Tillie & Coco

two ladies, two bicycles, two hemispheres

Category: Elegant cycling; Cycling attire


by Alacoque

In her post Garance states this is the perfect biking outfit. What do you think? What is your typical cycling outfit? I generally just get on the bike and ride wearing whatever but I do love a bit of an up-skirt breeze in summer! One thing I do agree on- on a bike the city is yours! http://www.garancedore.fr/en/2012/08/31/bike/#more-31797


Old school

by Alacoque

Dear Tillie and fellow bike lovers,

last weekend I spotted this old school cyclist outside the Powerhouse Museum. I’ve posted before about their bicycle collection and I’m assuming this particular bike is one of theirs they keep in working order for spontaneous loops around the forecourt just like this! It appears to be a modern reproduction. Isn’t it wonderful! Can you image what is must have been like to see penny farthings rolling down the main street back in the day?

Love Coco xx

Commuter Jeans

by tillieandcoco

Dear Tillie,

I’m not sure how I feel about these jeans. I’m a real believer in riding in normal clothes rather than “cycling gear”, but these seem to have some good features.

They probably don’t come in a maternity version anyway.

Love Coco xx

Postcard from Lucy

by Tillie

Elegance on a bicycle day, (c) LAPI/Roger-Viollet, Parisienne de Photographie

I received this wonderful postcard from the lovely Lucy Leonardi last week – written in Paris, sent in Sydney (the Sturt’s Desert Pea stamps were a bit of a giveaway). The caption reads “Elegance on a Bicycle Day, June 1942”. How did I not know about Elegance on a Bicycle Day before now? And shouldn’t every day be Elegance on a Bicycle Day? I think so. As Lucy rightly observes, “I think we should wear more turbans!”

Post from Mum

by tillieandcoco

Hi Coco,
Last night I came home to find this newspaper clipping from my mother in the mail. What a treat! I like the tulip-lined envelope. “Elegant Cycling” is nice and all, but isn’t “Cycle Chic” the phrase we know and love?

Friends Who Cylce: Imke

by tillieandcoco

Tillie & Coco are delighted to present a special guest post from Imke in Holland about winter cycling. Imke is studying at the world’s only university dedicated to museum studies in Amsterdam. She is shortly moving to London to complete a second UK internship. 

Dear Tillie & Coco,

Although the snow is already long gone, I am finally getting around to writing a blog post for you (on Tillie’s invitation, thanks – I’m honored!) about The Netherlands, snow and most importantly, cycling.

When the first snow fell around here, I claimed to love snow cycling. This was back when almost all the cycling lanes were clear of snow and the streets weren’t shiny and glittery yet because of slipperiness – it was actually fun to be cycling around town with a lovely white view of snow-covered bushes, trees and parks.

Occasionally I had to go through crackling snow, but I just thought that was fun (I like the sounds of crackling snow). These loving thoughts about snow cycling lasted until the second week of snow.

Then, the snow just kept on coming, which resulted in messy cycle lanes with mud-like snow which was harder to get through. It seemed like the streets and cycle lanes would never be properly clean again and the snow would just stick around. The problem here is that you can never trust whether your route to work or school will be clean from snow. By taking your cycle, you immediately challenge yourself, because the cleaning of cycle lanes and other roads seems to be done totally randomly. You’ll be cycling on this nice clean cycle lane one moment, and the next you will be struggling your way through a slippery road. And the worst thing is that it seems to change by the day. One day I think I have found a really nice snow-free lane that will take me all the way to work, but the next day it will be covered in snowy mess.

The worst is, of course, when everything gets slippery and you basically end up walking about 50% of your journey with your cycle in hand, just so you won’t fall on the slippery streets. I think everyone falls off their bike in the Netherlands at least once a winter. The main conversation topic at work was where bruises from your most recent fall off the bike were. Luckily, I only fell off once this year, without bruises (yay!), but it did cause my chain to detach and I had no way to fix it quickly myself because of my enclosed chain-guard (yay for my dad, who fixed it!).

Cycling around Holland is inevitable – even during winter and snow – and I would love to have clean cycling lanes, roads and nice tours around idealistic looking snow-covered places, with no fear of falling off or being surprised to find my usual cycle lane all covered in snow. I would like to be able to enjoy the short sections of crackling snow while I am cycling along on a nice, sunny winter’s day. Cycling in winter times should simply be as beautiful as that – all of the fun, none of the trouble.


P.S. Every morning my bike looked like a little snowman-bike, because I don’t keep it in the shed. Although every morning I thought ‘this will look good in a picture’, I never actually photographed it.