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A little bit of Hush, please!

September 14, 2012 in Bicycle inspiration, Bike Candy, Press, Sites we like...

Thanks to lovely Hush homeware for featuring us (or at least Catherine) on their blog and newsletter this month. We now all know where to go to get our new stylish cycling wardrobes this Autumn!   I want that super-cosy looking red outfit on the homepage in its entirety!  You can read the interview with Catherine  here on the Hush blog.

And by the way, Catherine says she doesn’t normally cycle around with dead leaves dangling out her basket. Right.  We did wonder…

Check out the beautiful Hush AW12 collection at www.hush-uk.com.  Oh and, Hush… tell your stylist to get some decent wheels for your model next time.  That old bike has seen better days!

A pink bicycle, home-made sandwiches and tah-dah… Tifamade.

June 21, 2012 in Bike Candy, Enjoy the ride, Sites we like...

 

We’ve been wanting to write a blogpost for ages about our friend Tiffany.  We first met Tiffany when we spied some of our BEG collection on her lovely foodie + cycling blog, www.tifamade.tumblr.com, and then we found out that we had two things in common… pink bicycles (sigh!), and a love of Paris (it was living in Paris that inspired us in the first place to start BEG – as have probably said 67, 000 times!).

So please allow us to introduce Tiffany of Tifamade, urban cyclist, creator of Tifamade (delectably handmade lunches and beautifully styled catering brought to you by bicycle), doyenne of the gourmet Parisian sandwich, calligrapher (Tiffany did our ‘Glorious Summer of Cycling‘ lettering), photographer, cyclechic designer and general uber-cool girl about town (and not just any town.  Sorry.  Forgot, we’d mentioned Paris already. It is lovely though)…

 

 

Hello, Tiffany!  Tell us a bit about how you got into cycling your gorgeous pink bicycle all over Paris selling such delectable goodies from your vintage suitcase?

Hi BEGsters! So the long story is that I was living in Pantin at the time, and used the Canal Hoche/St. Martin to commute to Paris centre. I saw a triporteur for rent at a bike shop on the canal and couldn’t help thinking there should be some use for it. And I happened to stumble upon (ride upon?) the suitcase at just the same time. I was dating a coursier à velo (bike courier) so cycling was kind of a household thing.

Where did your love of cycling come from?

My dad is a huge cyclist who comes to France each year from the States for one of the big races. I grew up looking for a way to spend time with him, and that necessitated loving bikes too.

 

 

What gave you the inspiration to start Tifamade.

I thought about all the great food trucks in the United States, and then thought that I’d never be able to do that in Paris. So I decided to use my bike instead.

What’s your best-sellling sandwich?

Maybe I’m projecting because I love it so much, but anytime I make sandwiches with beet hummus, I get a lot of love. Beet hummus is a nice mellow way to eat beets if you aren’t already a huge fan of them.

How do you find cycling in Paris?

I started wearing a helmet religiously last year because my mom was getting an ulcer worrying about me. I say a lot of bad words under my breath because, to be honest, it can be a little sketchy sometimes. For the most part, I really enjoy the universal bike lane and Sundays when cyclists have a lot of freedom throughout the city.

We hear you also design a mean line of cycling accessories..?

Thanks, I try! I’m always trying to solve some design problem because I don’t necessarily want to roll up looking like a hard-core cyclist. Hence the cute bike lock sock and the pant guard. I’m still waiting for my millions, however.

What’s next in the Tifamade empire?

I’m dying for a cargo bike. But like with other bike-related designs, I’m looking for something that isn’t too cargo-y.

tifamade.com

 

Even more Bikeminded…

May 7, 2012 in Bicycle inspiration, Cycle to Work, Enjoy the ride, Sites we like...


As you may have read  on this humble bike blog a few weeks ago (or not. Sit up at the back and pay attention), we recently got together with BikemindedRBKC, the fabulous, creative and highly motivating cycling campaign set up by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London to do some mutual nosying to see what each other is up to.

