a fan of Alite's Bike To The Beach Bag. Around this time last year, all the bike-style coolhunters were buzzing about the convertible rucksack/tote. But to me, it just looked snoringly dull, in that off-navy LL Bean way.

I mean, I understand why urban bike riders get excited when a bike-specific product comes out that isn't designed to look like you're about to launch your bike out of a helicopter and jump after it in a blur of day-glo chartreuse ballistic nylon.

But don't we deserve better than boring? Yes, we do. Which is why Gravel and Gold came to the rescue.

gravel-and-gold-bike-pretty-satche-san-francisco The unspeakably hip San Francisco boutique is best known for their prints which somehow manage to be cheeky, flashy, and boobalicious at the same time. And that's how a dull-as-dishwater tote got turned into something hot and bubbly.

gravel-gold-alite-bike-beach-panda-face-bike-bag

This print was actually the first ever made by surface-design savant Cassie McGettigan, one of the brains behind the carefully curated shop. If it weren't for her, I never would have taken a second look at the bag and learned all about its bikey features.

There's a special U-shaped pocket for--surprise!--yer lock, a zippered pouch, and a foam backing that gives a little comfort while in rucksack mode.

During the feature tour, it finally dawned on me how awesome it is to have a tote bag that converts to a backpack. I'm sorry. In my defense, boredom tends to make me stupid?

It's also made right here in San Francisco. Which is kind of amazing since it's really well-built and costs only $162. Also, if you attend any of the intriguing workshops that Gravel and Gold hosts like, all the time, you get a 10% shop discount!

To celebrate the launch of the new Bike to the Beach bag in the graphic black and white "Panda Face" print, the shop hosted the cutest gathering of stylish cyclists. bike-pretty-at-gravel-and-goldalite-bike-to-the-beach-gravel-gold-bag

alite-plus-gravel-and-gold-bike-style Just about everything in this tiny Mission boutique is a flippin' cool take on the "tweaked basics" design principal that Kelly and I fell in love with in college. Take something practical, that you would use in your real life, and make it cool enough that you actually want to look at it every damn day.

inside-gravel-and-gold-san-francisco-style Seriously rad. But if that overdose of style was a little too energizing, take a long moment to watch this hella relaxing video showing exactly how the Bike to the Beach bag gets born.

Making of Bike to the Beach Bag from Alite Designs on Vimeo. Alite Design team doing a production run of the Bike to the Beach Bag made at their factory located in San Francisco, California.

UK cycling events: what’s on?

4. Bristol Vintage VeloNow that the Tweed Run and the World Naked Bike Ride (NSFW) have been and gone, you may be wondering if the silly season is already over for cyclists. Not to worry though, there’s plenty more to look forward to! Thanks to the Tour de France kicking off in Yorkshire this month, the UK has gone a bit bicycle mad, with special events and festivals taking place throughout the summer. From serious, sportive stuff like RideLondon’s Grand Prix to the family-friendly focus at the Bristol cycling festival, there’s something for everyone - especially chic cyclists. So what’s on?

Yorkshire (Various) Yorkshire is positively bursting with cycling events this summer thanks to the Tour de France. Check out the Yorkshire Festival, which offers 100 days of art and culture in the build up to the Grand Départ. Expect music, art, literature, history, and theatrical productions that showcase the very best of the country.

Bristol Cycle Festival (5-13 July) Organised by volunteers from the local community, the Bristol Cycle Festival is one of the most understated events on the list but well worth a trip if you’re in the area. With a cycle-in cinema, a vintage velo inspired by the Tweed Run and talks from academics, adventurers and artists, it focuses on cycling advocacy and localism. Prizes for winning the vintage velo include entry into L'Eroica Britannia’s prestigious Peak District rides.

Prudential RideLondon (9-10 August) Held on the 9th and 10th of August, RideLondon brings together cyclists of all abilities for a weekend of races, fun rides and festival antics. Developed by the Mayor of London to promote cycling in the city, the FreeCycle event is of particular interest. Roads will be closed at some of London’s most well known landmarks, so you can enjoy the city by bike but without the traffic! Dreamy!

