Introducing some beautiful and practical new cycling products to load up your bicycle in style. From wicker panniers, to stylish tote bag style shoppers, and even a wicker dog basket for the furry love of your life, we’ve got your shopping, work files, laptop all packed up for the ride.
Available in store now.
It’s funny how trends work. Unless you are an uber-fashionista, who needs not the slightest sniff of styling semaphore to be ahead of the curve, the vast majority of us lesser style gurus need a trend to be around for some time before we can even consider embracing it. Take ‘bootleg jeans’. Shockingly flared and ridiculously long compared to their precursors, they quickly came to symbolise all that was right about a pair of trousers… suddenly one had legs that were fifteen inches longer and thighs that thought they were calves and to consider wearing anything else would have been laughable. But whoOOAAHHH! The circumferentially-challenged ‘skinny’ jean stealthily crept into the denim vernacular and into our wardrobes and all of a sudden, just HOW ridiculous did any other jeans style seem? And thus it is with the fickle and frivolous world of fashion.
One trend that is huge right now and is making us smile wryly in a big way at the moment is the all-pervading trend for fluoro. The high street has become a veritable strip-joint of Hi-vis, neon, acid (oh ok.. no one says that anymore. Showing my age… how embarrassing.). Call it what you will, but look how anyone and everyone in the, eeek, dare we say it, ‘cycle chic’ cycling world is laughing on the other side of our faces right now. We’ve all sneered at fluoro in recent years, in the same way that we’ve snootily turned our noses up at lycra, bottle cages and time trials… fluoro simply made the wrong statements about the kind of dignified, genteel cycling that we wanted to do in our ‘everyday’ clothes. Can you imagine what a hi-viz vest would look like over a vintage tea dress and platform sandals? Purrrrrleeeeaaase! Like a red rag to a bull a high-viz vest worn by a cyclist was literally screaming out “I’m a vulnerable ignoramus, naively peddling along this road that belongs to you, O Great Vehicle Driver, so why don’t you please ingratiate yourself to come and knock me off!”. As inflammatory a subject as The Great Helmet Debate, fluoro divided communities, created cycling tribes and caused Marmite-style polarised reactions. Indeed, sceptics would say that wearing purpose-designed fluoro not only encourages the idea that cycling is inherently unsafe, putting off would-be new riders but also potentially places the blame with the rider rather than encouraging drivers to be more vigilant.
But are we now on the brink of a high-viz fluorolution? The SS13 catwalks were full of the stuff, and once you start looking, it seems the world around us is too. We went for our usual Sunday morning family cycle ride yesterday along the Seine (where , I hasten to add, they in the process of doing a huge amount of regeneration work to turn the verges into a car-free, pedestrian and cycling (segregated, I gleefully add!) utopia) and it felt like an all-out affront of the garish stuff. Maybe I’m just super-sensitive to it being in the ether at the moment.
But whether it conjures up dim and distant memories of mid 80s Kajagoogoo, wiry marathon runners pounding the streets or just evokes the die-hard commuter brigade on folding bicycles, Fluoro is so hot right now, it’s sizzling. Superlatives abound. Zesty, vibrant, punchy, acid, zingy. And if a little bit of reflective fluoro helps us be seen in the dark out there on the mean streets, hallelujah! Fashion has come to its senses, and a perfect harmony of stye and functionality prevails. Our mantra for all things cycling precisely.
So, in a ‘Things You Would Never Expect Us to Say…” type post, here’s our round-up of the very zingiest fluoro cycling products out there right now. And what a treat they look with our BEG collection of bicycles and accessories…
Effervescent Fluorescent – We Love You!
no.1 Vespertine Reflective Vest Collection. Surely the haute couture of the reflective garb world!
no. 2 Spot Me Reflective pin-on badges.
no.3 Incredible glow-in-the dark Monroe Reflective Penny loafers (check out the incredible colour palette available!). Cole Haan.
no. 4 Veja SP.MA hi tops. Is any other shoe worth wearing? Who knew hi-viz could be so stylish?
no. 5 Love Bike Wear Reflective sash.
no. 6 Dargelos. A hi viz vest that is definitely not the old-school variety!
… and featuring the BEG Bella bicycle throughout in Persephone Pink, 3 speed £675.00
A helmet that combines sartorial savvy with safety is undoubtedly hard to come by, but our new collection of cycle helmets by esteemed Japanese designer Sawako Furuno meets our exacting ‘style meets functionality’ criteria perfectly. Put simply, these helmets are utterly gorgeous, beautifully-made and coordinate with our bicycle collection a treat (can you imagine how excited we were to FINALLY find a tan leather helmet? Swoon…)
Available here for immediate shipping. Get that head protected.
