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.

skies skies1
Sky helmet, @Etsy or @bellehelmets.com. £95.35 or as agreed with seller.

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.

woadb cambridge red
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.

Banana yellow

Seasonal fashion varies from year to year, and although the current trend is for pale (almost colourless!) palettes, S/S will always be represented by sunshine yellow and bright florals. With that in mind, this upright bicycle with its flowery chain-guard and hot pink pannier duo was right at home in on such a wonderfully sunny day.
banana banana1Covent Garden, WC2.