Makeup and Cycling

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At the WomensKit holiday ride this past weekend, I was asked about my makeup. If I ride 4 times a week, it’s a sure bet that at least 2 of those rides is in makeup. I ride frequently on week nights and that means riding in the same makeup I wore to the office. Has this changed my makeup routine? A little. Mostly I’ve gotten smarter about what products I choose. I think we’re beyond disclaimers like, “I’m not high-maintenance but…” or “You don’t have to choose between strong and beautiful” and can instead agree that you can be anywhere on the Face of Makeup continuum as long as you always feel like you stay true to who you are.

Here are some of my tips to wearing makeup on a ride- Continue reading

Sockturday: The Wonderful Socks

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The Wonderful Socks. What a great name, don’t you think?

Every single Wonderful Sock tells a story inspired by the achievements of great sportspeople, whether a race or a single extraordinary sporting event. ‘Bubba’ is a tribute to Forrest Gump’s epic run across the USA. ‘Arenberg’ is a celebration of the Paris-Roubaix race, also known as the Enfer du Nord. ‘Seoul 1988’, an homage to Gelindo Bordin’s Olympic Marathon Gold Medal. ‘The Climb’, a poem to all cyclists who love to climb mountains.

Each pair is made in Italy and designed by world-class creative talents, so when you put on a pair of Wonderful socks you feel inspired to be as great as those they are named after.

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What is your favorite TWS sock/shoe combo?
Giro Empire Slx, we love shoes with laces, and all the collection of TWS, it depend on what day we go for training.
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Do you adhere to the height rules or answer demand instead?
Yes we do. We love 6” long cycling socks. We love 6” long socks also for running. They are a show off accessories and there is much more space where you can design the patterns!

Do you make your own socks or do you use another company to manufacture your designs?
We concept and design the socks. Another company produce them with a know how in manufacturing technical socks. All in Italy.
14064095_1777546249194972_8913730516064578477_n Why do you think cycling socks are so much fun to wear/design?
Because the socks is an accessories that give you personality, style. You can easily show off. And unveil your nature.
14053948_1775325952750335_3043799629565918295_n Why do you not offer a women’s sock different from a men’s? Oftentimes, especially for smaller footed women the design is off when worn and there may be rubbing inside a shoe from seams that are not quite right.
Our socks are for men and women. We have three sizes, S M and L, this is to avoid rubbing inside a shoe from seams, blisters, bad length and give the best wearability. Quality and design are priorities.
13912765_1770765816539682_2712252182894953441_n Do you consider mixed materials in your socks for specific purposes – warmer weather, cooler weather, wet weather, road versus CX, etc? Do materials make a beneficial difference to athletes?
Yes we do. We use only Polypropylene and Resistex Carbon. Innovative tecnological fibres. Breatheble, resistant, isolating, lightweight, soft, antibacterial and confortable. They are much more thermo insulating them virgin wool. Thanks to this characteristic function, the feet can be dry and warm in winter and dry and fresh in summer. Moreover Lycra is spread out on all the sock to give a light compression.
13920688_1773060529643544_3145139967462843080_n What is your design inspiration? The meaning behind your designs and patterns? All men’s racing and sports?

Each sock is inspired by a story chosen from the sport world. Mostly from cycling and running. This is to motivate those one who approach and those one who are keen on sport.  We love also tell stories unknown. 

Any releases to look out for this year?

A small collection is upcoming on the next month, stay tuned.

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The Domestique Critique: Giro Amare II Helmet

Giro_H_Amare-II_BlackGalaxy_34It happens. Myself, the pavement and my helmet all meet at the same time with brute force and unfortunate circumstance. Enter Giro Amare II. I needed a new helmet and was intrigued to try something from the new Giro Chrono line at my LBS.