The RideLondon Grand Prix event is much more serious. It’ll showcase the Olympic and Paralympic cyclists of the future at a series of junior events. However, if you want to get involved with the sportive stuff rather than the spectacle then the RideLondon-Surrey 100 is for you. It is, quite literally, a 100 mile race from London to Surrey.

Tips for Cycle Fests

  • Sort insurance. If you’re going to compete in a race or take part in an off-road trail, make sure your bicycle insurance premium covers you in case of an accident. “Depending on how sportive or recreational you are, you might already have full coverage,” says Gerry Bucke, general manager at Bikesure. “However, it’s always wise to double check before you attend a cycling festival as levels of coverage will vary according to your activities.”
  • Check the rules before you attend! For example, L’Eroica only allows bikes made before 1987 and will not tolerate clipless pedals or internal cables. It would be pretty heartbreaking to get all the way to the Peak District with your Brompton only to find out they aren’t allowed.
  • Reserve a place. These kinds of events are more popular than ever so it’s wise to reserve your place or ticket - especially for free events like RideLondon as they’ll have a cap on numbers.
  • Look fabulous. Any opportunity to ride your bike is an opportunity to Bike Pretty, right?  From gorgeous gear to beautiful bike helmets, you’re sure to look dazzling at this year’s cycling festivals if you check out our outfit ideas!

In Case You Missed It: Phillip Lim's Girls on Bikes

girls on linus bikes Um, yes, please. This video lookbook from Phillip Lim's 2011/2012 Fall Winter collection perfectly captures what it's like to be a fashionable cyclist in San Francisco.

In my dreams.

My apologies for posting this six seasons after its debut. My excuse is that Bike Pretty: The Blog wasn't even born yet, so you can imagine, back then we had different priorities. Phillip-Lim-Girls-On-Bikes-FW-2011

At any rate, I stumbled across the video in the archives of velojoy where everyone seems scandalized by the lack of helmets. Typical. phillip-lim-girls-on-bikes

But never mind that, let's let Phillip Lim himself have the last word. What's it all about, Phil?

It's about these chic girls on bikes, riding to work, to an art gallery, a party—where she goes is a mystery, because you only see her for that instant, but the thought of her lingers on in your mind.

Must Read Links

How's the long weekend treating you? Make the most of your bonus day with these must read links. I've been saving them up for months. It's a good batch. Fashion is heavily influenced by functional apparel. Famously, blue jeans morphed from sturdy, miners' gear to the epitome of LA chic. And this sort of style evolution is happening all the time. Check out how a simple length of tube bandage evolved into a ubiquitous NBA accessory. Via the New Yorker.

10dita-hodge-tmagSF

 

“I often use mesh and chain mail in my costume designs,” he said, “and I was fascinated by the opportunity to make something light and fluid out of rigid materials.” A Crystal-Crusted Gown for Dita Von Teese Made with a 3-D Printer

 

 

blueOf the Famous Artworks That Inspired 15 Films, I think The Blue Boy + Django Unchained is my favorite, because fashion history and Quentin Tarantino. But the rest of the list is pretty darn fascinating.

 

"In a survey of graduating professional students, Linda Babcock, of Carnegie Mellon University, found that only seven per cent of women attempted to negotiate their initial offers, while fifty-seven per cent of the men did so. We see those dire statistics and think that women are, in a sense, self-sabotaging.... But is it really the case that the disadvantage stems from not asking?" Via The New Yorker.

marilyn-monroe-in-bed-pic-613x478We all know that the genius of Marilyn Monroe was way underestimated during her lifetime. Fortunately, internet scholars are posting her pearls of wisdom for our own edification: "By nature, I suppose I have a languorous disposition. I hate to do things in a hurried, tense atmosphere, and it is virtually impossible for me to spring out of bed in the morning. On Sunday, which is my one day of total leisure, I sometimes take two hours to wake up, luxuriating in every last moment of drowsiness." 9222672655_b6925c1138_z

 

The radness that is Mary Kay Chin, one of the founders of SF Yellow Bike and San Francisco Bike Party. Via the Manic Fixie Dream Girls of Chicago's Tiny Crush Blog.