We were delighted to be featured on their fabulous blog, Bikeminded last month, and now it’s our turn to find out all about the great work they are doing in the borough to promote cycling.  We spoke to the lovely Katherine King, Road Safety Manager (and urban cycling guru), RBKC who told us all about what they are up to as a borough, and about her own cycling lifestyle.   And if you see lots of smiley, happy cycling folk on the streets of the London, chances are you are probably standing (or better still cycling) in Kensington and Chelsea.

Councils of the World…. your turn to pay attention!

 

Tell us how the fantastic Bikeminded blog came about and some background to the campaign…?

Thank you!  Am glad you like our blog, the feeling is mutual. We received some EU money in 2010 to promote cycling and wanted to develop a campaign that would be a hub for cycling information in Kensington and Chelsea, and a way for people to connect with other cyclists.  We also wanted to promote everyday cycling and show that people can be their same stylish selves on a bicycle.  We did a lot of research to find out what motivates people to cycle and have tried to base our campaign on the top reasons people always mention for cycling.

How has the uptake to the campaign been…? 

We’ve had an amazing response- both from local people and from the cycling community.  We’ve made some great connections with people that have a real passion for cycling and are keen to help us promote it.  We’ve got a growing twitter and facebook following, which is great for finding out more about what cyclists in our area need.

Can you tell us about who is cycling in Kensington and Chelsea? 

Kensington and Chelsea is very similar to most of Central London.  We have higher levels of people commuting to work- about 8% of people cycle to work, but just 3% of people cycle as their main mode.  We have a lot more work to do to get people to hop on their bicycle for every day journeys rather than just the commute or occasional ride through our parks. As in other parts of London there are more young, professional men cycling than any other group.

Have you noticed any cycling trends emerging in your part of London – or london-wide in fact?

Cycling is definitely becoming more fashionable and we see more and more people out on gorgeous looking bicycles.  People who’ve put some real thought into their outfits and how they look on their bicycles.  That is really great to see as for a long time London has lagged behind the cycle chic capitals like Copenhagen and Amsterdam.  We’ve also had the Boris Bike effect here so we see a lot of people out on leisure rides over the weekend and men in suits riding off to work.

What are the initiatives the RBKC undertaking for cyclists in the immediate future…?

We have a fantastic film competition which we’ve just launched, inviting film makers to show us why they love cycling.  We heard that film is the most shared medium on the internet so we thought if we could generate some great films then we’d have a good chance of spreading the cycling message. It’s also a great way to support young film makers in the area as there are some excellent prizes up for grabs. We’re also about to open up a series of one way roads to two way for cyclists, which will mean that cyclists can avoid some of our main roads and that it’s easier to find your way around on a bicycle.

You’ve organised some really fun events for locals.   Can you tell us a bit more about these…?

We thought about how we might be able to entice people out on a bicycle through their other interests- especially those people who might think about cycling but need some motivation to give it a go.  So we’ve designed some tours with themes like film, music and theatre, which will introduce cyclists to some of our quiet back streets and hopefully give them the inspiration and confidence to cycle more often.  We had a few sell out tours last summer so are excited about launching this summer’s series.

You asked me this question in our interview so ‘back atcha!’ How do find inspiration for your blog, which is wonderfully up to date

When I started writing the blog I thought I’d run out of things to say within a couple of weeks, but there are always great things going on and new areas that we want to explore.  At the moment we’re concentrating on cycling films because of our film competition, and are about to launch a cycle style competition with Harrods so we’re trying to focus a bit more of the fashion side of cycling.

What would you say to encourage anyone who is toying with getting back in the saddle but fears the mean streets of London…?! 

When I first moved to London I’d never cycled in traffic before so was terrified.  But I took some cycle training which was really fantastic for teaching me to cycle assertively, and then spent the first few months sticking to the canals and quiet roads.  I’d definitely recommend that anyone thinking about cycling take up our free cycle training offer- most boroughs in London have free cycle training for residents.  It’s great for building confidence and helping any new cyclist to understand the tricks to keep them safe.  And make sure you plan your route and keep to roads that you are comfortable cycling on.  If you ever find you’re feeling things are getting a bit dicey then just get off and walk to a street you’re happier cycling on.

 What type of cyclist are you.. and what bicycle do you ride?

