Shirt week! The wonderful merino world of Findra

This is a personal story, I’m warning you in advance!

When I’ve met the Adventure Syndicate folk at events, and watched Lee Craigie‘s video about riding the Caledonia Way, I’ve noticed their lovely merino tops, made by Scottish women’s cycling brand Findra.  I loved the style, of course, and the little details, like the thumb-holes, and the great textured elbows – it’s really nice clothing, and the website is full of gorgeous things.

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Shirt week! The Velocio.cc 2017 collection

I’ve written about Velocio.cc before – the cycling clothing company set up by legend of women’s cycling, Kristy Scrymgeour, former cyclist, PR genius at HTC-Highroad and owner/manager of Specialized-lululemon, which morphed into Velocio-SRAM.

I’ve written about their original collection, their collaborations with pro cyclists Helen Wyman and Tiffany Cromwell, and the 2016 collection – and now it’s time for their new 2017 collection.

Velocio.cc sells full cycling kit for women and men, as well as ‘essentials‘ including socks, arm warmers, booties, caps and more.  They have some really interesting clothing innovations aimed at riding in different conditions (Ultralight for riding in the heat, Zero for the cold, Recon outerwear, and so on) and I like that they keep pushing at improving the kit – the 2017 wind vest, for example, has been redesigned to reduce flapping.

The sizing guide is here, and the shipping page here (UK customers and others, just be aware the Post Office might charge you an import tax, as they’re sent to EU addresses from Ireland).

I have to say that I miss their gorgeous cyan-and-white patterned jersey (as worn by Tayler Wiles in this tweet)… and if you do too, there are still some available, at sale prices!  Make sure you check out the entire sale page, because once the designs are gone, they’re gone…

If you want to know more about Kristy Scrymgeour, and her life with Velocio, read this interview with her from December, on Ella Cycling Tips.  And as always, I don’t benefit in any way from sharing this – I just like it, and hope you will too.

Shirt week! Iris Slappendel’s IRIS collection

Ex pro cyclist Iris Slappendel had always combined design work with her bike racing career, as she had a Design degree.  She’s done all kinds of things, from designing bikes, to making websites to team-mates, to designing bike kit, for Milltag and for Strongher, for example, and most famously for the Dutch 2016 Olympic cycling team, and the UCI’s Road World Cup leaders’ jerseys.  But now she’s launching her own bike kit brand, I Ride In Style, which sells cycling kit for women and men The initial limited collection is available for pre-order until 29th March 2017.

Of course there are the cycling jerseys and bib shorts, for both men and women, but I love that Slappendel also includes some more affordable items too – a T shirt in women’s and men’s fits, a cap, and socks.  And alongside the clothing, she has a collection of unique bags, made from recycled and upcycled materials, something she’s been selling for years – you can buy bags made from an old sofa, a leather jacket, a sleeping bag, and old coat.

Find out more on the website, including the size guide (up to XXL for women) and worldwide shipping guide (UK residents, remember you might need to pay an import tax when they arrive!).  You can also follow on the I Ride In Style twitter and instagram, and sign up to a newsletter on the IRIS site.  And of course, follow Slappendel on her twitter, instagram and personal website.

Vote for (and buy!) your favourite 2017 Women’s Cycling kits – Part 2: the Best of the Rest

Last week I put up the first 2017 women’s road cycling cycling team kit poll, for this year’s top 20 UCI-ranked teams, the ones that get automatic invitations to the UCI Women’s WorldTour Stage Races – and it was won by USA team Tibco-SVB.

But of course, those teams just scratch the surface – there are a lot more out there, with some really fantastic kits.  I asked my readers for nominations for Part 2 of the kit vote, and wow, you delivered!  All of these teams have been nominated on twitter or here on the website, and there’s a real range, from big professional outfits you’ll see at a lot of the largest races, right down to tiny domestic squads – and there are some really interesting designs in here that I think you’ll love.

As always, I’ve included links to where you can buy the kits, where I’ve found them.

The voting is now over, but you can CHECK OUT THE RESULTS at the bottom of the page – did your favourite win?

The previous year’s kit posts are on Podium Café for 2014 and 2015, and here for last year’s votes for the WorldTour and the ‘Best of the Rest‘ – and you can buy the 2016 kits through the links for the WorldTour teams, and for the USA domestic squads.

All photos are from the team websites, unless otherwise stated – click through them for the sources and credits.

Amy D. Foundation

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Photo from the race facebook

The Amy D. Foundation is a very special organisation, set up to honour the memory of profesional rider Amy Dombroski, who died in 2013, when she was hit by a car out training for cyclocross in Belgium.

The Foundation helps USA women and girls ride road, cyclocross and MTB, and has a scholarship programme, as well as the road team – and one of the notable things about that team is how it has given American pros whose trade teams aren’t racing in the USA chances to ride, alongside the team’s development riders.  It’s a win-win scenario, sharing pro riders’ skills and expertise with women just starting out in the sport, while letting them race more.

The kit is sky-blue and orange, and you can buy a supporters’ version with the logo on black, in women’s and men’s cut, as well as shoes, from Pearl Izumi, where 50% of all proceeds go to the Foundation.  You can also show your support by buying T-shirts, socks, stickers bidons, caps and a pintglass from Handlebar Moustache, an Amy D. edition Lazer helmet, and even a coffee roast from Grimpeur Brothers coffee.