 

 

 

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A hearty congratulations to Bikie Girl Bloomers on the completion of a successful crowd-funding campaign. That means we can expect more lace-trimmed spandex bloomers in classic colors and fun prints. (I'm a fan of the polka dot pair.)

vintage bike ad

 

A round-up of gorgeous turn-of-the-last-century vintage cycling ads, via Iladora. I want to live inside every single one.

 

 

 

 

"Do I have some magical skill set that allows me to ferret out...deals? Nope. Are my methods top secret and difficult to employ? No way. Do I troll eBay on a daily basis looking for deals … well, sort of, but we’ll get to that." Sally of Already Pretty breaks it down in the ultimate guide to buying clothes on eBay.

 

fashion history head wraps and hoodies"The ladies in the photo exude a sense of dignity, which I believe is a protest in and of itself. Their head wraps simply added to that power. Then I remembered how other articles of clothing have been an important symbol for various protests and revolutions—particularly involving Africans and African Americans—throughout the years." Scripts and Sightings explores where fashion history and social justice meet and mingle.

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Bike Pretty's very own Kelly and her hunky French boyfriend Seb are leading a tour of the Tour de France: We will leave South London on Friday 25 July, cycle 70k to New Haven, take the overnight ferry to Dieppe. Then cycle 130k on Saturday 26 July where we will end the day camping. On day 3, we will cycle 80k to Paris, where we hope to catch both the women's and men's Tour de France. And you're invited! Sign up via the London Bike Kitchen newsletter.

 

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Argh, scarves! How can something so simple (just a freaking length of fabric, yeah right) never fail to frustrate the daylights out of me. I usually just ball them up and throw them in the back of my closet. But there is a better way to make them work: How to Tie a Scarf Like a Parisienne, via Vogue.

 

 

"I am sick of hearing that only stupid, shallow people buy into the unrealistic expectations society has of women. Because as much as I try to fight it, I often buy into them. Does that make me shallow and stupid? Is it therefore MY FAULT that I feel inadequate sometimes – because if I was more intelligent and not so vain, these expectations wouldn’t affect me, would they?" I’m Fed Up of Being Told I’m ‘Too Smart’ To Fall for Body Fascism

And finally, watch Renee's mini-teaser for her upcoming eBike documentary!

Slippery pedals? This product will fix your shoe woes

sovrappensiero-grippine-bike-pedals-traction-designboom-04 Once I totally ate s*** on my bike because my shoe slipped off the pedal. Ironically, I was wearing a pair of flat athletic shoes (and not my fancy heels). But the sole was worn down to such a slickness that when I stood up to power myself over one of Florence's bridges, I ended up face down on the flagstones instead.

No one needs to suffer that ever again! But only if we can make this crowd-funding campaign a success.

Italian design studio, Sovrappensiero, tackled the problem of slippery city bike pedals by developing silicon pedal covers, called Grippine.

Grippine sleeves slide onto just about any pedal, providing a soft yet grippy surface for any style of footwear. Whether breathing life into an older set of pedals or for adding some colorful flair to your bike, Grippine covers promise to be a simple add-on for most bikes. No need avoid your smooth soled shoes or worry about wear from plastic or metal pedal spikes.

Using the crowdfunding platform, Eppela, Sovrappensiero aims to raise €10,000 by July 24, 2014, in order to fund the first production run. Early supporters can be part of the voting panel for new colors.

-via Momentum Mag

You can leave your hat on…

FB_17-800x508 Since Yves Saint Laurent introduced them back, the last season, the hats are the new must have. Right now, on a beach, a Nashville advertising photographer is taking pictures of some Boheme girl, wearing a hat and drinking Jesus juice (wine). The hats are always adding some coolness to your style. It makes you feel different, just like a New Yorker somewhere in Paris. The hats are fashionable and they can transform your look from a boring to a romantic one.

