In Which I Try on Reid Miller Apparel

Last week, Washington DC favorite bike shop Bicycle Space in Adams Morgan hosted an evening for Reid Miller Apparel, so we could go try on the pieces from her Kickstarter collection. Naturally, I was eager to go, and carefully plotted out my Capital Bikeshare route to Adams Morgan. I hadn’t been to the new location, and boy was it beautiful! Bicycle Space Adams MorganReid was there with her display set up right in front, when I arrived, already helping some women try on the tweed blazers.

I’m a sucker for tweed, I confess (raised on BBC murder mysteries. Jeremy Brett is still my god), and I love that Reid is using Harris Tweed for her tweed jacket.

Mmmm... Harris Tweed...

Mmmm… Harris Tweed…

Reid Miller 4

Don’t I look like I should be biking through fall leaves, on my way to pick apples and my Halloween pumpkin?

Even though wearing wool makes my skin itch like  you wouldn’t believe, I tried on everything – the tweed blazer, the merino wool waffle sweater, and the jeans. I love them all – but can only wear the jeans. So please take my comments with a grain of salt – if you love biking in wool, you will love these pieces! Reid Miller 10 Reid Miller 11The jacket is cut large so that it will fit over whatever bulky sweater and scarf you might be wearing, and the sleeves are long, to accommodate your wrists as you reach for the handlebars. I love the zipped pockets, especially the one in the center back. The waffle weave merino sweater is lovely – squishy textured wool in three lovely fall colors; I gravitated towards the burgundy, which coordinated quite well with the purple Danskos I was wearing. I love waffle weave anything, because I like the texture, and this was just thick and sturdy and clearly high quality wool. A classic that I’m sure you’ll return to again and again.

I love the jeans. The sizing and fit survey that Reid sent out earlier this year resulted in this, a pair of skinny jeans that are cut more generously for women with cycling thighs and calves. Several of us tried them on, and we all looked good in them, standing next to each other. The waist is high in the back, and dips slightly in the front – not enough to catch the pooch (not that any of us have that, right?), but not crazy high. The legs are really long, which I love – this means I don’t *have* to cuff the legs to make it less obvious that they are not long enough. The denim is stretchy yet somehow sturdy at the same time, and the fit, well, I was really in love with the fit. I have both the Ligne 8 jeans and the Levi’s Commuter jeans, and I like these better. They are not as tight-skinny as the Levi’s, which ironically I rarely wear while biking because they are too tight. They are stretchier denim than the Ligne 8, and the cut of the waist is more flattering than the Ligne 8s as well. There isn’t any reflective trim on them, but you know me – I almost always have something reflective on anyway, so no loss there.  Oh yes, the jeans also have a reinforced crotch. These jeans I just might wear so often that this feature becomes useful!

There are only a few days left for Reid’s Kickstarter campaign. The garments are expensive, but will last for years of bicycle riding. The jeans are made in El Paso, TX, where my brother and sister-in-law live, which was another reason I backed them (not that either work in the garment industry, but still, it helps their city’s economy); the sweaters in Los Angeles, and the jacket in San Jose, Costa Rica (I can only imagine what they must think of the heavy tweed!). I have my fingers crossed for the continued success of Reid Miller and her apparel line! It’s nice to have one more woman thinking of things women might want when they ride their bicycles, and then try to bring them to the market. I heard whispers of Spring garments and hope to see those out soon too. I wish her well, and look forward to biking around this fall in my Reid Miller jeans!

Good luck, Reid!

Twinsies! Good luck, Reid!

 

 

Just Trying to Catch Up!

It’s been a busy week-plus, and there are so many topics I have wanted to blog about, but just haven’t had the time. And now I wonder if there is any point in going back, so I guess I’ll touch on the highlights.

At work, we have been crazy-busy getting ready for National Walk @ Lunch Day, April 24th. Walk @ Lunch Day is a Blue Cross Blue Shield event that we promoted to our employer clients last year, with about 200 total participants. This year we decided to add pit stops, places where walking teams could stop during their walks, and somehow the number of participants has grown to over 800! We could blame it on the goodie bags, but we gave those out last year as well. We can’t even blame it on our awesome video, but I’d like to, so here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrVXbyerOpc Isn’t it great?!IMG_4537

Last week was all about TDM – The Association for Commuter Transportation’s (ACT, aka my national association) Leadership Academy for two days (learning how to be a leader can be a bit intimidating!); ACT’s Legislative Summit, where we learned about transportation legislation, and talked to our representatives on the Hill about the importance of transit parity and TDM (and how cheap it is compared to building new roads!); then the local chapter of aforementioned association held a one-day summit, where I presented about transportation alternatives in emergency planning. At the last minute I stepped in to moderate another panel. Whew! That’s a lot of talk about how to get people to change their car-dependent ways!

Saturday, The Mechanic and I biked into DC to attend the Brooks Dashing Bicycle Show at Bicycle Space. IMG_4807

Although they had a bike valet, we opted to lock up down the street. IMG_4809

Bikey though I might be, I was pretty excited to see a 1931 pickup parked in front of Bicycle Space. I learned to drive, at the tender age of 15, in a 1928 Model A Ford pickup.IMG_4803

As much as I want to share the picture of me in the Model A, well, I was a teen, and look pretty dorky. I’m just not sure I can…  It was cool to see all the Brooks saddles, and bags, and coats, and other accessories, even my favorite GiveLoveCycle being sold in the shop. We had Hendricks Gin punch, and The Mechanic bought Bike Snob‘s new book, Bike Snob Abroad (which, I might add, he’s already finished!), but managed to leave without realizing we’d miss out on Bike Snob’s presentation. Oops. Damn. I comfort myself with the knowledge that we’ve been slandered on his blogpost. At least, the back of our heads have been…. IMG_4797

Biking through DC, fashionable and reflective though I was, made me think about the keynote speaker from last week’s summit, Jeff Speck. He is a city planner and his most recent book is about walkability, Walkable City: How Downtown Can Save America, One Step at a Time. I definitely agree that making cities walkable will make them better for us all – even though I bike everywhere, I still walk just as much, and feel way more vulnerable as a pedestrian than as a cyclist. Drivers in cars pay less attention to people on foot than on two weeks. I did notice that most of Speck’s examples of innovative, redesigned cities still had the bike lanes on the outside of the parked cars. I hate to harp on Copenhagen, but it felt so much safer to have the bike lane next to the sidewalk, and to have buses and cars physically separated by the raised lane.100_8229

Someday, when I live in Copenhagen, I may look back on this as naivete but I really hope American cities move towards this. I think that as active transportation and health issues move closer and closer together (walking at lunch is fun AND healthy, an cities should promote it more!), we will see more interest in connecting areas, not just cool downtown areas, but neighborhoods were people can walk to grocery stores and coffee shops, and to see each other, to make our lives better all around.

Okay, you talked me into it – here I am at the wheel of the Model A – Early Driver