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All I want for Christmas…

November 28, 2011 in Bicycles


We’ve got Christmas all sorted…

Wear your skirt with pride!

November 25, 2011 in Enjoy the ride, Town and Country Cycling

We’re really pleased to introduce our very first EVER guest blogger, the lovely Jemma Leahy AKA Help! My Chain Came Off! (or should that be the other way round?!).  Jemma’s very funny blog is a dry take on the pleasures (and perils) of cycling in the ultimate urban environment, London, whilst never  losing sight of one’s style credentials.  This is Jemma’s insightful take on why all women cyclists should get their legs out – as well as their bicycles…  Thank you, Jemma!

GOLLY GOSH, STOP THE TRAFFIC PLEASE… I have noticed a MAJOR cycle chic problem on our roads and it’s not looking pretty. Please tell me, why aren’t more women wearing skirts on their bicycles?  It is very rare for me to see fellow skirted cyclists in the mornings, so rare that I feel like applauding when one gracefully cycles by. They certainly aren’t pedalling around my patch of London.

I try my very best to not change my wardrobe to suit cycling. I believe that you don’t need lycra and pink cycling jerseys to get to work in the morning and anyway, cycling leggings just don’t do me any favours! With my reluctance to succumb to the wonderful world of cycling attire, I like to think that I have mastered the technique of cycling in a skirt. So I thought I’d provide a few pointers of what I have discovered over the years in my quest to cycle in style.

Firstly, I couldn’t help admire these stylish women on their bikes from the Paris Cycle Chic blog (good for inspiration too!).

So let’s get down to business.

1.  Choosing your skirt

I have found that short body cons skirts and very tight pencil skirts are best to be avoided. It may be good for the office but trust me, there is no room for your lovely thighs and knees to move around when pedaling. You end up resembling an Egyptian mummy rather than a dapper cyclist.

Watch out for the shortness of your skirt. Going too short will alert the fashion police.  I have found that I can’t go shorter than 12 cm above the knee before I end up showing the world more than my thighs. To find out how short you can really go, try out a couple of skirts by cycling around the block before you brave a longer journey.

Make sure your skirt isn’t too flowing. This can be a problem if your skirt is also very short, the wind ends up flowing underneath it like a tent and you will be spending more time holding your skirt down than holding your handlebars.

For extra comfort, wear a skirt with a little bit of stretch in it. This can be a godsend when you’re manoeuvring on and off the bike and riding at speed.

Now that it’s cold outside, I find that wearing tights provides me with more opportunities to wear shorter skirts. A longer winter coat also gives extra good coverage. Bonus!

2.  Starting your journey

When getting onto your bike you may risk a brief flashing, or if your skirt is a pencil skirt, you may find you are restricted. Whenever possible, elegantly hop onto your bike using the curb of the pavement. The extra height makes it a whole lot easier and more eloquent. If there isn’t a curb nearby, just nip on quickly making sure to maintain that air of sophistication. Once on the bike, be sure to check that you are sitting on the back of your skirt. You don’t want to give the car drivers an extra reason to beep you. To do this, I like to stand up slightly whilst cruising and push the skirt down as I sit back on the saddle. It’s an art form.

3.  On the ride

When you cycle your skirt tends to hike up a bit, you can re-adjust when in stationery traffic or at traffic lights. If my skirt is short, then I like to cycle with my knees slightly together to avoid any mini flashes.

4. Off the bike

Getting off the bike is easy peasy if you have a ladies bike, they are made for such dignified manoeuvres! Just put your knees together and hop off. Get it? Knees together and HOP. Last but not least, if you are locking your bike and wearing a short skirt make sure to not bend over too far! So let’s all get this straight….let’s ditch the cycling leggings and WEAR YOUR SKIRT WITH PRIDE, repeat after me, WEAR YOUR SKIRT WITH PRIDE.

Thank you, Jemma!


BEG is in the detail…

November 20, 2011 in Bicycles

Being mainly an online business, we knew (sadly) that we’d not always get to meet our customers in person, but we do more often than not end up getting to know them pretty well over the phone, as we talk through which bicycle specification (and colour, of course!) or accessory is going to suit someone best.  And then we have the best and most rewarding bit, which is hearing back from them afterwards… about how they’re getting on with their bicycle, where they been, how they’re using it…

We’re pleased to say that we’ve had some truly great feedback since we started about our products and also about our service, and it occurred to us recently that we haven’t really shouted about it.  We’re a small family business, we don’t use a distribution service, meaning that we prepare the bicycles, pack and send out everything ourselves including all the accessories – and we take real care with the presentation of the products we send out.

We have gorgeous BEG ‘luggage tags’, and everything is packed in our uber-glamorous spotty BEG tissue-paper.  We then pop one our lovely retro postcards in as well…  If you have any particular requests regarding the timing of your delivery, anything special you’d like us to write on the BEG luggage tag  - or well, whatever really – do let us know and we’ll do our utmost!

And of course, as Chrimbo is getting near, BEG bicycles and accessories make fabulous festive gifts – particularly as they are so nicely wrapped up.  Santa baby…;)


A Very Merry Joy Ride – Sunday 20 November

November 16, 2011 in Joy Rides

Esther’s been busy planning and testing the next Joy Ride, which is this Sunday, 20th November. It will be our seasonal ride and get together, as it is likely we’ll all be rather busy in late December!