You should choose a hat carefully. It depends on the shape of your face, your style and the color that fits you properly. And if you think that you are able to overcome the comfort of a simple black hat, go for patterns in the shades of camel, beige, khaki, orange terracota (which would highlight the long hair, the bleached / the dyed ombre) or variations in colors like burgundy, khaki, dark green, gray or blue (matching the grunge, rock, punk outfits of the season). FB_12-471x600 Hats are basically assuring us with creativity and individuality. I’ve never seen two girls at a party, wearing the same hats. And that’s really awesome, she can have your dress, but she can never have your hat. It’s time to learn how to wear them everyday. Going for a walk in the park, eating ice cream and kissing a French boy, are all tiny moments that would look simply better, if you would wear a hat. It gives you that necessary dose of majestic femininity portrayed in a very masculine object. FB_16-471x600 In case you’re a rock star baby try to combine a dark gray fedora with some slim leather pants, a pair of boots and a gray vintage t-shirt. For those of you, who are into the casual style, wear a camel hat with some blue jeans and camel boots, or classy leather shoes. And if you’re a very important person, somewhere in England, and you have to attend a royal wedding, wear the craziest hat you can find. We will love to look you up on the Internet, afterwards.  FB_38-471x600 The hat, as any other accessory has the goal to make your personality be more visible through what you choose to wear. If the clothes are not showing your inner state well enough, try a hat on. There is a big chance you’ll feel better. FB_10-471x600

Anjou Chic: Style Tips for your Next Vintage Ride

Everyone's favorite French ACE* is just around the corner: come Saturday, some 3,000 cyclists will disembark in Saumur for the 4th annual Anjou Vélo Vintage. Here's some helpful tips to bear in mind before you hop on that Eurostar/TGV out to western France.  And if you're not going this year, pay attention - you never know where you'll be come 2015.  France is always a good idea.

1. Plan for inclement weather. Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-7 Forecasts promise some scary clouds & lightning bolts, so it's best to make like Melissa last year:  bring a light cardigan to cover up that cute '50s-y match set.  And don't think you can get away without hosiery.

Match your socks to your look, but not too matchy: mimic the motif, not the colorway.  And don't forget your raincoat! Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-6

2. Don't be afraid to (subtly) match your friends.  

Note the white: gloves / hosiery / panniers / kitten heel pumps here. Well done ladies. Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-9

3. Do match your lipstick to your beret

What's that pithy Bill Blass quote - "When in doubt, wear red" ?  He's right. Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-0

4. Make your bike carry the load.   

Jenni here has a sturdy Carradice bag on her rear rack, an excellent choice for touring.  But remember - this was shot in 2013, before the ultimate bike bag arrived on the market. Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-2 Whatever you opt for, it's a good idea to put the weight of your wine stuff on your bike frame.

If you want something more Jane Birkin-esque, go for a basket + bungee cord combo.  Never fails to charm. Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-5 But remember the more practical choice for your non-ACE riding. (#shamelesspromotion) (Ed. note: How cute is this lady?!?)

5. Bring an umbrella.

If it's not raining, you can block the sun with it.  If it is raining, you'll be glad you have it. Remember, #inclementweather. Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-4

6. What did we say about red berets? 

For a more mature look, go beyond the lipstick and match it to your '60s-esque kitten-heel pumps.  Sophisticated, indeed. Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-4

7. Wear your repro-vintage vs. your actual vintage. 

It may not be immediately obvious, but then again that's the point.  The weather may just be crazy.  You may just get sweaty.  And rained on. Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-0 (1) So your nice organza fit 'n' flare is probably not the best choice for an ACE event.

My above look is vaguely '50s, but the dress is actually Ralph Lauren rayon, circa 1990s.  The waxed-linen jacket is Peter Jensen (#samplesalescore).

The brogues are actually vintage Salvatore Ferragamo, and they got soaked in the end.

8. Bring your camera.  

Because life really is like a Wes Anderson film from time to time. Anjou-Velo-Vintage-Saumur-France-Bike-Fashion-Bike-Pretty-Photos-Kelly-Miller-3

And HAVE FUN!  Don't drink too much crémant.  Or do.

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*Anachronistic Cycling Event. Apologies if you're a regular BP reader and tired of this corny acronym. But we're here to educate people.

Beret Baguette Street Style, Paris

Beret-Baguette-Paris-Bike-Pretty-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-4Winning.

Beret-Baguette-Paris-Bike-Pretty-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-7 Winning.

Beret-Baguette-Paris-Bike-Pretty-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-6 Winnnnn-ning: presenting another prime example of the Gallic grace with scarves, and proof that hats really do add a unique dash of panache.

