As a welcome addition to this year’s expanded Women’s Bicycling Forum, the League of American Bicyclists “put out a call for applications [to women leaders in the bike industry] and were absolutely inspired by the diverse array of vendors who responded and delighted to announce the lineup for our Women Bike Pop-up Shop.”
The idea to include vendors stemmed from the theme of this year’s Forum — Women Mean Business, and the vendors who participated in this pop-up shop served to showcase several of these female leaders in the bike industry.
Nearly 20 women-owned bike shops (and causes) decorated the lobby spaces of the National Women’s Bicycling Forum and provided a welcome opportunity for attendees to meet these talented vendors, learn more about their businesses and products, and snag some great deals on awesome bike accessories.
Cleverhood displayed their rain cape – with reflective accents woven into the fabric for evening visibility:
It took all my restraint to not buy something from every vendor. I did buy myself a few items – that were easily packable in my suitcase – but I admired everything I saw and every woman I met. These women have the creativity to meet the needs of fellow female cyclists.
With all this talent in the bike industry, there truly is something for everyone and women need not feel that the bike world is male-dominated. Just demand that your local bike shop stocks these items.
For the fun of it – following the keynote addresses – the New York Bike Dancers graced the luncheon audience with a lively performance:
A year ago, the first ever National Women Cycling Forum in 2012 was simply a 2-hour panel discussion the afternoon before the start of the National Bike Summit. For 2013, it has become a full-day of speakers and break-out sessions… overwhelming in such a good way. So many inspiring female leaders in the bike industry and who work in their communities shared their ideas for how to inspire more women to bike, and the day marked a celebration of the unique (and enhanced) perspective females give to cycling.
Add to that the pop-up shops featuring female vendors in the bike industry – each showcasing their wares with distinctive flare.
In the spirit of the day – there was even an impromptu photo booth to express bike love:
Here in Chicago, our very own grassroots Women Bike Chicago has already formed… and hosted its very first Women Bike Chicago Forum (more to come in a separate post). More fun events to engage women biking in Chicago are in the works… along with planning already underway for a bigger and better Women Bike Chicago Forum in 2014. I was privileged to bring back ideas and energy from D.C. to Chicago; I hope all the people who in attended this National Women’s Bicycling Forum returned to their respective communities with energy to inspire women and all cyclists where they live.
For all you females (and males) now inspired to get more women on bikes in your community – the League may be able to help fund your ideas. Find out more about applying for a mini-grant.
Alright,Â Cycle Ladies, after a brief stint of testing, here’s the Mir.I.Am ASAP review onÂ Lululemon’s Fall Commuter “Pedal Power” threads! Â As previously mentioned, the collection is only available for purchase online for a limited time – so I tried my best to make this review a quickie! Â I posted as-soon-as-I-could-cajole-others-to-take-photos-of-me-in-the-clothes, essentially translates to a week or so. Â Here’s a quickie overview of each of the pieces I was tasked to scrutinize:
This shirt is as easy to throw (on) as Jennifer Grey, only itâ€™s better suited for commuting as opposed to dance routines. The lightweight shell is made of Cire fabric to repel wind and rain and the back gathers so we can make adjustments for a perfect fit. Reflective details mean that even in low light we feel comfortable pedaling with gusto.
wind and water-resistant finish helps us battle the elements
not one but two continuous drawcords make fine-tuning the fit a cinch
be bright – reflective details help with low light visibility
We created these lightweight cycling pants toÂ give us room when we’re busting a move during and after our commute. Transformable reflective details help keep us bright when we need it and inconspicuous when we don’t.
button the pocket flaps open and switch over the ankle tab for added reflectivity
durable Commuter Stretch Woven fabric is treated withÂ DWR to help keep you dry on the fly
stretchyÂ denim luon side panels allow you the freedom to move
Leisurely rides call for comfy gear. When we’re pedalling at our own pace, we want a layer that keeps us warm and lets us breathe. This long sleeve is the perfect fit – it’s cut long to keep us covered and has mesh paneling for us to let off steam. Let’s ride!
the loose cut of this shirt gives you the freedom to move
thoughtfully placedÂ Circle Mesh panels in high sweat areas help to keep you dry
reflective details help with visibility in low light
the drop hem with drawcord keeps you covered so you can tuck and ride
just say, “no,” to chafing with flat seams
thumbholes help keep your hands warm and makelayering easy
First Glance vs. In The Pants Impressions
Back to my first glance/first impressions/internal brain vomologue (vomit+monologue):
Whoa, these materials are slinky and sexual. Â How the crap do they make this stuff… spin the golden saliva of Aphrodite!? Â Maybe I should have ordered a size down, they seem flowy and scarfy. Â Wait, is this a SCARF? Â Must make extra efforts not to choke myself with scarf while cycling… Need scarf guard for rear wheel.
