After I posted the site for Yakkay, I sent the link off to Miss Scarlett's owner, knowing she would probably go into transports over the pink tweed "Tokyo" helmet. Which she did. And then, while I was busy lamenting the fact that they didn't seem to have an online store, she put her googling skills to work and found the following places in the UK and France that carry them, and sell online. Now I just have to lament the fact that the Yakkay helmets are about £95 from all of them... and that I'm now looking at the beautiful capes and messenger bags and ... are those reflective spats? The side of me that sighs over anything steampunk must, for the good of my wallet, be suppressed!
And Cycledélic in France.
Now it's true that Mike and I are anything but fashion leaders. And I might look a little silly in some of this wonderfully Eurochic gear, bashing along Bank Street on Mike, who is a bit of a thug really and wouldn't know what to do with a cravat (other than maybe tuck it into a back pocket á la James Dean or something.) These clothes are more suited to a five-speed city cruiser like most of the bikes on these sites. And those are bikes designed for the cobblestones and paved pathways and small streets in Europe. I lived in Bonn, Germany, when I was eighteen, and biked to high school. It was great - and I still have flashbacks, in the fall, when the air gets cooler and damper and you can smell the fallen leaves starting to turn to mould, of the trip to school on the white bike I borrowed from my host family, the autumn streets and the paving-stone yard of the school I went to.
It was much more civilized than my seven-mile crank to work. It involved better posture, and a little bell, and crosswalks and side streets that cars couldn't fit on, and the ability to pedal along and have a conversation with your companion. And you could be well dressed, nay, even stylish. (And man, were my classmates stylish: even the goths were immaculate.)
And maybe there's a smidge of nostalgia in my longing for stylin' bike clothes. I was never into Spandex, and MEC is more my usual comfort zone, but sometimes I get all romantic over the idea of being... so gosh darn European. Mike, however, feels differently. I get the feeling if I got him a wicker basket or an embellished chainguard he might rebel.