Friday, May 20, 2011

Elegant Cycling


The Fabulous Catherine Baba


I recently started cycling again, although I do have to confess only when I visit Belle Mere's, it is relatively flat and there is a cycle path that runs along the sea front for miles, it's bliss, the idea was to cycle from Belle Mere's house to the beach, have an invigorating early morning swim in the sea, and then a rejuvenating cafe au lait, however the swim in the sea fell along the wayside and I found myself cycling into the local town, having a coffee and cycling back, still it's a step in the right the direction, later in the year when the sea is warmer, I am determined to carry out the original plan and then I will be super smug!

I don't cycle here in the Pyrenees, this is Tour de France, mountain stage country and it's not for the faint hearted, even cycling up to the local boulangerie involves a very steep hill climb, I tried it once and embarrassingly I had to get off and walk!  To add insult to injury, lycra clad elderly gentlemen whizzed past me, well, they have probably been doing it all their lives and are super fit.  We do keep a couple of mountain bikes here for friends and guests but unless they are into mountain biking and used to it, most people take one look at the terrain and think, perhaps not!

The Sartorialist

The Sartorialist

 The Sartorialist

The mountain bike I use is far too complicated for me, it has loads of gears, which I don't know how to use properly, once I decided to take Crusoe for a walk by bike (first time on a bike since I was around 14!) I was doing quite well on the rough tracks, then coming down a hill, I put my front break on and went straight over the handlebars, the chain came off and once again I got off and walked home full of bruises and grazes.  If one is going to be an elegant cyclist like the ladies and gentlemen in the photographs it's essential to have a bicycle, with storage for shopping and handbag,  mud guards and a chain guard is also essential as you don't want to get your trousers or long flowing skirt ripped and oily in the chain and who needs more than five gears for cycling in the city or forgiving terrain!

The Sartorialist

Rita Hayworth

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.
XXX

17 comments:

  1. I really should cycle more places. The island is very small and really, there is no excuse for hauling the car out of the garage for anything other than a journey to the mainland.

    I love these photos but cannot believe the shoes that they are wearing for cycling!

    Have a lovely weekend yourself. Don't forget, universe ends tomorrow at 6pm. Get drunk before 5!

    Ali x

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah Dash...you are talking my language here. I am besotted with all thing cycling since moving to England and have to say my Pashley bicycle did it for me. It is beautiful! Is it a practical bicycle? No...weighs a ton, chugs up hills and is a nightmare to get into the back of the car, but would I change it for another...no way!

    I always wondered who the woman was in the top photograph, so happy to finally have the answer :)

    Best wishes Dash and happy cycling.

    Jeanne xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. Those bike pictures which you choose to showcase certainly puts a glamourous spin to biking!

    ReplyDelete
  4. If only I could look that glamorous on a bike I may be inspired to dig out my ancient Moulton Mini.
    I'd love to see the Tour de France one day, the scenery is astounding beautiful.
    Have a wonderful weekend. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh...if only I could bike around town in my gray mink coat and 4 inch heels!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I must confess to huge ignorance here because I can't actually ride a bike but how on earth do you cycle in shoes like that?! I could barely walk in them.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Too much going on in my life now, but biking again is definitely on my list for the future. Wish I thought I would ever look like one of your Parisian women!

    ReplyDelete
  8. what a coincidence. i got a cycle post today.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm thinking of getting a bike although I don't think I'll be going on many main roads, mostly for other people's safety!

    I love Catherine and the fact she always cycles in killer heels. Whenever I see her in Paris she arrives at shows on her bike.

    The picture of Rita Hayworth is brilliant.

    Have a fantastic weekend, love, C xx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hello Dash,

    I really love your blog and always come back every few days to see what beautiful photos or biographies you've got to share with us.

    Here's an interesting blog to have a look at for your new found love of cycling!

    http://ridesabike.tumblr.com/

    Bettina

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hello anon, thank you for your lovely comment, I have followed your link, what a fabulous collection of bicycle photographs, thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It does appear that cycling in the real world is somewhat different to the posed photos, doesn't it? I for one would be terrified to try it in heels or a dress. I did finally get used to the gears on my mountain bike and though I keep moaning that I want a really low step-through, Bill continually reminds me that those style of bikes are very very heavy and meant only for flat terrain. Which we don't actually have here, in spite of living near a beach. Can't say I'm a big cyclist though when I was working I did manage to cycle the 10 miles to work and back a few days - it took major organisation, pretty good fitness and a ton of courage! Still, I keep thinking I'll get back to to more...

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't know why ( well, maybe I do) but I can see myself bicycling in Paris or London or in Italy perhaps but here in Buenos Aires ... I just can't get myself to try it.
    It is possible that it has something to do with not wanting to fall down, not wanting to fall down in front of a BA taxi going 900 mph, or not remembering how .. when did I ride a bike last ? Is it really just like riding a bike ? you get on and remember how ? And don't topple over ?
    I might have to try . maybe. someday.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I have fantasies of riding a bike round London and growing a fabulous figure but so far so scared.....good luck!!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wonderful images! Alas I look nothing like that when I Go out on my bike.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh my! After your mountain bike experiences you are very brave to get back on a bike - I bloody hate mountain bikes - only because I'm really cyclically challenged and don't know how to use the gears;)). Well done you!! The first pic is amazing - not only is she wearing high heels, but also a kimono!! xo

    ReplyDelete
  17. So wishing I lived somewhere where I could have a chic bike with a basket!! And maybe even a little bell :-)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for visiting French Sampler, I hope you come back soon. I love to read your comments and will reply as soon as I can.