May is National Bike Month, and I’m thinking of ways to celebrate the Tin Lizzie way – fashion and accessories, all things reflective, and bike travel! Here’s a round-up of current interests and faves:
I’ve signed up for Me Made May 2016, a challenge for people who sew, knit, crochet, upcycle/recycle and refashion clothing for themselves. Although each participant can set their own goals, most apparently aim to wear something they’ve made every day in May. That’s a lot of handmade clothing! My goal is to wear as much of my own clothing as possible, and to make a list of what I wish I could wear, and then at the end of the month, I’ll see what gaps I have and figure out what to make next.
In the meantime, there are some other bike-y fashions and accessories to admire. Personal favorite Cleverhood has come up with a new Indigogo campaign for Cleverlite, a simpler version of the original ‘hood, in lighter weight fabrics, and made in Fall River, MA. I’ve already pledged – the lightweight cape will be perfect when The Mechanic and I go to Disney World in 2017.
Another fun new bike fashion product is Esperanza Workshop. Started by a friend of a former colleague, Esperanza’s bike bags are hand made in Oakland, CA, out of waxed linen, which are scraps from another local company – how cool is that?! Talk about sustainable fashion. Jen, the founder, tells her origin story on her blog (hint: no cool designs for women…) – I really like that she’s taken her bike bags to international destinations, because that sort of versatility is what I look for in the perfect bag. Plus, the texture of the waxed linen is really cool. Personally, I like the Kate Envelope clutch, because it’s funky yet neutral, and large enough to be really useful. **Jen is generously offering a 10% off discount through the month of May using the discount code TINLIZZIE. Nice!**
Herschel Supply Co. has come up with more lust-worthy reflective bags. They are part of the new “Packable” collection, so lightweight as well (I see a theme…). I like the tote bag – simple, vertical, black, reflective… what’s not to love?!
Speaking of reflective bags, ICNY Sport has some great reflective bags as well. Most of this NYC line is geared towards guys, with baseball caps and oversized tee shirts, but I really like what they are doing. So their packable reflective backpack caught my eye on Instagram – it’s not 100% reflective, but the price, $25, is better. Although their cool collab tote bag with fellow Brooklyn company D’Emploi is sold out, so if you want this backpack, buy it quick!
The Mechanic scored a fabulous Craigslist find last week – a sleek, simple Tern folding bike! We’ve been talking about replacing our road bikes with folding bikes for ages, and finally it’s happening! My road bike is gone <sniff> and in its place is a matte black Tern, named Amsel, which is German for “black bird.” Seemed appropriate! The Mechanic had to take apart the internal gear hub, to discover it was not only rusty but full of water, so we haven’t played around with it much. Doesn’t matter – I am now busy plotting trips to take folding bikes on! Once we get a second folding, we’ll be able to take them to Northwest Arkansas when we visit The Mechanic’s father this summer; I really want to bike on the Razorback Greenway, a “heritage” trail that connects much of northwest Arkansas. I don’t know the area, so riding bikes through this part of the country really appeals to me. And if we go to Berlin for Christmas, well, we won’t need to rent bikes, we’ll have our own! Closer to home, now we can take folding bikes on Amtrak to Philadelphia and then bike to Bartram’s Garden, America’s oldest botanical garden and 45-acre National Historic Landmark.
In other bicycle travel news, it’s a big deal that U. S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx recently toured Copenhagen by bicycle, along with three US mayors. Although Secretary Foxx and the mayors were possibly the only people out on bikes wearing helmets, it’s exciting that they were able to experience what The Mechanic and I, and so many others, love about biking in Copenhagen. I hope that all four are able to convince others that this is something we should strive towards for our nation as well.
Bike Month Action Items:
Sign up for the National Bike Challenge, if you haven’t yet! This challenge not only gives you points for every day you ride, it lasts four months, so there is plenty of time to rack up total points. Put together a team or just personally compete with someone else on the leader board. It’s a fun way to get more people biking.
If you are in the DC area, attend the National Museum of Women in the Arts event, Fresh Talk: Women on Wheels, on Sunday, May 15th. Asking if the bicycle can be an agent of change (um, yes), speakers will share their thoughts, plus there will be a “Sunday Supper” meal afterwards. I’ll be there – let me know if you will be as well so we can meet up!
And if you find any cool bike fashions to share, there’s no better time! Let’s celebrate all things bike-y (and reflective!) this month!