Get Festive... Or Else!

You'd better not shout.

You'd better not cry.

You'd better be good, I'm telling you why...

Santa Claus is coming to town...

When I was a kid Christmas carols were just Christmas carols, to be sung at things like Carols-in-the-Domain, reasonably innocent, although slightly confusing with their manically joyful songs about fun-loving Santa, and serious, somewhat dour songs about this baby called Jesus. But as I've grown older, and consequently more cynical and bitter, some of these songs have taken on a much more sinister air, as per example above. Lets not even go into frosty the snowman-we'll just say one word: Nightmare. Considering a lot of kids find Santa terrifying anyway (A big, old, fat guy who watches you at night and breaks into your house? What's so scary about that??) I've been thinking Christmas should get a make over... with the help of bicycles!

Christmas Inc. needs to take a course at the school of modern marketing and get on board the bicycle band-wagon.* Because if you can tell one thing from a plethora of recent advertising for all sort of products it's that BIKES SELL!

(Super-Hot-Girls on bikes also helps "sell", but I don't think we need to include S-H-G with Santa's new Image... It'd be all sorts of wrong.)

Cotton On Body has launched it's swimwear range this week, employing the locale of Byron Bay, Dancing Man, hot girls, and bikes of course! Bondi Beach Cruisers have their great trailer also using the holy trinity of girls-beach-bikes (sacrilegious pun intended, sorry god). Even lots of recent car advertising has used bikes, and that's the one that really confuses me, because most car drivers hate bicycles...

Back to XXXmas-


At least with all the pedalling he can work off all of those cookies and milk brandy milk. He might even loose the paunch, get healthy and live for another million years. And that's the story of how bicycles saved Christmas. Yay!


*A Bicycle Band-Wagon would be very cool.


Oh the freedom...

Browsing bicycle images on the internet and I was struck by how many feminine hygiene products use bicycles to show how comfortable and active you can be, while suffering the 'womanly curse'.  I have put together a collection of ones from different eras.  Each one makes me laugh, honestly who creates these commercials?  I even include some that didn't have bikes but were too funny to miss!


Am I supposed to be at work today?

Getting pushed on bike on sand is just stupid.

For that yodeller behind you...

Do we really have to wear white in order to be free?

She also doesn't care about flashing...

Its all about throwing a leg over..

Still with the bicycles...

Had to make this one big as it's just so so bizarre! 

This lady could wear anything under that dress and considering the era, 
it was probably nappy-sized.No white dress for her!

The picture below is recent.  Two girls from Melbourne entered a competition to promote Libra and did so by riding around with a giant tampon on the back of a bicycle and handing out samples.  I don't know about you but someone wearing white, riding on horseback or bike and frolicking in some sort of way with a smug smile is not really going to make me pick one brand of femine hygiene product over another.  Had the girls below turned their giant tampon into a tampon/rocket launch-pad then maybe I could be persuaded but thats just me.

In researching this blog post and all the commercials of menstruation's past, I was disturbed to discover that I don't know every femine hygiene product still in production.  Boys if you don't want to be enlightened, now is the time to stop reading...
No not the product in this ad, but I felt someone should have mentioned it to me like this ad is scripted...
This picture below is the only commerical I could find for this product and my face looked as uncomfortable and somewhat disgusted as hers does when I discovered this...

What is it you ask, well its a menstrual cup (google it if you don't know, because I don't really want to explain).  And because there are weirdos on the net who crochet tampons just for fun (see below example)..
You can bet that another weirdo will crochet a menstrual cup.

Oh yes, check it out.

(if you want the pattern its included on their page)

Now how to promote said product you ask?  Well you can do what these two girls did and travel across America by bicycle to hand out menstrual cups...  Not only that but they take everyone's email addresses who they hand them to so they can check up how they are going... Over-sharers unite!

Read all about their feminine hygiene adventures here: www.sustainablecycles.wordpress.com
 The two sustainable cyclists bringing their message of eco-friendly virtue to the world... If I was wearing one of these I think I would be hopping on my bike this awkwardly as well.. 

