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Monthly Archives: March 2014

Fashions for Fifty: Fifty is Fascinating and Flirty

One person’s frivolous is another person’s fascinating. A small hat embellished with tall fluffy feathers may seem frivolous, but to a women of a certain age a fascinator hat can be quite flirty, especially when combined with a flouncy petticoat, skyscraper heels and just enough cleavage to make the church ladies tsk-tsk.

Fascinating Portrait

Inspired by the poem by Jenny Joseph that begins “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn’t go,” Fashions for Fifty is a month-long celebration of my fiftieth birthday in March 2014.

 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Cycle Fashions

 

Gear Talk: An Upstanding Kickstand for Roadies

The lowly kickstand is the Rodney Dangerfield of bike parts. It don’t get no respect. And honestly, on road bikes designed for performance, not carrying gear, the benefit is outweighed by the cost of carrying the extra weight, the risk of frame damage on bikes with lightweight tubing, and the social stigma in roadie bike culture.

But there are times where a kickstand on a road bike is pretty darn handy, like when my friend Lorri Lown teaches her Savvy Bike bike clinics. In outdoor sessions she found herself hopping on and off the bike as she explained things, and it was awkward to lay her bike down just to pick it up again. So she got an Upstand.

I thought it was so cool so I got one and installed it on Dick’s Phil Wood road bike before its photo shoot.

Upstand in Action Wide

In the up position, it looks similar to the chainstay mounted kickstand I have on my touring bike. But you don’t kick the upstand to start rolling. Instead, you remove the carbon-fiber upstand from its tiny attachment tab installed on the rear wheel’s skewer, gently tugging to release the tiny magnet that holds it in place.

Upstand Mount Wide

The upstand is shock-corded like a backpacking tent pole, so you can fold it and put it in your jersey pocket for the ride. The attachment tab is a mere 15 grams and the upstand is only 25 grams, so even the biggest weight weenie can’t complain. How stable is is? Align the tab correctly and I’d say it’s pretty darn stable.

Upstand in Jersey Pocket

The Upstand is perfect for photo shoots on bikes without kickstands. But as for real-world use, I’ll have to switch it to my road bike to test it out and let you know how it goes.

Do you have a kickstand on your bikes? If so, which ones and why? If not, would you consider an Upstand?

 
5 Comments

Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Gear Talk

 

Bike Rack FAIL: Stinky Situation in Mountain View

You can tell at a quick glance how much a business values its customers that arrive by bike. When there’s a sturdy bike rack next to the main door it says, “Welcome, we love you!” When the bike rack is far from the door, falling apart or hidden away it says, “You’re not important customers.” And when the bike rack tucked in an back alley or next to smelly garbage dumpsters the message is clear, “Our valued customers don’t ride bikes.”

Dumpster Bike Rack

To that I say, “Your attitude stinks, just like your garbage.” Time for me to find a new noodle shop.

Location: Luu Noodle at San Antonio Shopping Center, Mountain View, California, USA

 
12 Comments

Posted by on March 12, 2014 in Bike Lane FAIL

 

Fashions for Fifty: Fifty is Fabulous Fun

“When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t because it suits me.” Grape, berry, eggplant, cherry, tomato, brick. When a woman enters her second half-century of life she can take certain liberties, especially in the realm of fashion. My big 5-0 is this month, and I’ll be celebrating with style.

Newsboy Portrait

Who says you shouldn’t wear trends the second time around? Experience means knowing how to pull it off.

Inspired by the poem by Jenny Joseph that begins “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat which doesn’t go,” Fashions for Fifty is a month-long celebration of my fiftieth birthday in March 2014.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Cycle Fashions

 

A Closer Look: Phil Wood by Sycip Custom Road Bike

Some people covet them for the precise fit. Some have them built to perform a specialized task. Some seek the status of riding a one-of-a-kind item. For my husband Dick, treating himself to a custom built bike meant choosing exactly what he wanted like a kid in a candy store: frame material, tubing, joining method, geometry, paint scheme and application method, components and more. And of course, to fit him precisely.

I don’t know if Dick caught the custom bike bug at any of the North American Handmade Bike Shows we’ve attended over the years in San Jose, Austin and Sacramento, but it certainly hastened the symptoms. It’s no surprise. Dick has had a soft spot for lugged steel bikes since he bought his 1987 Bianchi Super Corsa with its flashy chrome lugs, and the NAHBS showcases some of the sexiest lugged steel bikes found anywhere.

With a generous offer from a close friend at Phil Wood, weeks of planning and painfully long months of waiting, the reward was sweet: a SyCip road frame built with Richard Sachs lugs, branded as Phil Wood & Co.

Phil Wood Sycip Road Bike

Dick set the bike up originally with a carbon fork, but switched to a custom steel fork made by Steelman Cycles, which he had chromed vintage-style by Superior Chrome in San Jose. That’s a lot of custom work by a lot of master craftsmen. But to Dick, the result is well worth it. It fits like a glove and rides like dream. His dream.

Location: Historic Woodside Store, Woodside, California, USA.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 5, 2014 in Bike Gallery

 

Fashion Holiday Edition: Mardi Gras Masquerade

C’mon take me to the Mardi Gras! I have just the ballgown for a carnival ball: yards of taffeta over a fluffy petticoat and a shawl embellished with Mardi Gras-themed sequin appliques. With long purple opera gloves, bold jewelry and a shimmering feathered mask, my combo’s ready for a Mardi Gras Mambo beat.

Mardi Gras Ball Gown

About Fashion Friday: Inspired by a 2011 Bike to Work Day challenge sponsored by the San Francisco Bicycle Coalition, this series highlights the broad range of “dress for the destination” bicycling fashions.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on March 3, 2014 in Cycle Fashions

 
 
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