There is no helmet cleverly lurking beneath this one, but then again Paris on a Sunday is a relatively calm time for a stroll on two wheels.

I especially like her adorable choice of footwear.  The modest heel height, brogue-y details, and low-vamp strap channel that sensible-chic look of 1920s styles that is so elusive to find today.  Why contemporary designers and manufacturers are so focused on getting us women into 4"+ heel heights is a conundrum I have yet to crack.

Note how her monochrome hosiery-shoe scheme subtly elongates the leg.

The on-brand frame name is a nice touch, too.  As they say, très élégante.  And delightfully effortless.

London Tweed Run Winner: Most Dashing Dame, 2014

As we've pointed out before, the London Tweed Run is just chock-full of style champs. London Tweed Run Most Dashing Dame ...but there can only be one winner.

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-3 Cue Adriana here, packing a powerful monochromatic punch in primary yellows and reds.

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-0 Just what is it that won her that coveted Most Dashing Dame award?  Is it her timely donning of refreshingly summer-y tweed?

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-2 ...her graceful modeling of hosiery, gifted* to all participants by Tweed Run sponsor London Sock Company?

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-5 Maybe it's the fact that she matched her pair, in the delightfully-named hue of East India Saffron, to her millinery trim.

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-6 ...and lest we forget, to her translucent frames.

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-1 Whatever the catalyst, Adriana's look made for a striking ensemble on the streets of London.

Tweed-Run-London-2014-Bike-Pretty-Most-Dashing-Dame-Bike-Fashion-Photo-Kelly-Miller-9 Amidst a sea of browns and olive greens, her cheery yellows, deft combination of textures, and tertiary-hued accessories really brought a lively dose of style to the 2014 edition.

Before you plan your 2015 outfit, remember Adriana, as well as last year's winner: unexpected colors always take first prize.

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*(Ed. note: yeah, the schwag can be that good.  The fruits of my goody bag skewed pink.)

Bike Pretty on the Paris Vélib

So you're headed to Paris.  Well guess what? You're in luck: the Bike Pretty satchel is Vélib-compatible!Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (9)

I know what you're thinking. "It has a basket, what is this girl talking about?"Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (11)

Listen, guys: you need that basket space for lots of other things.

Things like boulangerie goodies, the flowers for your friend who just had a baby, and the spoils of those last-minute French pharmacy shopping sprees.

(Gotta stock up on the sunblock, gnome 'sane?)Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag-

Plus: by strapping the bag onto one of the handlebars, it's secure.  Meaning thieves standing on street corners at stoplights can't just go and grab that beautiful baby outta your basket.Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (1)

Trust me, it's a really practical accessory for that highly-staged outfit-post ride through Place des Vosges post-carafe-of-Brouilly ride through one of those pretty manicured parks.

Just accept that you have wine-face.  People will be looking at your bag anyway.Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (2)

...and noting that you wore matching hosiery.Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (3)

"Hey, this is actually great!  My bag isn't jostling around at all! And shady corner-dude can't steal it easily;  mwahaha !"Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (4)

"Hmm, bit chilly.  Wine-warmth is over.  Best cover up again."Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (5)

Well now, wasn't that fun?Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (6)

Now that the ride is over, you can go hunt endlessly for a parking spot.  Don't fret.Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (8)

Once you've returned your bike to the docking station, you can drink more wine.Paris-Velib-Bike-Pretty-Satchel-Bag- (7)

...And stock up on cheese on the way home: look at all that basket space under the bag!

Photos by moi et Laura Wassermann, aka @absorbi.  Vintage floral raglan-sleeve cardigan via, dress by Alasdair NY, hosiery by Tabio, shoes from a vintage shop in Glasgow.