So the supposed benefit of these menstrual cups is they are more eco-friendly than tampons but you know so is the pill.  The cups are re-usable, just boil them in some water after use.  Yep, think of how much fun this would be to do in a share-house, in the kitchen, in a saucepan or living with your boyfriend.  And so my final word on this is: be eco-friendly, its a great thing, but do it riding a bike, recycling, growing your own vege patch, the 'Diva Cup' is one carbon-reducing step too much for me.


The Stylish Mums of Cycling!

I am paying homage to some stylish Mums I know who make bikeling part of their lives, despite being busy parents and they do it with flair! In fact I think we should coin the term SMOBs (Stylish Moms on Bikes). Here are a few lovely ladies that we know...

Miss Saskia from Sydney Cycle Chic

Miss Sonja - always elegant and lovely

Miss Chem - Street savy style

In the true spirit of Cycle Chic, these ladies are stylish on or off their bikes.  Its riding in what you wear, not dressing to ride. 


The perfect name..

The year of 2011 has been interesting for the Feather Brigade so far. Nearly every event we have organised has been rained out. Strangely this phenomenon only seems to affect our picnics. So we need a sunshine-filled day, just one, to fulfill the desire for bike hangs, park antics, photo pranks and all other types of mischief.

So when J-bot, S-boy and I recently adopted a rescue kitten, what else could we name her but... Picnic Jeeves.

So we will be organizing a Picnic in the next few weeks... So what do you need to get ready? To help us break the curse? Just one thing...

A Picnic basket!

Awww but when you have such a cute kitten, how can you leave her behind?? Well, we haven't been attending bike events while she settles in. But Picnic loves baskets and with a bit more harness practise and a lot of build up, may just be a bicycle-riding cat hero (*please note that this will be strictly up to Picnic Jeeves). She has just the right palate for it too, disregarding all the usual cat treats preferring Brie cheese and prosciutto, both picnic staples!

Pish tosh xx Oh and In being the nutters we are,of course Picnic Jeeves has her own Facebook page. Like her here... https://www.facebook.com/pages/Picnic-Jeeves/229616970428153



I'll let you in on a little secret... I'm a little bit in love with the girls from The Deadly Nightshades.

Why? Well, their Toronto based (Torontoan? Torontoist? Torontonian? I dunno... someone let me know what the correct term for a Toronto resident is...) bike gang has to be one of the coolest out there. The girls are artsy and craftsy and have a whole bunch of bike love. Plus their gang colour just happens to be my favourite colour, seafoam green! Ummm, are long distance gang memberships available?? 'Cause I want to join!

Their film FABRIC BIKE recently premiered at the New York Bicycle Film Festival, and I'm so excited that it's showing as part of the Urban Bike Shorts programme at our very own Sydney BFF. I can't wait to see the full thing, but until then here's the trailer...

FABRIC BIKE Trailer from The Deadly Nightshades on Vimeo.

There is sooo much happening in the next few weeks, bike and BFF related. It's going to be a busy month, can't wait!



The Great Helmet Debate


 Oh helmets. To wear or not to wear. Ever since getting back on a bike again I have been confused over the pressure to wear helmets in Australia. Compulsory helmet laws prevent a lot of people from taking up bikeling as a means of transport, after all who wants to end at their destination battling helmet hair? Yes, this is more true for females but it's not vanity so much as looking respectable while out in public, something men's short hairstyles allow for but women's do not.

Pic sourced from www.funcage.com

There is plenty of research for and against helmets. But I believe in personal choice especially in a situation where only I am affected by my choice, I am not putting anyone else at risk. 


For me, I never wore a helmet until I recently started commuting to work. Why? Well because I was nervous about commuting and didn't want the extra worry of looking put for police or park rangers on a power-trip. 

However now I am comfortable with my route, and with riding longer distances everyday and can't help question my choices regarding headwear. Previously when riding bare-headed, I have been at the receiving end of yells from cars and pedestrians shouting "Wear a helmet". This is such a bewildering behavior, and is almost a tourette-like, people who would other-wise be minding their own business suddenly scream at you and then continue on with their day. I am sure the same people do not yell at random strangers otherwise and find it quite amusing why helmets bring this out in people.