I was initially attracted to the helmet because it matches the rad new lace-up Empire W ACC shoes for women that Giro recently released. Look for my review of those shoes here. The Amare II comes in 5 color combinations and I chose Black Galaxy. It was the closest to solid black I could get and it closely matches the holographic colors of the shoe. giro_h_amare-ii_blackgalaxy_back

The Amare II is a mid-range helmet at $140 USD. With $270 the highest range of Giro helmets and $40 the lowest, you expect to be getting more style but less technology with this helmet. But I was very surprised to see several lower-priced models offering Giro’s brand new MIPS technology for a difference of $30 or more. Online you can see that Giro offers almost a replica helmet style for $30 less in the Sonnet, but with MIPS, so you may be better off getting that.

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The Amare II is well-ventilated. You can’t really feel the difference between 23 vents and 27 vents and I’m not riding in a wind tunnel. I am, however, riding in sun and cool breezes and this makes for a great summer helmet. But I will note that some may not like the high number of large vents because it actually exposes more head and hair to the sun. I doubt I was taking full aero advantage of the ventilation and instead ended up just baking in the sun with a slight scalp burn. If you didn’t wear a cap before, you may want to try one now.

DSC00794As for the fit of the Amare II, the helmet’s headform is a bit more round than ovoid so the main points of contact on your head are really the front and the back upon tightening. This became one of the big drawbacks of this helmet in my view. Once I tightened the helmet, I felt intense pressure at the forehead yet didn’t feel that it was secure all around my head. This pressure became a piercing pain over the course of my rides and I frequently wanted to stop and remove the helmet to relieve the pressure and give my poor head a break. For this reason I was always aware of the feel the helmet on my head, which is the exact opposite of an ideal helmet.

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The tighter I tried to make the helmet, the more the pressure on my forehead increased, yet I could slip it off with a hard shake of my head, even when tightening the system to its max. I tried on several sizes of the helmet and chose the one that matched the measurements of my skull so I doubt I have too big or too small of a size for me. It felt like the sides of the internal reinforcement skeleton did not even tighten around my head. I feel more safe and secure in the Lazer or Mavic helmet skeletons. I wore a cap for the remainder of my miles with the helmet and felt that worked better, both to relieve the forehead pressure and to secure the helmet on my head.

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The other big drawback was the stiff tightening system. To lighten the helmet weight, Giro developed their patented Roc Loc5 system at the base of the helmet. I found the turn knob to be stiff and small, even for my smaller hands. I couldn’t do it with gloves at all. The design of the system also caused my cycling cap to bunch up. It does accommodate any kind of ponytail, though.

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OVERALL

The Giro Amare II helmet has a great look for a mid-range price. But the tightening system is stiff and the pain and pressure the shape caused my head is frustrating for the money I paid. A cap makes its flaws less noticeable but overall I would not recommend this helmet.

High Fashion for the Bike

Otis3_web_t600Maybe not yet incorporating lycra, students from Otis Design in California were designing couture fashion for women on the bike. Personally, I don’t care to dress like Sex and the City everyday but bike fashion DESERVES an injection of more style for women, always.

https://www.apparelnews.net/news/2016/mar/10/otis-fashion-design-students-create-bicycling-outf/

 

Calling You Out, Cycling Sexism

Women have long dealt with sexism in our sport. We are treated as second-rate in so many areas of cycling, even at the top professional level. I’m thrilled to see our female community banding together and calling it out. Companies whose bottom line is profit should treat everyone as an equal, unlike this inappropriate Colnago tweet or this race poster. Even the promotional items at 2015 Interbike crossed a major line and alienated female-identified cyclists. Isn’t this the market you all keep talking about trying to reach? THAT’S NOT HOW.

From Danielle Kosecki, with more examples of disgusting sexism here:

It’s hard to calculate the amount of sexism women encounter within the cycling industry, since so much of it happens at a personal level or via microaggressions that we’re taught to brush off or blame ourselves for. But we can keep track of the things that happen on a larger scale. So let’s do that.

For ONE year, help me keep track of sexist cycling words, visuals, and experiences. It’s the beginning of March and so much has already happened — lucky us!

Email cyclingsexism@gmail.com to contribute a post.

While you’re at it (as in ‘making your blood boil’) give this Open Letter to Assos a read, from FatCyclist.com.