Leather Bike Collection by Coco Republic

leather covered bike and leather bike bagA serendipitous Instagram hashtag led me to a mysterious post showing the prettiest bike I think I've ever seen. But it took some more internet-sleuthing to trace this stunning leather bike collection by Australia's Coco Republic.luxury-leather-bike-coco-republic-bicycle-side-viewOf course, Coco Republic is not a bicycle manufacturer. (In general, the bike industry is heavily influenced by road cycling and mountain biking. Everyday transportation biking is often treated as an after-thought and doesn't get a whole lot of design love.) Rather, Coco Republic is a furniture and interior design firm. They live and breathe beautiful, functional design. Their taste level is sky high. coco-republic-bicycle-Leather-Covered-Bike-flaskAnd the designers behind the label are exquisitely aware that bicycles are no longer relegated to the non-existent garages of city-dwellers. Bikes are taking their (rightful) place inside of our homes. luxury-leather-bike-coco-republic-bicycle-chain-guard So why not turn a bike into a beautiful piece of mobile furniture? coco-republic-bicycle-womens-Leather-Covered-Bike

[The bikes] are made of high grade aluminum frames but are upholstered beautifully by hand, in stunning tan Argentinian leather.

Sadly:

This limited edition range is only available in Australia for a short time and is almost sold out

leather-bike-satchel-copyLook at the beautiful molded leather on the chain-guard. Notice the way the stitching along the tubes creates a delicate little motif. The thread reminds us that the work is made by hand, by a skilled artisan.

This sort of attention to detail is so inspiring to me. Even the mini leather pannier and hand pump match the rest of the bike. Who wouldn't want to give pride of place to a bike this beautiful?

Bike Pretty Gear

I've been working on some new Bike Pretty gear. The first is a wallet, made in the same silver-metallic leather as the trim on the Bike Pretty Satchel. In fact, every time I make a satchel, I also make a wallet. It's a chance to play around with the materials and try out new combinations. I love the all-silver exterior. It's like party on the outside, money on the inside.Bike Pretty GearBut what I'm really excited about is the leather covered chain lock. Heavy-duty chain bike locks like these are great for securing quick-release wheels to posts. And in a pinch, you can even lock two bikes together. Like when your weight weenie friend "forgets" their bike lock at home

A bike lock is a must-have accessory that I use every damn day. And most are ugly. Hideous really. Which is understandable, since these locks weren't designed for looks. So when the nylon cover on my Abus Catena Lock became unbearably scuffed and frayed, I made my own cover from the same cowhide as the Bike Pretty Satchel.

I love how the lock and wallet turned out. Can't wait to add them to my Etsy shop. Coming soon!

How Cycling Can Save You Money

Of course here at Bike Pretty Headquarters, we are committed to showing you how biking can make your life more beautiful. But from time to time we acknowledge the other benefits of the bike-lifestyle. Like how cycling can save you money. Money you can spend on buying a bike satchel. Fortunately, this wonderful infographic from the Mint.com blog is as stylish as it is persuasive. Oh, and lets make every month National Bike Month, okay?

How Cycling Can Save You Money

Beret Baguette: Bike Pretty, French Style

Hey guys, when we said ACE* season was finally here, we really meant it Béret Baguette, the Parisian answer to the Tweed Run, goes down this weekend in the French capital.

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-Retro-Ride-Bike-Pretty

What began as a real fête de saucisse** in 2009 of like 50 dudes and a few chicks in borrowed plus-fours, myself included, has swelled to attract some 1,000+ cyclists on its annual jaunt through Paris, usually in late May or June each year.

Accessorized with bérets.  And baguettes:

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-5

Yes, you read that right: 1,000+ cyclists.

If that sounds unmanageable, it's because it is: the 2013 edition was an exercise in start 'n' stopping.

Which was fine with me, because then you can take more photos!

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-1

Photos of beloved French bloggers,

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-3

rear-rack-mounted, wine-box picnic baskets of the so-charming-it's-obscene variety,

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Bike Pretty friend trios,

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-9

& anachronistic looks that err on the '30s-'40s side.

The dress code is "Congés 1936" in reference to a law passed in France that year that set the historic precedent for Gallic paid vacations.  So you know: vacation-y, picnic-y looks, circa late '30s.

My above dress is actually '40s, but one of the charms of Béret Baguette is its lack of enforced rules and laissez-faire attitude to numbers, a different experience next to the well-oiled machine that is the Tweed Run.

You can't really compare the two however - even if they both have Penny Farthings,

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-7

girls cycling in heels,

Beret-et-Baguette-Paris-2013-Street-Style-Photos-Kelly-Miller-4 (1)

a few Eccentrics (kilt-wearing unicyclist, anyone?)