So I decided I would stop wearing my helmet for my work commute and to see what reactions I would get. It was an interesting experience. I got the normal abuse, and I do believe people are quicker to yell at women on bikes then men. But I realized what a helmet meant to me - a great safety placebo! And most interesting was the reaction of other cyclists. Helmet-less riders are not taken seriously by fluro or Lycra-clad cyclists alike. Never mind if your bike is decked out with lights and you are wearing a reflective sash, it's all about the helmet. Apparently the helmet will give you a veneer of cycling-respectability in Australia.

Here is an example of conversation I recently had with a helmet-clad cyclist while helmet-free:

Her: Hello
Me: Hello
Her: Did you know you should be wearing a helmet?
Me: Yes, I am aware of that.
Her: Oh but did you know it's illegal?
Me: Yes, but I believe in personal choice.

The light goes green and we ride off, her and her partner (also wearing a helmet) followed by my partner and I who are not. We have to merge into traffic as we get through the lights and while we used hand signals to let the cars know our intentions, they did not and just changed lanes. At the next lights I could not resist...

Me: Did you know you should use hand signals?
Her: no response.

So what's more important here? Obeying road rules, using common sense or just relying on the bit of foam strapped onto your head to provide all the protection you need?

The other conclusion I came to while on the receiving end of car-abuse (this happens if you wear a helmet or not in Sydney generally), is that people in cars over-estimate the protection helmets give cyclists and therefore do not give you adequate room on the road. Car drivers want cyclists to wear helmets so they feel better about not leaving a metre or nearly hitting you.

 Cartoon sourced from www.prash.net

So at the end of it all, what conclusion did I come to? Well sometimes I don't mind wearing a helmet and sometimes I do. When I wear my helmet it will not be to make others feel better. To the car drivers who yell out their window - if you are so concerned for my safety you will give me the space I need on the road. To the people who yell and rant at me on the street - you may want to look at your own behavior after all you are screaming at strangers in the street. To the other cyclists - wearing a helmet can be a choice and I will respect your decision so please do like-wise.

Happy bikeling!

Pish Tosh xx


Bicycle Songs of the Past

S-boy with his on-going quest to know every song ever made that's worth listening to, helped me discover this beauty to add to your playlist to ride. The video is not great but the song is and is definitely up in my top five!

Here is the only pic I could find of them. Why weren't these guys more popular?

Pish Tosh xx

Bondi Beach Cruisers

So I know, I know! It's been a while... Our adventures have been few and far between this wet, windy, busy winter. Pesky real-life gets in the way of our goal to spread the bike love across the population, like some sort of contagious disease- except happier and better dressed, on wheels...

Considering it is now officially not winter (hooray!), I thought it was about time the Feather Brigade shared the love for Bondi Beach Cruisers. If you're on the internets and like bikes, you've probably already seen this, but I feel compelled to re-blog because I love their trailer! What a great vibe! Can't wait for summer. Bare feet, wearing swimmers everyday, picnics, long evenings... Plus the CutCopy soundtrack puts me in a dancey, party mood.

Oh, what a fantasy. Bikes, beach, booze, boys... I now have crazily high expectations for this summer.

Go here for Bondi Beach Cruisers.

Go here for more CutCopy.

Come back here for more bike love. I promise it won't be so long until next time...



Wild thing!

Last weekend I was a gorillagram as a surprise for my neice's 18th birthday. It was a hit. When I hired the costume, I found out I had it for the entire weekend. So what else could we do but GORILLA BIKE RIDES AROUND THE PARK!!!
The reactions from the sunny Saturday park-goers were of surprise and then amusement. We took some videos which we will blog later but in the meantime check out the fun we had!

First some Gazelle action...

Then on J-bot's Electra...

Milky Joe enjoyed his ride with dad.

Some sexy monkey moves...

Meditating monkey style...

And for no real reason at all...

All that bike riding made this gorilla more than a little hungry...

Whats your craziest fancy dress that you have ridden your bike in?

Pish Tosh xx