Thursday, June 19, 2014

I'm On A Boat...cycle!

I've noticed distinct patterns emerging in my wardrobe since I returned to bicycles. The most obvious being a sharp decrease in non stretch pants and corresponding increase in dresses for the freedom of movement they provide. (I said as much in my little bit of The Girls' Bicycle Handbook.) But another, quite literal pattern has been woven through this shift: A complete mania for stripes. Partly it's due to a proliferation of stripes in the shops but my stripes love has been building for some time, the increased availability has merely allowed me to target my obsession almost exclusively on navy blue and white horizontal, as though I were permanently about to board a yacht. Blame suddenly living by the sea, blame the fact my 'best for summer biking' dress back in Perth was navy blue and white stretch cotton, blame my willing adherence to fashion. Blame what ever you like but something about stripes on a bike (Or on foot) makes me happy to be alive.

Bike Stripes Genesis in Perth.
Stretch 'T-Shirt' material dress from Target, perfect for sweaty, West Australian summers.

I'm not a summertime fan but there's something of an endless summer feeling in navy stripes that I can still appreciate. Less of the sweat, swimsuits and sunburn, more of the blessed hour when the Perth sun finally relented and you could collapse into an outdoor chair with an iced drink, sea breeze and good friends around you. Plus it just makes me feel jaunty.

Bike Stripes in Tasmania.
Heavier cotton because sweat doesn't really happen in the summer here.

Unwilling to let go of the feeling, I've now collected enough navy and white stripes to undertake one of those Capsule Wardrobe Projects and seasonally whittle my attire down to a core of striped items and things that go with stripes. Of course the majority of outfits have to be suitably 'bikeable'. The great thing about Autumn/Winter in Tasmania is that all I really have to do is add tights and some outerwear to all my Spring/Summer outfits.

Not that this fact prevented me from buying a third navy and white striped dress.

When I combine stripes with the polka-dotted Nutcase helmet, I feel like I'm radiating happiness everywhere I ride. I also feel a lot more visible in all weathers. I'll be quite sad when stripes disappear from the fashion landscape.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Winter Is Coming. Obviously.

Game of Thrones bandwagon title!

After two years in Tasmania, I've decided I enjoy all the seasons pretty equally. Especially as we actually have four so you never have time to get tired of any particular weather. Distinct changes in season remain a novelty when you're from Perth. But if I had to pick a favourite, I'd pick Autumn because the turning leaves, cool gusts and soft light combine to soothe my Celtic DNA. I love to push my face into the crisp evening air and inhale the promise of winter deep into my lungs. I love to arrive at my destination with pink cheeks and wind-curled hair. And I love to cycle in Autumn! The Turners Beach to Ulverstone Path seems to be at its prettiest during this time so Ginger and I were on it the second things tipped over into 'tights weather'. For me, not him. Although, no judgement if he ever wants to wear tights. Different strokes, etc.

I tried to take pictures in transit, with a lot less success than other bicycle bloggers. My rolling selfie game is weak. Also the front facing camera on my phone is not nearly as nice as the rear. (Insert bum joke here.)

Ginger over my shoulder.
I taught myself to arm knit off the YouTubes and
made this snood or Infinity Scarf as GenZ calls them.
Autumn colours and an excuse for scarf wearing.
What more could I want?

Saturday, April 5, 2014

At The Hipster Corral.

The sad thing about North West Tasmanian bicycle infrastructure is we have yet to link up the excellent but currently town specific shared paths. The happy thing about North West Tasmanian bicycle infrastructure is that this results in cyclist clusters at either end of each path, providing me with bicycle spotting opportunities. Especially in the case of the Wynyard path which ends (or begins, depending upon your point of view) at Bruce's*, the beachside café with bike racks and a heap of community spirit. This community spirit compelled them to have an end of summer garage sale, at which Ginger and I bought a rotary phone (Peak Hipster) and mingled our two-wheels with the sunscreened masses.

White Mixte, Red Cruiser.
The bike racks were surrounded by second hand goods.

The cruiser & us. The cruiser is apparently a Fluid brand bicycle - which, ew.
A little bit. Right?
But here is where Australians can buy them.

The red Fluid (Again, ew. Yet I've no problem with the word moist. Go figure.) was certainly eye-catching, especially with more inbuilt carrying features than your average cruiser. Just look at Ginger's blue Schwinn next-door for comparison. Not even a back rack let alone front carrying. The front basket was added by the owner but fit so perfectly I had no idea until I Googled the bicycle brand. The rear rack has no 'rat trap' but as you can see in the first picture there's a gap for attaching straps or tying something on semipermanently. A pretty perfect bike for Wynyard which is flat, has some interesting shops, a boardwalk section of shared path and plenty of beach to pose your cruiser next to.

Or which ever kind of bicycle you own.

*Since I first mentioned Bruce's last year, I have befriended the proprietors. Another wonderful thing about life in Tasmania. I still pay for cake and tea like everybody else and they have no idea I am blogging about their café.