We’ll be meeting at 10.30am at the traditional John Barleycorn Pub in Duxford Village. From there, we will cycle around the lovely lanes, doing a circular route that takes us back to the John Barleycorn in time for a scrumptious Sunday Lunch. No coffee and cake this time, but a traditional Sunday roast should more than make up for that. It is nearly Christmas after all and surely we’re allowed to indulge ourselves (even more, no?)

We’ve booked a table for 1.00pm – which should give us more than ample time to do the ride. Esther is even planning on bringing crackers!

If you can’t stay for lunch, but would still like to do the ride, please do still come along! The more the merrier (gentleman… and all that!).

There will be no Joy Ride in December, but we’ll reconvene in January to work off those mince pies!


Older and wiser…

November 15, 2011 in Bicycle inspiration, Bike Candy

It was actually (ahem) Catherine’s birthday yesterday, and whilst we don’t usually indulge in anything too personal on this blog, the birthday girl hit jackpot with some very nice pressies indeed  - and that we thought were sufficiently bike-licious to share here!

1.  Two very wonderful books for all those quiet evenings (ummmm –  h.e.l.l.o?!) when we are not blogging/book-keeping/replying/packing/tweeting/more book-keeping/sourcing and a bit more book-keeping! Reviews to follow soon…



2.  Just HOW cute…?


3. One very nice card indeed!  Says it all really.

Another birthday gone.

Older and wiser and all that…

Thank you to those who know who they are for the the lovely pressies!

The Big Chill

November 15, 2011 in Town and Country Cycling

Crikey.  It seems like a while now since we were gaily pedalling along, the sun (on occasion) beating down on us, full of the joys… and whether it was Kentish lanes or Kentish Town, it felt like we owned the road, as we congratulated ourselves on the abundance of benefits we as cyclists had over those poor POOR people shackled to their steering wheels…

But then those feelings of gay abandon and the spontanaeity of it all became just a tiny bit less forthcoming as certain, shall we say, ‘challenges’ decided to present themselves in the panniers of our cycling euphoria….

Getting up at the usual time but it feeling like the dead of night, a bunch of car keys glinting at us in an alluring way by the front door, once crisp jewel-coloured leaves creating a carpet of treachery, and those oh-so lung-aching temperatures… Our love affair with two wheels feeling like we may have hit the seven year itch.

Winter cycling indisputably has more ‘challenges’ than the throw-a-leg-over-and-go style of cycling that summer allows.  But we’ve got some tips to help you get the most out of your bicycle and your winter rides, be they your daily commute, dashing out to the shops or a Sunday morning joy ride.

1. Your mother always told you, but it’s all in the preparation!  Book your beautiful bicycle in at your local bike shop for a full annual check-up.  You can get away with it in summer, but winter really is the season for servicing. Your bicycle should ideally have a thorough clean to ensure that all parts are grime-free, some good all-weather lubricant should be added to the chain, cables and parts where metal meets metal and a thorough check-over of all working parts to ensure that bolts, brakes and gears are all adjusted and tightened correctly.  They’ll check your hubs for wear and tear, make sure the lights are functioning correctly and that your tyres have sufficient tread, are the right pressure and dont show signs of damage.  A veritable luxury winter spa retreat for bicycles!

2. Be seen.  We’re big advocates of getting noticed on your bicycle, but it’s never more important than in the darkness and gloom of winter… And we’re talking about safety, not style for once!  Beg bicycles already have several clever bits of kit to make sure you are seen… Our bicycles are all fitted with German-made top quality, powerful Busch und Muller Lumotech front and rear Senso halogen dynamos – reliable and powerful halogens that not only feature a sensor so will switch on automatically as soon there is a hint of dusk, but which will remain illuminated, even when at a standstill.  And all of our bicycles have Schwalbe Delta Cruiser tyres as standard which  have reflective sidewalls for added visibility at night.

3. Now is the time to make sure that you yourself are as visible as possible on snowy days and dark nights and that doesn’t mean letting all your sartorial principles go out the window…. There are some fabulous cycling specific wardrobe staples out there these days. How about this completely water-proof classic trench, with clever built in reflective panels on the collar, belt and cuffs from British-brand WaterOffADucksBack (£130.00).  They also do great short men’s version (£140.00).  We love the ingenious reflective pin-on buttons from SpotMe too…

4. Keep warm as toast! Our new super-cosy His ‘n’ Hers Chapka Helmets (£85.00) will banish chilly ears from winter cycling and keep your head – as well as your sartorial reputation perfectly intact!  We’ve also got dashing  Tweed flat cap helmets and super-elegant ladies hat-mets  (both £85.00) in our helmet shop.

5. And whilst we advocate cycling ALMOST 24/7/365, if it really is blowing a snowstorm out there, there is always the bus, hideous as it is! And still better than the car!

Stay warm – and safe – on your wheels!

Illustration courtesy of {Lee White Illustration}

Lock up your… bicycles!

November 8, 2011 in Bicycle inspiration, Sites we like...


Naturally, we like to keep a bit of a beady eye on what’s going on in fashion and interiors and were rather taken with this print as found on one of our fave homeware blogs What could be a better reminder than this hung by the front door to remind you to lock up your precious BEG bicycle! Great Christmas pressie too…