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fetching couples (Ed. note: they won Best-dressed!),

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pretty pretty Marshalls ; )

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expert modeling of houndstooth,

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and borrowed bikeshare steeds:

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Despite those similarities, there is also something quintessentially French about the whole thing.

Like an unerring ability to make the simplest scarf look impeccably chic:

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an unrivalled ease in Breton stripes,

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an uncanny ability to accessorize:

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and garçonne looks so on-point it's possible the already-inflated sales of boater hats around Béret Baguette time just jumped tenfold:

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This year, the event looks poised to start at the recently-pedestrianized Place de la République, loop west along the right bank to Place de la Concorde, cross the river and amble through Saint-Germain, and end in that most bucolic of Parisian picnic locales: the Bois de Vincennes.

Because if Béret Baguette is about anything, it's the pique-nique:

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If you're in Paris on Sunday morning at 9:30, head over to République & gawk at what is sure to be a super-successfully-Bike Pretty event.  If you can't make it this year (like me), surf the hashtags on IG - if last year was any indication, the official HT should be #rbb2014.

Can't wait to see what the Paris crew brings to the BP table!

*Anachronistic Cycling Event

**Not in the French sense of "Hey, let's all eat some sausage!  SAUSAGE PAR-TAY!" but more like, sooo many dudes

Affiche at the top - Copyright Benjamin Donadieu, http://www.givetogod.fr

These Gorgeous Bike Helmets Look Like Hats

Beautiful-Bandbox-Helmet-that-looks-like-a-straw-hat A hundred years ago, etiquette demanded that a hat be worn whenever you left the house. Nearly every adult, at all levels of society, wore a hat in public. Some well-to-do women changed their hats several times a day depending on the activity. Elegance on a Bicycle Day June 1942 But the twentieth century brought the demise of the once de riguer headpiece. Coco Chanel and JFK are credited with sparking the hatless mode in women's and men's fashions respectively, but the truth is that millinery began to decline in popularity as a result of the social upheavals around World War I and World War II.

Nowadays, almost every hat seems like an affectation rather than a necessary part of looking pulled together. (Baseball caps are a notable exception.) But it's that air of affectation that emphasizes just how stylish the hat wearer is. Since hats are no longer required for the sake of politeness, choosing to add one to your look means your style game is on another level.

These Gorgeous Bike Helmets Look Like Hats

The power of the hat is real, y'all. Enter Bandbox Helmets. Started by Dr. Cheryl Allen-Munley and powered by her obsessive desire to fight helmets that are "too dorky to wear."

I had a chance to meet the entrepreneurial dynamo when we both visited Palo Alto's super-fancy bike shop A Street Bike Named Desire. My lovely mother and I got to try out a few of the styles Dr. Cheryl brought with her from New England.

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We got to hear all about how she designed her own helmet base to US CPSC standards, but with a lower profile than traditional styrofoam styles. The compact size meant these helmets could be covered with actual hats. Not just helmet covers sewn to resemble caps. But actual hats that are designed to look fabulous.

A clever modification added to the brim of each cap keeps them securely in place,  but makes swapping them out simple. My mom and I had a lot of fun trying out the different styles and posing for pictures.

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Here's the concept:

Choose a base helmet with straps that match your hair color. For example, I would choose Gold and my mom would go with Brown. It creates an effect where the webbing blends in a bit with your own coloring and is less noticeable (and less fugly).

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The base helmet is vented, lightweight, and very comfortable. It's padded with soft foam and lined in quick-dry fabric. It feels very luxurious, especially compared to the standard foam pads in most helmets.

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The next step is to pick out a hat that you would like to wear. I loved the Dubliner in Charcoal Gray (third photo from the top). It had all the milliner's details that you would expect.  And I think my mom looks beautiful in the wide-brimmed Charleston and equally striking in the straw Daytona.

Check out the many, many hat styles over at Bandbox Helmets. (By the way, a bandbox is the distinctive round box that hats are stored in. Clever, no?) Don't be put off by the site. It takes a bit of digging to find the styles. Clearly Dr. Cheryl is most concerned with making her helmets aesthetically pleasing. There are options for men and women. And quite a range of flavors, from the Jamaican to the Irish.

