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Honoring Father's Day

At the NY Bike Expo this past May, someone asked me how long I’ve been a cyclist. As I thought about the answer, I realized I’ve been biking since I was about 4 years old. 

I then began to recall the many bikes I’ve had over the years. My very first pink bike with white tassels that my Dad taught me to ride on; the red 3 seat tandem my Dad used to cart my brother and myself on through town; the Craigslist Peugeot step-through my Dad haggled a great deal on so I’d have a way to get around in college; and then when I moved to Brooklyn, him shipping that same bike he haggled for, but freshly tuned up with new lights and a lock so I’d be ready for city riding.

It amazed me how reliable my dad had been over the years when it came to biking. So in honor of Father’s Day we want to give thanks to the Dads who’ve taught their kids to love cycling.

My dad worked in a bike shop all through college and to this day still loves building bikes.  He’s also blessed to have so many women in his family, between myself, my stepsisters, and his granddaughters. So whether he’s finding a good deal on a vintage Raleigh at a yard sale and cleaning it up for one of his kids, or building an elegant Soma bike from parts as a romantic gift,  or taking us girls on a Divvy tour of Chicago, it’s always inspired me to see him passionate about helping the women in his life get easy access to cycling.

David Kamerer on a Divvy

Since I’ve started working with Sawako I’ve realized what a boys club biking can be, so I appreciated remembering all the ways that my dad helped me feel confident and independent by giving me the gift of biking at a young age, and of course, making sure I always wore a helmet. 

riding in style even at age 5

Here’s to all of the Father’s who took the time to attach training wheels and tassels to their kids first bikes, making sure style and safety were part of their ride from the very first lesson. Happy Fathers Day!!!

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5 cycling superstars of Instagram

Love cycling? Love social media? Then you should be using Instagram to keep on top of the latest trends in cycling and cycle fashion. We adore Instagram (you can follow us @sawakohelmets) and we've made a list of five of our favourite cycling-inspired accounts to get you started!

Bobbin Bikes

Our friends at Bobbin Bikes have a beautiful Instagram account that showcases some of their stylish bikes and accessories, as well as the people that love them. Follow them @bobbinbikes

Rachel Atherton

Rachel is a professional racing cyclist specialising in downhill mountain bike riding and is a multiple world champion. Her Instagram features lots of candid shots shots alongside incredible professional photography showcasing her skills. Follow her @rachybox

Danny MacAskill

The Instagram account of the supremely talented professional street trials rider Danny MacAskill is as exciting and impressive as you would imagine. Perfect for some cycling inspiration! Follow him @danny_macaskill

Brooks England

Brooks England are the oldest continually operating saddle company in the world, but they have grasped the modern age of social media with relish. Their Instagram account features gorgeous pictures of their super stylish saddles. Follow them @brooksengland

No Life Like This Life

This stunning account aims to bring together 'bikes, photography, art, culture and living classy(ish(' and does a fabulous job of it! It features many stunning shots and is well worth a long browse with a cup of coffee. Follow @nolifelikethislife

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Sawako Q&A: Ann from Straight River Sports, Minnesota, USA

Today we are delighted to introduce you to a lovely owner of Straight River Sports, located in southern Minnesota.

Straight river sports new retailer in USA for Sawako helmets

Ann is a jack of all trades when it comes to biking. Whether it be a triathlon or a leisurely ride in the city, she’s got poise and style on her trails! About an hour south of Minneapolis, she’s lucky to take her rides in such a naturally beautiful part of the state!

Straight River Sports is a new Sawako seller but we are so glad to be a part of their story. We love it when women break the mold of the cycling industry and Ann is a great example of that with her sporty bike shop, which serves both hardcore and more leisurely bikers.

If you’re in Minnesota, be sure to check out this friendly shop, they even have bike rentals for the stylish cyclist whose just passing through.

 

1. What kind of cyclist are you? Sporty/commuter/weekend/beginner etc.

Can I answer with "Every kind!" Love riding with my sporty friends, but just as happy to go for a 45 minute slow-mo ride with less active friends. I participate in triathlons, mountain biking, road riding and winter fat biking...especially with a group of girlfriends!

2. Which lifestyle brands are you following at the moment?

I shop everything!

3. Tell about your business and why you started it. What are your core values?

14 years ago I left my career working in the criminal justice world to own a bikeshop. It was a moment of thinking that there has to be more fun and love in the world than what I was doing at the time. There have been some really hard years financially, but it's been worth it. I'd like to think I've changed my small part of the world and brought in joy while continuing to make a living.

4. Besides your business, what is your passion?

I love spending time and riding with my husband. We have both had separate businesses for years, but this year we combined our skills and opened an electric bike shop together in Minneapolis. It's been a wonderful merger of skills and we are really having fun. Our boys are grown and on their own and we are enjoying our marriage. Vacation time is generally spent on week long bike tours around the United States or visiting our sons.

