Savvy visor

Any bespectacled cyclist will be familiar with the dilemma presented by rain: a downpour doesn’t only mean that you will arrive at your destination looking bedraggled, but the likelihood is that a large portion of your journey will be completed with limited vision as the rain gathers on your specs. Well now I say to you: fear no more! It is time to revisit decades long-gone and invest in an accessory that should otherwise have remained gathering dust in attics or at the bottom of the charity shop bargain bin. No, I don’t mean bum bags, I’m talking about visors!

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I picked this polka dot visor up in the ASOS sale last summer as part of a wacky thought process… I can’t imagine how this trendy(!) gem ended up in the sale. Regardless, with the addition of a beanie hat I have made it home from work with a dry face and full vision. Plus it’s compact enough to keep in my handbag in case of unexpected showers, whereas a waterproof coat would be far more cumbersome.

For those voting Yes in the great helmet debate, I have in the past been able to force my helmet on over the top, but the thick fabric band on this visor model doesn’t sit as well as a lighter, smaller model might. If you’re shopping for a visor you should take this detail into account.

So what do you say? It may not be the most fashion forward accessory but it certainly does the job!

What tricks do you have to keep dry in the torrents?

Blue skies

April showers have turned into a chilly May, and I’d be lying if I said that I cycled my way through last month’s torrential rains. When the heavens open a bus is dryer and much more comfortable, but if you’re braving the elements, make sure you stay safe by keeping an eye on your bike maintenance, especially the brakes – remember that wet brakes are less responsive!

For tips on how to stay dry, here’s my How To guide.
And if you want to keep your head in clear skies, check out these beautiful bespoke helmets by New York designer Belle Helmets.

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Sky helmet, @Etsy or @bellehelmets.com. £95.35 or as agreed with seller.

Cath Kidston bike-bargain

coverWe may be in a draught warning zone, but Spring showers are always a possibility, and we can definitely guarantee our fair share of Weather once autumn sets in. Once you’ve decided on your cycle outfit, the last thing you want to do is to have to sit on a wet seat and soak your bum, so a saddle cover is the best solution.

Hurry down to your local Cath Kidston or visit the website and pick up their funky saddle cover with 15% its usual £3.50 price using the ecode EGGS. The discount expires on 31st March so don’t think about it for too long or you might miss out!

Cath Kidston Be A Good Sport bike seat cover.

Staying Dry

After our mini heatwave in the last couple of weeks it’s time to think about the opposite of April showers, and consider staying dry in Autumn. Thanks to the ladies who responded to ‘wet wet wet‘ in July I can share with you two companies that create beautiful waterproof coats for chic cyclists. Why make do with unsightly standard cyclewear or standard clothing that isn’t quite up to the job?

First up, it’s the Cambridge Raincoat Company, a home-grown design company that addresses the lack of functional coats for cyclists that don’t want to sacrifice in the style-stakes. The waterproof knee length coats come in red, green, mauve or yellow, with matching polka dot lining to stop the wind chills from filtering though. Plus if you opt in for the reflective embroidery you’ll be sure to be seen without the need for a hi-vis vest that may ruin your look. Get one here for £135 and ‘like’ the Facebook page for a peak at some more pictures.

Water Off a Duck’s Back has had a fair bit of attention recently (check out the review in The Guardian), and if you’re not feeling bold enough for a splash of colour then their black macs might be for you. The main difference is that this is a wrap coat, meaning that there are no buttons to hold the coat closed, just a belt at the waist, and rather than the optional hi-vis, each mackintosh comes with reflective strips that can be cunningly hidden and revealed as required by folding up/down the sleeves and collar, and turning the belt sash. Buy here for £130 in either black or stone and check out the recently launched Men’s version for £140.

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Left: Water off a Duck’s Back mackintosh in Black.
Right: The Cambridge Raincoat Company mackintosh in Poppy Red.

wet wet wet

The last week has demonstrated a myriad of weather conditions; We’ve sweated in the muggy suffocation, we’ve indulged in summer sunshine, and we’ve dashed between awnings as the clouds finally break. On afternoons like we had yesterday, we need to ask ourselves how not to end up like this:

drenchedI managed to get indoors before the real downpour started, but this served me as a reminder that being prepared for the elements is no laughing matter.When it comes to staying dry, there really is nothing better than a good cape. Not one of these fashionable cropped capes that sit ineffectually over your shoulders, no, a proper cape with buttons or clasps to keep it pulled to over your knees.
Last winter I did a write up on Cycling in… a cape, and for a few more pointers on choosing your perfect cape – or even where to start looking for one – there’s plenty more in the tags.

And shhh! ASOS has slashed the price on their cotton hooded cape in this year’s sale.