I guess I’m an everyday – utility cyclist, I try to cycle most places just because I prefer it to being squashed on a tube or waiting for a bus, it’s also a much more pleasant way to experience London.  Over time cycling in London my confidence has grown and my knowledge of the quiet back routes has gotten better so I’m pretty comfortable going most places on a bicycle now.  But I’m too lazy to wear special cycling clothes, I think I should be able to cycle in whatever outfit I’ve planned for that day so if it’s a special dress or something then I just cycle slower.  I’m a fan of high, high heels which are of course far easier to cycle in than walk in which is one of the great benefits of cycling!  I ride a pink Electra Townie, which I’ve had for 7 years now and it’s looking a bit battered.  I should upgrade but it’s hard to let go of an old friend.

What would your ideal day out on a bike be in London…?

I love heading out for brunch at the weekends and my current favourite place is Caravan on Exmouth Market in Islington so I often take a lazy ride over there through the parks.  Then cycling through Central London is great at the weekends since there’s so much less traffic so I’d head down into Soho or Marylebone for a mooch around the shops and probably a gelato since it would clearly be hot and sunny on my ideal day!   And seeing as it would be so warm and sunny, I’d probably meet friends in the park for a picnic.  I particularly like Regents Park or Kensington Gardens since they are so central for meeting up with people.

 

Thank you, Kathryn.  And keep up the fabulous and very inspiring work, RBKC!

 

Feel the Breeze…

April 13, 2012 in Bicycle inspiration, Sites we like...

OK, so they’re not quite our favourite bicycles, but this incredible ‘cinemagraph’ by Jamie Beck is definitely one of our all-time favourite cycling images.  His flirtatious twist of the handlebar, her vintage skirt wafting in the breeze… the pseudo-nonchalant chemistry flying around, and that stunning scenery!!

Jamie is a New York-based photographer, has an great blog, From Me to You where she documents beautifully recreated vintage style and  incredible fashion images.  She also produces ‘cinemagraphs’ – photography with a flicker of movement that almost sends a shiver down your spine!  You can see Jamie’s portfolio here.

Bikeminded indeed….

March 30, 2012 in Bicycle inspiration, Enjoy the ride, Press, Sites we like...

We know the UK isn’t quite Amsterdam or Copenhagen yet, and that we have a long long way to go to be able to create the utopia of cycling that other countries enjoy – but inroads are being made.  There are leaders in this world – and then there are the followers… and in terms of forward-thinking, bicycle infrastructure-focused types, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London is a pioneer in the UK.  It was with great pleasure that we hooked up with them recently and agreed to do some mutual introductions and we’re REALLY looking forward to interviewing them in the next few days and telling you more about the great work they are doing in their borough to make cycling a more accessible, desirable and safe option for their residents and commuters.

In the meantime, here is an interview Catherine did with them yesterday on their fantastic blog, Bikeminded about BEG….  You can read the full interview here.

Look out for our interview with Bikeminded coming next week…

 

 

Your Kingdom awaits you…

March 22, 2012 in Bicycle inspiration, Enjoy the ride, Sites we like...

Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride, according to John F Kennedy.  It’s all about the journey, the thrill and satisfaction of the ride and less about the destination after all…. but saying that, there are times when one does need just a little bit of inspiration about where to head off to.

We’ve long been fans of a really wonderful resource, This is your Kingdom, “An Insider’s Guide to Lovely Local Things to See and Do in the UK“, an online community where people can both discover and share these invaluable insider snippets of local knowledge. Nothing beats stumbling upon a local gem – something a bit special or unexpected, or even just a reminder of an event, a cafe, a boutique, a market that you’d forgotten all about.  The site can be navigated by county – or by ‘his’, ‘hers’, ‘kids’ etc so it’s really easy to come across something alluring!

 

We were really thrilled when Hannah who runs the site got in touch to ask us for the lowdown on Cambridgeshire (you can see what we have to say here), and we’re delighted to say that you can now win one of our lovely, tan leather old-school satchels (normally priced at £120.00) by entering a competition we are running with This is Your Kingdom as part of their new ‘Back Britain‘ series.    With 2012 set to be a vintage year for the UK, ‘Back Britain’ is a year-long campaign designed to capture the national spirit at this special time and celebrate all that makes Great Britain so very unique and fabulous.