We try to avoid it generally, but brace yourself. We are going to mention the C word.
Ah! There it is, out in the open for all to see – and indeed, yes, summer really is only just over, but Christmas is a coming – in all its splendid, joyful, consummate glory!
Dare we say it, but some of our fabulously organised customers are already stocking up with BEG goodies – bikes have been ordered, helmets wrapped, bike baskets sent to Father Christmas…
But if you’d actually like to come and see us, try out a bike (they make amazing Christmas presents – particularly to yourself), see which helmet suits you, pick up a flask for Uncle Brian and procure a satchel for your hipster son/daughter/nephew/boyfriend (insert as appropriate), we are going to have a SHOP at The Country Living Christmas Fair in Islington, London! The fair runs from Wednesday 7th November until Sunday 11th November, and has extended hours on the Wednesday for a gala evening, so you can always pop in after work.
Ho ho ho indeed!
You will be able to buy there and then from our entire BEG Bicycles collection and even better, we will be including our beautiful handmade willow baskets FREE with any bicycle purchase made during the course of the fair.
If you’d like to come, we are giving away TWO free tickets worth £13.00 each in a competition over on our facebook page. Simply follow the link here and drop us a line to tell us…
I would like a BEG Bicycle for Christmas because…’
… And Other Areas:
A Guide to Cosy Winter Cycling
Your Nether Regions
We’ve been thinking long and hard about cycling in the colder months here at BEG, and considering ways to make your ride all the more pleasurable, whilst being practical and useful. Autumn and winter cycling has many charms but a chilly backside on an icy cold saddle certainly isn’t one of them!
So one of the new products we’ve come up is the BEG Sheepskin Saddle Cover. Be kind to your behind, with these luxurious, beautifully-made covers that give a really toasty, very soft and comfortable ride. They also work a treat if you are breaking your new Brooks saddle in, and finding it rather hard-going!
Our natural sheepskin saddle covers are made in Great Britain from 20mm pile sheepskin, so are very sumptuous, soft and certainly a treat for your derriere! They are designed to perfectly fit Brooks B66 and 67 saddles, but because of their drawstring and toggle construction, they nicely fit many other saddles we have tried them on.
There is but one danger.
Once on, you may never want to get off. Could be a long ride.
O September – how you tease the poor cyclist with your unpredictable and unreliable ways! You revel in tripping us up, running us amok with your indecisiveness. You create all sorts of dilemmas with your chilly mornings and long shadows, all glaring sunlight and chances of rain and your sultry afternoons that delude us that summer is back and that require the miraculous appearance of a completely different outfit.
An array of decision-making processes fill the September cyclist’s head as they attempt to pack the panniers for the confusing day ahead whilst keeping it as minimal as possible. Bare legs or not (with coordinating goose bumps?), how many layers, that ‘in-between season’ jacket that you’ve never actually owned, a (gasp at the horror) cagoule (or rather chic cycling-specific raincoat), sunnies… and that’s just the wardrobe. Where’s it all going to fit? Load up the basket? Use panniers today? Get a pack-horse and tether it up to the back of the bike?
Despair not however because we all know, of course, that Autumn ‘for real’ is just around the corner (hurrah), and revel in its crisp, sharp air and soggy leaves we shall!
Here at BEG we’re feeling the autumn glow already and are excitedly looking forward to getting wrapped up for chilly cycling and hitting the road with some great new products that will make your daily cycling commute, or weekend jaunt on your wheels all that bit more cosy and pleasurable! Let us therefore introduce, without further ado, our new Autumn Winter 2012 campaign - Crisp Autumn Cycling…
October – we embrace you!
All products now in store for immediate delivery @ www.begbicycles.com
It’s a poignant and emotional time of year. The dog days of summer didn’t even materialise. It’s a mix of excitement and terror at the thought of the holidays coming to an end, and The New Term beginning for young whipper snappers. And then for the rest of us who are too old for all that (and for whom life is sadly one long term time), there is a sense of real nostalgia… Clarks (sensible) shoe fitting machine, trips to Woolworths to buy a new pencil case with magnetic hidden compartments, Aertex PE shirts and envy at a friend’s beautifully sewn-in woven name labels (think mine were done with ballpoint). I only have to see a few dead leaves newly fallen on the pavement to get that whole thrill of the Back to School week. Of course it all wore off by week 2, the new shoes were already scuffed and you’d already lost half of your new and much cherished four-colour Bic biros but hey-ho! The fabric of life and all that.
