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Lovely things: cool schoolbag edition

Lovely things: cool schoolbag edition

Lovely things bags aug 12

 

There is no escaping it, school is coming. At our house, we’re heading into the big tumble dryer that is elementary school this autumn, so that means full days and packed lunch. I am trying very hard not to buy every cool bento thing ever. But first things first – everyone needs a cool schoolbag!

1// Beatrix NY Alexander the Robot

2 // Hanna Andersson Kids There & Backpack

3 // Herschel Supply Co Heritage Kids Collection in Sunday

4 // MadPax LatorGator

5 // Schoolbags for Kids Dragonflyer Fuzzy Flyer

 

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Bike helmet hair, popsicle recipes, summer veggies, and dry shampoo

Bike helmet hair, popsicle recipes, summer veggies, and dry shampoo

railspur alley

Oh it is hot here, my friends. And summer camps never seem to last long enough for me to finish a thought AND get food for dinner, so here are some things I’m finding pretty indispensable right now.

Five great bike helmet hair ideas from Refinery29.

I may have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to popsicle recipes.

Have an overload of summer vegetables? Oh My Veggies has a recipe (or six) for you.

Seven great dry shampoos and how to use them from BC Living.

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My new favourite cycling dress

My new favourite cycling dress

stripe-bottom dressIt’s just what I look for: a bit stretchy, just above the knee, breathable. Just above the knee is crucial, because it allows full leg movement without getting tangled in my rear brake pads (say) but doesn’t ride up enough to give the entire bike route a view of my knickers. Yay!

And only $24 at Joe Fresh.

My other secret weapon in the cycling in dresses department is Jockeys Skimmies Slipshorts. Ignore the naff name, enjoy the comfortable, non-chafing underwear. I particularly like these as they aren’t meant as shapewear, so there is no Olympics-worthy, sweat-inducing 20 minutes getting them on. They come in many colours and the bottom edge isn’t lacey or anything, so if you do accidentally flash a passing cyclist, you just look super prepared in bike shorts. They are also quite cool to wear.

 

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Beautiful bike pannier bags. No really.

Beautiful bike pannier bags. No really.

I had a hilarious conversation by the bike racks at the farmers market this weekend. A woman and her family had just ridden up, and we started chatting about my Sahn helmet, the merits of no holes in your helmet (ventilation v style and not getting rained on). She noticed my Linus pannier bag and was amazed to see a such a nice-looking bag be a pannier, and not look like a WATERPROOF RACING CYCLIST kind of bag.

I admit I have spent maybe more hours than would be strictly healthy searching out bike gear that does not look like Bike Gear, if you know what I mean. In my moments sweating up a major hill, then walking up the rest of the hill, then stopping at the top texting my husband about how I think I might throw up or something, but trying to look nonchalantly busy with an important message from a cool person about some pop-up supper club, I am deeply embarrassed about my obsession with nice-looking gear.

But then I think – what, I can’t have anything nice until I can do the Tour de France? Forget that. If I’m going to suffer trying to get up these damn hills, I’m going to have a nice jacket/pannier bag/bike basket while I do it. *stamps foot*

So now that we’re all on the same page, let’s look at some pretty pictures of nice, functional panniers that don’t look like scuba gear.

linus the sac

The aforementioned Linus’s The Sac (check prices). I’ve been using this one for about a month and I really like it. Fits my 13” Macbook in a sleeve while still being able to close with the powerful magnets at the top. I’ve also fit a 1lb bag of kale, a bunch of radishes, a small bag of nugget potatoes, my wallet, my make-up bag, and a package of smoked salmon. So you know, it’s flexible. Small ring and padlock included should you want to secure it to your bike.

Dutch bike accessories brand Basil is a great place to start when it comes to beautiful baskets and bags. Their bike pannier options are excellent. This Bohème Carry All comes with pannier hooks under a zippered flap, and loads of space inside, with some compartments to keep your small bits contained. It’s water-resistant too. I love this black and charcoal version, but it also comes in lovely red and aquamarine versions too.

 

If you’re looking for more storage capacity and the ability to attach panniers around a child seat, this double-bag from Basil is an excellent budget option. It’s got a 35L capacity, reflective bits to make you more visible in the dark, and a closure that allows you to lock your panniers to your bike. I love that these are so roomy, but also actually beautiful. That’s a bit of a Cinderella pannier, I have to say!

 

image courtesy Bike Belle

The Bike Belle MIRA Au Lait is from the Polish bike accessories brand’s Kickstarter campaign, and they kindly sent me one to try out. I love it, and when I was working in an office in Vancouver I was asked repeatedly where it came from, and when I demonstrated the built-in pannier hooks, there were gasps. It’s vegan leather, which keeps the price affordable and water resistant. I routinely packed my Macbook, a packed lunch, notebooks, pens, a cardigan, and a water bottle in there comfortably. There’s a shoulder strap included as well.

Image courtesy of Bike Belle

I have a deep love of satchels, and Bike Belle doesn’t disappoint with this blue and white canvas version. Water-repellant canvas with leather trim, this retro beauty has a zippered flap that covers the pannier hooks when you take it off your bike, so you won’t catch it on your clothing. It also comes in cherry red. There’s a shoulder strap tucked in there too.

Tourbon is a brand I hadn’t seen before, but I like their waterproof canvas bags. They do a nice over the rear rack double bag for a reasonable price. They roll up when not in use to save space, and you can detach one and bring it with you as a shoulder bag.

 

Have you found a beautiful bike pannier? Please do share.

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Cool Kickstarter projects: Iva Jean’s new collection

Cool Kickstarter projects: Iva Jean’s new collection

I don’t really do sporty clothes. So when I take my bike, which I’m trying to do more often, I don’t have stretchy things and fluorescent jacket and all that. I just want to take my bike, you know?

iva jean kickstarter 2

However, there are some elements of that sporty stuff that would make my life easier. Breathable fabrics, stretchy things that look nice in colours I would actually wear, shirts with a back long enough to cover me when I’m leaning over attaching the bike trailer – that kind of thing. I’ve been a fan of Iva Jean, the Seattle-based company making nice-looking and practical cycle clothes for women, for awhile now. I covet the gorgeous pencil skirt with the built in vent to make cycling practical.

iva jean kickstarter

This month Iva Jean has their new collection ready to go via Kickstarter. There are some gorgeous pieces: merino t-shirts in flattering shapes, leggings in durable dry wick fabric without seams on the inside. Just beautiful.

All photos courtesy of Iva Jean

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