Xmas gifts for the Victorian cycling gentlewoman in your life
When we review Georgia in Dublin gear on road.cc, it's always like Marmite.
Some of you really dig the (very) retro look, paired with high tech fabrics and cycling specific designs, and others of you just go, "Eh?"
But if it is 18th century style rainwear you, or your better half is after this Christmas, there's no better place to start.
First up is the Dorothy Cover, keeping the contents of your front basket dry, and looking not a little like a pot of homemade jam. It also does double duty as a drawstring bag, saddle cover or helmet cover. Comes in 6 colour varieties and costs £20.
Then we have the The Rainwrap at £45 - keeping trousers or skirts dry and clean on a wet day, and also protecting the modesty of girls who cycle in short skirts. On a sunnier day - leap off the bike and it's a picnic blanket too. Comes in black, pink, green and red.
The Hustle & Bustle is the gentlewoman's riding jacket that actually keeps the rain at bay and still looks striking in town.
Complete with removable storm waistcoat, the Hustle & Bustle is £160.
Finally, when you're worried about being seen in the gloom, you might consider the The Dublette, also £160. It's new to the Georgia range, an expandable rain jacket which can be worn over a back pack or bulkier clothing - just let out the corset-like fastening for the perfect fit. It has a hood and a detachable cape that can be worn with other outfits to give a little rain protection and a lot of visibility.
For more info, see Georgia in Dublin.
Elephant grass and leather bicycle baskets from Ghana
Kate Herzog, a Ghanaian who didn't learn to read until she was 11 - and only thanks to an American man who sent her books. Now she's paying it forward, and running a business , House of Talents, that uses local Ghanaian talent to create unique bicycle buckets, and bring other people out of poverty in her home town.
All the baskets are different, so you have to pop down to Cyclodelic in Columbia Road, London (just off Brick Lane) to pick your own. They're priced at £55 to £60.
No two bicycle baskets are exactly alike which makes each one a unique work of art. With each basket you receive the name of the weaver. A great present for a stylish cyclist with a conscience.
Visit www.cyclodelic.com for full contact details and shop opening times.
Tubellery: not just recycled cycle jewellery, but upcycled
What can you do with old inner-tubes? You can cut them into strips to make bands to keep other inner-tubes in rolled-up order, they make a handy waterproof seatpost boot – slipped over the seatpost and clamp to stop winter rain and road spray dribbling into your
frame, and if you’ve got a mountainbike they’re handy for wrapping round the right-hand chainstay to deaden chainslap and protect the
Or, you could do something pretty with them and make jewellery, which is what Monika Zamojska has done.
Monika recently graduated from London College of Fashion and by chance started marketing cycling brands for some of the capital’s bike shops specialising in upright bikes and cycle-chic accessories.
But she’s always been interested in ethical fashion and finding ways to recycle and upcycle post-consumer waste into something creative so about a year ago Monika started making little pieces of jewellery from old inner tubes.
Nothing special she admits, just bows that were pretending not to be bits of old tubes, keen to make proper jewellery pieces she revisited the idea and Tubellery was born.
The bracelets are laser cut from old inner tubes Monika fishes out of the bin at London Fields Cycles and are hand finished with a silver plated heart shaped toggle clasp.
At the moment there are only these Cinquefoil and Oxalis bracelets available but Monika is already working on new designs.
* You can also visit the road.cc shop and pick up some Velo-re belts made from
old recycled inner tubes...
Funky t-shirt designs from Romster Bike Wear
New this summer, the Romster Bike Wear company was created to give cyclists some funky off-duty t-shirts to wear down the pub. Who knew cyclists needed so many t-shirts?
Anyway, things are going pretty well, with Theo Paphitis, of Dragon’s Den fame, awarding the company his Small Business Sunday award for use of social media.
We're big fans of this Tom Simpson t-shirt - a little reminder of the man who was, until Bradley Wiggins's Tour victory this year - the greatest British cyclist of all time. T-shirts start at £19.99.
Now Dean Downing has signed up to support the brand, coinciding with his move to Madison Genesis.
He said: “The brands designs are great, particularly the Tommy Simpson range which is close to home. I’ll give insight and information on big races which will hopefully lead to new designs and then products for market. If you like cycling get one on your Christmas list!”
For more info, visit Romster Bike Wear.
Perfect stocking fillers from component brand One23
Just in time for Santa's stocking, One23 have launched a compact MT-F8 mini tool, which folds down to nothing yet still contains eight of the most useful on-the-go tools.
They are 2/4/5/6 hex keys, cross head PH1 drivers, flat head drivers and a Torx T25 - and it costs £13.99.
Also a great little present is the Bar Saver, which neatly bolts on to the front of your stem's face plate, giving you a few handy inches of room for computers, lights, gps units and all the other handlebar gubbins that seems to accumulate.
The Bar Saver is £9.99.
For more info, see Todays Cyclist.
The INDIC8OR: safety when turning, for commuters, kids and horse riders
Turning right across traffic can be intimidating, especially for kids and novice cyclists. The INDIC8OR helps improve your visibility when sticking your arm out - by flashing just like a car indicator.
It's a strap on light that is worn on your wrist and flashes when your arm is raised. It gives you more phyisical presence on the road, making you seem woder and discouraging cars from squeezing past you at the last moment.
It's fully adjustable to be worn by adults and children alike, and it's splashproof so fine in rain - just don't immerse it. It costs £17.99.
Here's a video to show it in action:
The idea for the INDIC8OR came about in 2008 when Ken Tedder, a London taxi driver of 30 years, almost hit a young female cyclist on Westminster Bridge. Despite raising her arm to indicate right Ken didn’t see her and had to swerve to avoid her.
This was not the first near miss by far that he had witnessed as a cabbie. An electrician by trade, Ken went home and began to design the most obvious safety gadget, a cyclist indicator. Not just a flashing light - which drivers, he felt, were too used to seeing - but one which only flashes when the arm is raised to indicate a turn so when one just starts flashing in front of them, drivers should be more likely to take note.
A year ago, Ken was able to bring the product to market.
I've got one of these on test, so watch this space for a review, but in the meantime, to pick one up visit INDIC8OR.
Tiny but lifesaving stocking filler lets your friends get home safely
Here's the present that keeps on giving - embroidered reflective badges for cyclists that attach to any bag, clothing or straps for a little extra visibility on the roads late at night.
Perfect for the office Secret Santa, or a little present under the tree, the new ‘Googley Eyes’ badges from SpotMe are cute enough to bring a smile to anyone.
It's perfect for the style conscious cyclist too, with the subtle refelctives.
The set of three ‘Googley Eyes’ badges (25mm across) are made from retro reflective fabric that glows white when light hits it and are embellished with embroidery. They look great pinned in a cluster.
For a full list of other SpotMe items and stockists visit SpotMe.
Quirky t-shirts make great presents
One can never have too many t-shirts, and this one from Love Yellow is designed to keep you mellow as you ride about town.
It's 100 per cent pre-shrunk cotton screen printed with a 'Zen Cyclist' print, and comes in charcoal, blue or grey.
For the full range and lots of present ideas, visit Love Yellow.
After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.