And in the pants/shirt/longsleeve impressions:
Finally! It’s actually cold enough to wear frickin PANTS! Â Oh yeah, these Pedal Power Pants could use a little more snugness in the butt for my taste, but they are comf-tastic on the ride. Â Correction: threads are spun from the Lorax’s truffula trees – silky smooth and still breathable and stretchy. Â Oooh, I like adjustability of the wind shirt at the bust and waist… Â Successfully executed getting dressed for rides on bike without playing scarf wheel hangman. Â And I like thumbholes. Â And Red. Â And Reflective Fabrics!
More Details and Opinions… If you must.
Enough quickie overviews and product data from the Lululemon Pedal Power website. Â So let’s get serious, velodactyls! (Or not.) Â The Lululemon Pedal Power line is definitely a quality product suitable for real autumn weather – I’m talking crisp mornings and falling leaves, windy winds, and maybe a touch of rain. Â This stuff may be pricy, but I would for sure put it on my back-to-school (grown-ups get those too, right?) wish list, since I’m “funemployed” at the moment. Â Overall, everything looks chic, can take a bit of rain/muddy water, and is definitely passable attire in a business-casual work environment. Â Me thinks some photo-narration is in order… good thing I have bikey friends with cameras and smahtphones! Â Ready… set… GO:
For the Pedal Power Wind Shirt, it definitely cuts out the wind and did the trick on an overcast day, but – per usual Hawaii weather protocol – it did make me sweaty from the inside despite the lightweight material. Â The shirt is a bit shiny, and does pass for a great looking “elegant” women’s commuter blouse – but not passable if your workplace is a skirt-suit and heels type of gig. Â Reflective detailing on the cuffs can be unrolled during the commute for extra flare and reflective visibility! Â The shirt zips up and has two pull cords – making a very flattering fit, but they can dig into the middle of your back at times. Â It also comes in black or white.
Lululemon’s Pedal Power Pants and Longsleeve were perfect for comfy “fall/winter” cruising about town. Â Here I am before taking off for a 15 minute ride to my part-time day job at the local Unicorn Petting Zoo. Â The Pedal Power Longsleeve was definitely comfy, very long (no instances of people shouting “crack kills!” on this commuter) and very red. It comes in black, white, red, and purple – and the sizing was a bit large for my taste. Â I followed the Lululemon Sizing guide, but it seems comfort is the keyword with this piece. Â The floppy collar buttons all the way up to protect your neck for those speedy morning downhills and I loved the thumbholes! Â Again, despite the breathable panels installed from elbow to armpit to ribcage, I still found myself needing to wash this shirt after one day of warmish fall commuting in Honolulu. Â When I wore this shirt, guys in the office said, “You look very cozy today!”
Awww, Pants! The pants were definitely my favorite and most useful. Â Even though they were loose in the butt (compare model from Lululemon site with bunchy-butt Mir) they fit in the hips and waist. Â The inseam was not too short since the leg opening is tapered at the bottom, no dragging hems for Shorty McMidge Legs over here! Â And I even got compliments on these threads at the office from the women and men – passable as business casual! Â Some funny things about the Pedal Power Pants included a seam that runs along the middle of your knee cap allowing for a gusseted stretchy knee panel and a seam going right through the crotch like a normal pair of jeans. Â Works well on a hybrid/upright type of commuter bike, but I don’t think I would last long on the seam on a road bike! Â My favorite disco-bling was the reflective panels at the ankle strap and pockets – both can be buttoned into either stealth office mode or flashy night-time ride mode! Â Personally, I left it bling-side out all. the. friggin’. time!
So there you have it – for the fashion-conscious commuting ladies out there, if you’ve got cash to spend on some high-quality threads, hit up the Lululemon Pedal Power line for some fall fancies. Â Hope you enjoyed the review… cross your fingers for more butt shots from RL and Hermes at Interbike 2012!
Please click here to read our review disclaimer as required by the Federal Trade Commission.
We published a link to the following article on our Facebook page, and it’s worth sharing here, too.
Biking with kids is all the rage in Portland these days, but biking with six kids between the ages of 2 and 11? That’s something I never would have thought possible before I met southeast Portland resident Emily Finch.
Finch, 34, is a powerhouse. Watching her pedal her bakfiets cargo bike with four kids in the front, another one in a child seat behind her, and another one on a bike attached to hers via the rear rack, is a sight that not only inspires â€” it forces you to re-think what’s possible.
As the article mentions, and as we’ve talked about repeatedly here — if you have the will and the desire to incorporate two wheels into your life, it CAN be done! I’ve met too many people “on the fence” about bike commuting…many of whom get hung up in logistical concerns or questions about what to do with their kids/clothes/appearance/safety/etc. While not everyone can forgo a car and switch to a bike (we understand that and accept that, believe it or not), there are still a LOT of people out there who could do it if they only put their minds to it.