And for all you equestriennes, there's a small selection of horsey-helmet covers too.

Tweed Run Street Style: 2014 Teaser

Well now. If you've been leading a life dangerously imperiled by lack of access to the sublime #tweedrun hashtag, fear not, we're here to remind you that the 2014 London Tweed Run went down this past Saturday.

And as per usual, it was a whole lotta fun.  Like, this much fun:

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Sorting through my photos from the event since has put me in a state of swooning reverie.

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...a state punctuated by penny farthings,

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...myriad shooting stockings,

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cape or two,

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one extremely covetable and expertly-modeled pair of Vivienne Westwood pirate boots (we'll get to HRH Karina's full look later),

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and a disparate array of tweed-iness (and hosiery) so vast and colorful as to induce a state of shock.

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I'm not gonna lie, going back to real life has been difficult.

Call it tweed run withdrawal, if you will: riding through the streets of London minus the 500 fellow tweed-ified lunatics cyclists at one's back is frankly just not as much fun.

So until next year, we'll just have to find solace in the photos, and inspiration in the details.

I was happy to note some signature Bike Pretty techniques in this year's crop:

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E.g., knotted skirts

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& milk-maid braids (even better with fox fur and chartreuse leather gloves),

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ample examples of cycling in heels,

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handlebar-mounted bags (hey, @cyclodelic!),

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and a few nods to the oft-turbaned patron saint of Bike Pretty herself, one Ms. Catherine Baba.

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I can't wait to be ringin' mah bell and blockin' double-deckers again next year.  Er, rather, photo-marshalling from the back of Peter Georgallou's cargo bike (Ed. note: This above photo via 8and2; thanks guys!)

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In the meantime, looks like I need to get my bike-bar up to Quirkessentials' level.

I like the back-up merlot [for when the gin runs out]; nice touch.

Ride A Bike In A Skirt And Top From Iladora

Cute outfit for riding a bikeI'm a big fan of Iladora Apparel's Perfect Bike Pant. (Seriously, there is nothing better for a drizzly commute or a sloshy wine party.) So it's pretty effing cool that the brains behind the label have added two more bike-able items to the line.ride-a-bike-in-a-skirt-from-iladoraNaturally, Iladora head designer Ilana Siegelman set her sights on a skirt you can a bike in. And it's a different approach than the bike-to-work skirts from Iva Jean and BetaBrand.look-cute-on-and-off-the-bike-in-these-separates-by-iladoraInstead of providing pedaling room with zippered gussets, this skirt is cut in a subtle A-line. Although if you're curvy like me, it fits more like a straight skirt. The new Mindy Skirt is made out of the same durable, quick-dry, 4-way stretch material as the Perfect Bike Pant. ride-a-bike-in-heelsAccording to the photographer, the shaped hemline prevents the dreaded Underpants Flash. Also the skirt is cut slightly longer in back, although again, if you're curvy like me, the difference is very subtle. cute-top-for-biking-from-iladoraAlso new to the line is the Lisa Top. Think of it as a t-shirt that leveled up in style and function. It's made of an antimicrobial bamboo-cotton blend that fights stinkiness and dries quickly. I mean, human beings sweat. It happens. Sometimes when you bike pretty you bike sweaty too, you know? Your fancy bike attire needs to work as hard as you do. iladora-skirt-for-riding-a-bikeAlso, this shirt is as comfortable as an old broken-in tee, but looks way more stylish. Are formal t-shirts a thing? I'd definitely put this one in the dressy category. ride-a-bike-in-a-skirt-and-this-cute-top

Photography: John Chavez   Model: Alicia Forbrich

Jewelry: Rachael Kinsey Designs   Bike: Public Bikes

Tweed Run Street Style: The Importance of Argyle

Lest one forgets: hosiery.  It's important. And never more so than at the London Tweed Run.

With few patterns more emblematic of the British Isles than argyle, it's no surprise this historical favourite of Scottish highlanders made a strong showing at the 2013 ride.

Enjoy these stylish folk as we count down the days to the Saturday ride (T-2!!).

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