 

For a chance to win one of our satchels,  follow this link to the site and you’ll see how easy it is to win.  The competition will run until early April, so get in there quickly!

Illustrations via {Jess Linares}.

 

Not so blue, Bikeyface!

January 18, 2012 in Bicycle inspiration, Sites we like...

 

So this week we lived through Blue Monday – Monday 16th January and the day ‘officially’ dubbed the most depressing day of the year (that’s got to be a UK thing, right… somehow can’t imagine that anyone sitting on a beach in the Maldives right now is feeling that down).  If that is the case, and you’re feeling rather gloomy , we introduce you to Bikeyface; the perfect January antidote.

We are huge fans of Bikeyface at Beg Bicycles and await each new installment like children waiting for the latest copy of the Beano to arrive at the papershop!  Devised and illustrated by Bekka, a cycle commuter in Boston, every single ‘toon is a super-dry, brilliantly-observed and seriously laugh-out-loud take on the nitty gritty of urban daily cycling.  Here are a few recent ones that we have absolutely loved… (but do look at, or better still subscribe to, Bikeyface – this is just the tip of a genius iceberg!).

On a positive note though, just think what a lot we have to look forward to once January is behind us;

1.  The nights are getting lighter – and, with a little bit of imagination, there is almost a Spring-like quality to the evenings.

2.  2012 is going to be The Summer of Cycling.  A short nomenclature, but oh-so full of promise!!!  More on that later…

3.  We’re getting some very lovely NEW Spring Summer 2012 cycling accessories in soon… so you may have to treat yourself and your trusty wheels to a little something.  Retail therapy always rocks, right?

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 www.homeshoppingspy.wordpress.com. 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…

Surfing not Cycling…

May 31, 2011 in Sites we like...

Of course, whilst we’re BIG (should that read BEG?) cycling advocates and can wax lyrical about the plethora of benefits cycling brings to one physical and mental health, not to mention the enviro plus points, one simply can’t be in the saddle ALL day long (unless you’re a cycle courier, that is).

Not got your fill?   Fret not…!  There is a vast (bike basket) load of information and great reading matter about the Great Two-Wheeled Machine online that you can spend many happy hours tucking into.  Virtual cycling nonetheless.  We’ve been avid readers of all things bike-and-web-based for ages, so we thought you might like a round up of some of our favourite on-line reads in recent months;

 

For local British bike rides… As the UK’s National Cyclists’ Organisation, the CTC (Cyclist’s Touring Club) has been ‘protecting and promoting the rights of cyclists’ since 1878 and is the UK’s oldest cycling club.  Got a new bicycle and want to get out on it more with other bike-minded types… the CTC, with many regional branches throughout the UK organise local bike rides for all levels including very gentle rides and rides for women.

For the London cycling lowdown… London Cyclist on everything to do with cycling in not only London, but the rest of the UK.  Cycle routes, Apps, cycling tips, bike maintenance and news updates on events. Really useful articles on subjects like ‘How NOT to get your bike stolen’.

For heavenly bike images… Head Over Wheels Click on Archive to see months of stunning bike illustrations, vintage photos and everything that is beautiful about retro bikes.  Oh, and we’re on there quite a lot too (Thank you, H.O.W!)

For cafe-lovers…  PatisserieCyclismea lovely new website that ask cyclists to send in reviews of their fave bike-friendly cafes, because EVERYONE knows a bike ride isn’t a bike ride without a coffee and cake pitstop!

For a world of Chic Cycling... it has spawned a zillion me-toos around the globe, but the original and official Cycle Chig blog is Copenhagen Cycle Chic, the ultimate in people (on bicycles) watching, full of stunning photography and a whole lot more.

For women… Funded by the National Lottery and British Cycling, the Breeze network from British Cycling is all about fun, free, local bike rides for women – and a whole range of support, training and ride opportunities too.  As they say “Breeze bike rides are for women, by women. The Breeze network is informal and relaxed. It’s what you want it to be.”  We’re there!

And that’s just for starters… More of our fave sites soon.