Monday, June 22, 2009

Bicycle Film Festival June 17-21

This weekend I went to the Bicycle Film Festival, complete with rainy fans and raucous bike messengers alike. We were a motley crew snaking around the Anthology Film Archives on 2nd Avenue; all the bikers were sporting cute bike hats and funny combination leggings/shorts or the requisite Japanese fish-on-my-huge-calf tattoos. They wore black shorts, black bags and black Vans. I, being naturally tough, was bike-less, carrying a yuppie umbrella and a tricycle tote bag.

Once we got inside, the theatre smelled like was packed, and kind of smelled like wet bike messenger. The majority of the films were adrenaline pumping, high speed head-cams of messengers in NYC--rebels of the streets weaving in and out of traffic and running red lights, just like this guy, there were also a few truly good films.

One of the films, "Put the Fun between Your Legs" I had actually seen before, but it is so sweet I'm going to post it here. The women riders live up to their reputation for being rad, riding in the rain and composing diddies to boot. I like the part when Birdie Bird talks about working in a bike shop:

The other film I really liked was a short film of the Paralympic Games that depicted a tandem track bike (one of the riders was mostly blind). It was pretty unbelievable to see the tandem bike rip around the curved track, the riders were perfectly synchronized. Watch until the end to see them on the track.

Karissa & her pilot, Mackenzie:

A GOrilla plug, but not the one they showed at the film festival. I have to say: it's a beautiful bicycle.

Wonka EUROTRIP TEASER. from GORILLa Bicycles. on Vimeo.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Brooklyn Bike Jumble May 31st

This week has been rough. My foul mood was alleviated only momentarily when I walked by Claire Danes in SoHo on Tuesday. She was super cute and wearing a white linen jacket--she's shorter and skinnier than I'd imagined. This was almost as exciting as I saw Natalie Portman in the hot-girl-dance-class that was before my yoga class at Printing House, but that was before I quit the gym.

I've neglected to post about a few incredible events that have been happening, most of them Pride related. It was been a fun couple of weeks, thanks of course to DOB-C.

First though, I have to recap my visit to the Brooklyn Bike Jumble on May 31st, the first of its kind. The Jumble was held on 5th Avenue in Park Slope between 4th and 5th Streets--when I got there it was crowded, which made me really happy. I saw a few beautiful fixies and older frames for sale. It seemed like the vendors were a combination of legitimate businesses and also messengers who were just interested in selling their wares. I considered arriving with camera in hand, a set of laminated press credentials (my spoke card?!), but felt sheepish and thought better of it. I basically walked around like a nut and snapped photos. Oh! I also had the pleasure of meeting Taliah Lempert, and I bought one of her handmade hats. (You might remember her from one of my previous posts). She was really nice and she carts all her artwork in a bike with a big carrier on the front. That's what I'm talking about.

The Jumble:

My new Taliah hat:

Taliah's booth:

Cute tees:

Hot bikes:

Outlier Responds!

I am as excited about Outlier as my male bike-blogger counterparts. And if I was at all on the fence about them because they haven't exposed any of their potentially sexy girl clothes yet, Abe wrote me a sweet email. Thanks Abe! And if you need anyone to demo your female line, you know who to call...

(It also just so happens he rides a bike I posted about here.)

Hey Quinn,

Wait you don't think women look best in Intense Fuschia, Overwrought Aqua and Diaper Change Yellow? The contract we signed with our fabric mill says we need to use at least 2 of those colors in the women's line...

Ok I'm lying, actually we are working on some women's stuff using the exact same fabrics as our mens line and with a very similar minimal aesthetic. Basically expect versions of our current garments cut to fit women's body's properly.

In terms of the breath of the women's range, that's really a step by step thing. We don't exactly make that many men's items to begin with. For now we really are a men's line, a couple years ago none of us had any knowledge of the clothing industry at all and we bootstrapped it together in a large part because we knew what we wanted. We are experimenting with women's stuff because women keep asking us for it, and it seems like an interesting path to follow. But how far we go on that path really depends on both us learning how to make clothes for women properly and women actually buying the initial ones we make. So stay tuned, should be interesting.



Thursday, June 4, 2009

Oh, Chrome: I Spoke Too Soon

Not too long ago I posted about the slight discomfort of my Chrome bag, estimating that it is slightly too big for my back. A short week later, I got an an email from Chrome (I'm on their email list) announcing the arrival of a smaller, more manageable bag! They read my mind!

The new bag is called the Corsair , and it is a slightly smaller, "stripped down" version of the mini metro. Even better for all you smaller riders out there--I think this will fit your back. It measures 18" wide, 12"tall and 4"deep compared to the mini metro's 20" wide x 11.5"tall x 6"deep. It also costs a reasonable $80 to the mini metro's $120: a good deal.

The Corsair has less pockets (not the four expandable ones on the sides--good for storing sunglasses or beer bottles) and it doesn't have the signature seat belt/button clasp but it still has the metal fastener, that somehow seconds as a bottle opener (or so I'm told). It doesn't come in as many fancy colors as the mini metro yet, but grey is pretty cool:

I'm also trying to figure out: does Chrome make custom bags? I've seen a few sweet color combinations that haven't been on their website. On Sunday, at Bike Jumble, I spotted this one (white and pink?!), and it was so sweet I had to take a picture:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Outlier: You're What Women Want

As I've frequented other bike blogs, I've noticed a clear reaction to Outlier: everyone loves 'em. They make durable, urban, work-appropriate clothes for cyclists who commute--what's not to love?

Here's my question: Where is the women's section?

According to Outlier's Twitter, women can "expect something in the fall." This, although promising, does not support the number of women already commuting or thinking about commuting to work during the present time. Of course, commuting presents its own set of obstacles, including: am I going to be really sweaty when I get there? How am I going to wear work clothes/change into work clothes when I get there? Where can I store my bike so it won't get stolen?

The everlasting question also remains: what can I wear? Although Top Shop is slotted to come out with a line of cycling-inspired clothing soon, practical work clothes must be both fashionable and durable: two qualities that seem to prevail at Outlier. Although I'm sure they've heard it before, I decided to write them an email:

Dear Outlier,

From your Twitter post, I see that you have plans to introduce women's clothes to Outlier. I think this is a fantastic idea, and only hope that the new garments--perhaps pants, shirts, skirts, jackets and caps, exemplify the same sleek, urban style of your men's clothing.

I also hope that you won't adorn the women's line with too much "flare," but that it remains as solid colored and simplistic as the men's line. With products as attractive as yours, it would be a shame to belittle women's cyclists and commuters with overtly feminine decorations. I envision a complement to the 4Season OG Pant--practical, durable, and presentable.

In addition, I hope you allot your women's line equal attention to that of the men's clothes. To see a sparse women's cycling section in any sports catalog or cycling catalog is disheartening to say the least--not only are manufacturers insistent upon clothing us in pink, but they seem to have trouble providing us with an equal amount of choices. I'd love to see Outlier outdo the odds and make a terrific, wide range of women's clothing for cyclists and commuters.



PS I'm jealous of Abe's Cannondale.

Let's see how Outlier responds, hold on for future posts.