So, whether you are getting ready for a super-smart return to the classroom, starting uni or traipsing back into the office – again(!) – next week, be the smartest kid on the block whatever your age with one of our old-school BEG leather satchels. For hiking or biking, our satchel collection will make sure you’re really kitted out in style. Made from beautifully soft, top grain tan leather that has been treated with a blend of oils and waxes to create vintage character and embossed with the BEG logo on the front, you’re sure to be top of the class from day 1! (Available in a range of sizes and styles. Prices from £45.00. See here for the full collection and details).
The Essential Components for a Perfect Bike Ride…
Flask of tea packed? Tick.
Custard creams in there too? Tick.
Softest, cosiest BEG picnic rug ready? Absolutely.
Following the success of our 100% lambswool picnic rug, we’re delighted to add this new collection of British-made, beautifully muted, recycled wool fringed rugs to the Beg cycling accessory collection.
Made from the left over ‘shoddy’ wool of virgin wool blankets, our new picnic rugs (picnic blankets, whatever you will…) clip onto the back of your Brooks saddle for perfect picnic portering using the full grain calfskin tan saddle carrying strap. If you don’t have a Brooks saddle - or if Shank’s Pony is your chosen method of transport, simply throw into your basket or use the handy carrying handle and picnic in style!
We’ve got three ever-so vintage-y colours that tone with our bicycles beautifully. Blankets in store now £59.00
PS Note the gratuitous shot of Millie Beg in there too. We couldn’t resist, and her legs aren’t long enough for a BEG bicycle yet!
…and for once we’re not talking about our bicycles!
The fabulous Laura Wright, classical soprano and classical music chart topper, is riding our very own Bella in this week’s Hello magazine (and our 100% lambswool picnic blanket makes an appearance too!). We love Laura so this is all rather exciting!
Laura’s having an incredible year. Having been top of the classical album charts in 2011 with her album The Last Rose, Laura became the first soprano to perform at the Olympic Stadium in March and has been selected to record the new Diamond Jubilee song, ‘Stronger As One’, which HM The Queen mentioned in her Commonwealth Day Message at Westminster Abbey in March where the song was premiered. She’s also just sung at the FA Cup final – and at our favourite – The RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Her new album, ‘Glorious’, was released yesterday – a unique collection of great British songs, old and new, which will celebrate and commemorate the Diamond Jubilee – where she will fly the flag for Britain!
Anyway, we think Laura looks just beautiful - and Bella isn’t bad either!
Many thanks to the team at Hello, Laura Wright and our friend, Selina Lake.
Hey! Yes you. Come over here for a minute….
We’ve got to share a little bit of information about an incredible scheme that far too many people don’t know anything about.
It’s quite staggering really, in this day and age of special offers, voucher codes, collective buying and internet price comparison charts that so many people don’t know about Cycle to Work – a simply brilliant way to fund buying a decent bicycle. Cycle to Work is a government-backed scheme that is part of the Green Transport plan (which aims to cut down on carbon emissions by having fewer vehicles on the road) by encouraging people to buy bicycles and cycle more to work. This we all know is great for health, the environment, the community and actually has no downsides whatsoever really. Essentially, the scheme works via a ‘salary sacrifice’ system, whereby your salary is slightly reduced over what is usually a 12 or 18 month period in order to pay for the bike. Because you will be paying back your employer for the bike from gross pay rather than net, you will benefit from tax and NI relief.
Here’s the most astounding bit… Cycle to Work can save you up to 42% on the price of a BEG bicycle and cycling accessories (such as a basket, lock or helmet) – enabling anyone in employment to obtain a bike and any other associated accessories at a substantially reduced price.
We’re delighted to have just signed up as an accredited partner to Cyclescheme, Britain’s leading independent organiser of the scheme. Here’s a delightful little film by Cyclescheme explaining how the process would work for you and how you could make these great savings on the purchase of a BEG Bicycle…
Cyclescheme Process Animation from Cyclescheme Ltd on Vimeo.
To read more about how you and your employer can be involved in the scheme and to learn about how you can buy a BEG bicycle this way, please see www.cyclescheme.com, a great website with lots of information.
If your employer has already signed up with Cyclescheme, then, as an accredited partner, we would be delighted to help by providing you with a quotation.