Find out more about all their work on their website, including about their road-specific programme, and follow them on twitter and facebook. You can also support the work of the Foundation by buying products and services from their partner organisations, or of course by making a donation directly. (You’ll get a free, limited edition beanie, if you donate $30 or more to the road programme before 20th March 2017)

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Bianchi-Dama UK

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Three happy films (& links) for February: Bike science fiction, Lee Craigie and WorldTour

If you, like me, live in the UK, you’ll know that February can be a hard month – so often grey, dreary, dreich, and feeling like it will never end.  Cyclocross is over, and the Spring Classics are yet to begin.  But there are also so many positives too – sunny days feel so much better, for their rarity, and days are getting noticeably longer; the first Spring flowers are out; and in the women’s cycling world, we get tons of great film-ettes that remind us that the winter is nearly over.

I’ve seen three that I love this week – and they include a book giveaway too, because I’m sharing the joy and want to give two lucky readers a nice gift!

1. Lee Craigie’s ‘Escape’ film

You probably already know I’m a huge fan of the Adventure Syndicate, a group of women who share their bike-based adventures to inspire and encourage others to do more.  One of the Founders, Lee Craigie, has made a little film for UK charity Sustrans, sharing her love of cycling as she rides the Caledonia Way.

It’s a gorgeous little film, combining a love of bike riding with gorgeous scenery, and Craigie’s soft Scottish accent.  It’s uplifting, inspiring and happy, and you all should watch it!

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Vote for (and buy!) your favourite 2017 Women’s Cycling kits – the WorldTour edition

It’s that time of year again, when we’re waiting for the Spring Classics to start – and as is now traditional, I’m here to show you who’s wearing what kit, so it’s easier for you to work out who’s who when you’re watching all the live racing this year, and to give you the chance to vote for your favourites.  I’ll also include links to any team shops, so you can buy jerseys, caps and much more.

I’m starting with kits from the teams that get automatic invitations to the 2017 UCI Women’s WorldTour stage races.

Update! The voting is now closed – but you can see the results at the bottom of the page.   Will you guess who won?

I’ve also got Part 2 of the 2017 vote up now – these are the teams outside the UCI top 20, that were nominated by readers.  There are some very different designs in there, so head over, have a look, and get voting!

The previous year’s kit posts are on Podium Café for 2014 and 2015, and here for last year’s votes for the WorldTour and the ‘Best of the Rest‘ – and you can buy the 2016 kits through the links for the WorldTour teams, and for the USA domestic squads.

All photos are from the team websites, unless otherwise stated – click through them for the sources and credits.

Alé Cipollinichloe-hosking

The kit has kept the same #YellowFlourance colour scheme that make them the easiest squad to pick out of the peloton, but the bubbles on the jersey have been swapped for squares, and the shorts are now black.

There are photos of the 2017 team presentation on the Alé Cipollini website, and on Cyclingnews, if you want to see more – and of course, you can watch Chloe Hosking win stage 3 of the 2017 Santos Women’s Tour, although she’s wearing the Sprint jersey, not the Alé kit, because she was doing so well.

Usually a variation of the kit, without all the sponsors etc, is for sale on the Alé Cycling site – it’s not up on the website yet, but if you like it, check back later in the year.   Last year’s jersey was based on Alé’s ‘bubbles’ design, which is still for sale in the women’s winter jersey and jacket, and men’s winter jersey and jacket.

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Astana

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Presents for women’s cycling fans 2016: Part 3 – things that help everyday women’s cycling

An annual tradition I’ve got is to pull together ideas of presents for Christmas/Hanukkah/Solstice/holiday/birthdays etc for women’s cycling fans, and women who love bikes – but part 3 is especially aimed at everyone.

Part 1 of the 2016 guide was a book list, Part 2 was things we can buy or do to support professional women cyclists and teams, and now Part 3 is about things we can do to support organisations that are working to help increase “everyday cycling” for women.

It includes some gorgeous things that just happen to have proceeds going to good works – and ways to help women in developing countries, as well as the UK, USA, Canada and Australia.  I’ve included ways to donate to all of these, either in your own name, or as a gift on behalf of someone else.

I love all these organisations, and it’s really helping my 2016 blues to think about the great work that’s going on.  Like always, if you think of organisations I’ve forgotten, please do let me a comment, or tweet me, and I’ll edit it in – I’m especially interested in organisations working in non-English-speaking countries.

Things we can buy to support everyday cycling

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Black Girls Do Bike

Black Girls Do Bike is a fantastic USA organisation, set up with a pretty self-explanatory purpose:

“…growing and supporting a community of women of color who share a passion for cycling. We champion efforts to introduce the joy of cycling to all women, but especially, black women and girls.”

They run rides, meet-ups, skill-sharing sessions and more, and do a great job sharing positive imagery that proves that despite what the average portrayal of everyday cycling in the media, black girls do bike.

There’s lots more information on their website, including how to join in, and how women can start their own chapters, and some interviews with founder Monica Garrison on Bicycling.com and on Bike Radar – and we can all support them by donating directly to them, or through their online shop.

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