 

5. As a woman is a male dominated industry, what is your role in inspiring other women to cycle?

It's not hard to sell something you are passionate about and when people see me sincerely having fun on our 45 minute weekly Wobble Ride, they know that it's ok if they're not super slim, super fast or super athletic. I can have just as much fun on a 50 mile hard core ride with my athletic friends. We're all just out to have fun and bring joy to our lives in a way that works for us. I've been trying for years to convince executives in the industry (mostly, if not all male) that they need to quit marketing to the 24 year old male and acknowledge that most of the cycling world is made up of typical people (and women with spending money). They need to start marketing to them if they want to survive. Sawako gets it! Pedego does too. That's why we partnered with them for this second store.

 

6. What would you say is the difference between cycle chic and cycle geek?

It's a continuum. It's easy to start riding thinking you are cycle chic, but the more you ride, you find it's a slippery slope to cycle geek. I have to reel it in and minimize the bike talk when I'm not with fast cycling friends and glam it up when I'm with my "social rider" friends.

 

7. Where’s your favourite place to pedal?

In the woods, winter or summer on my fat bike.

 

8. What was your first bike?

A red schwinn with a banana seat and horn. I was four years old and it was a bike that belonged to "the neighborhood" and everyone learned to ride on him. His name was Spot.

 

9. Black croc, leopard or glitter?

I have to choose? I own at least 7 helmets. What I wear depends on the outfit. One must coordinate.

 

10. If you could cycle anywhere in the world where would it be?

I've heard biking in Italy is wonderful. 45 minutes between vineyards and taste testing, for miles and miles.

 

11. Tell us your secret cycling style tip.

Dry powder shampoo works to fluff my hair after taking off my helmet. Soaks up any wetness too!

 

12. What's on your cycling soundtrack?

No music. I like to be able to think (or talk to my friends) and listen to nature.

Thank you Ann!

222 Bridge St. Owatonna,MN 55060 T: +1 507 451 1666
4804 Chicago Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417 T: +1 612 827 5000

 

 

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NEWS from NYC: Bike EXPO NYC

We are excited to announce that Sawako will be at Bike Expo NYC as part of Cityhood Collection.  Read on to find out more and visit us at the Expo! 
bike expo new york logo
New York City Takes Cycling in Style
 
NEW YORK CITY (April 19, 2017) -- Against the backdrop of the 40th anniversary of the largest charitable bike ride in the US, we’re proud to roll out the first Cityhood collection at Bike Expo New York. Cityhood is a curated collection of brands with something new for the city bike rider. Cities are making efforts to attract more people on bikes and Cityhood speaks to people looking for style with their performance.
 
"Increasingly, the smartest, most efficient and fun way to get around town is by bike," says Susi Wunsch, advocate, creator of velojoy and passionate observer of NYC cycling style. "The Cityhood collection and other forward-thinking brands are combining style and performance to lend greater ease and comfort to everyday cycling. The goal is to make traveling by bike just an ordinary part of one's day."
The two-day Bike Expo NY (May 5-6) attracts more than 60,000 cyclists of all types in preparation for the famous TD Five Boro Bike Tour. It’s Cityhood’s objective to showcase clever new styles and ideas for bike riders in New York City.
The Cityhood exhibit (Booth #211-213) includes:
Blaze, the innovative design brand from London that’s captured the world’s attention with its smart new bike light. In fact, their Laserlight technology platform is being used on London’s Santander bike share and undergoing trials with New York’s own Citi Bike system.
blade
Cleverhood, the Providence provider of stylish, bike-ready rain capes for livable cities. Vice Magazine said the capes freaked them out and Forbes named them a top ten gift for cyclists.
cleverhood
Fairwear of Philadelphia with it’s casual blend of performance gear. It’s popular Park and Ride shirts were noted by Vogue for their handsome look and blended fabric that stretches and dries in a flash.
fairwear image
Sawako, the NYC brand, by way of London, with the mission to bridge the gap between fashion, utility, sport and safety. Enjoyed around the world Sawako helmets are hand-finished, luxurious, sexy and functional. 
sawako black croc
The Willary, from Philadelphia, combines thoughtful design with smart, durable fabrics to create a wardrobe that empowers women to work, play, and live with style.
willary
“Bike New York is a big part of the dramatic change in the City’s infrastructure and its growing number of cyclists,” said Susan Mocarski, Cleverhood. “Cityhood is an exhibit of like-minded brands that offer a combination of fashion, utility and innovation for the urbanite on the move. We come from all over with a common appreciation for smart new trends in active cities.”
One of the world’s top fashion capitals, it is estimated that over 450,000 cycling trips are made each day in New York City—triple the amount taken just 15 years ago. Progress is the result of private and public partnerships engaged in new infrastructure, education, safety and fun events like the amazing Five Boro Bike Tour. Just about every block offers easy access to a bike with CitiBike share. New York City is moving with its characteristic vision and style.
As in other leading cities around the world, bicycling in NYC is growing, with an estimated 450,000 cycling trips made each day. Citi Bike, the largest bike share system in the U.S., set ridership records last year with nearly 14 million trips. And the city's bike lane network has expanded to more than 1,000 miles helping New Yorkers to ride with confidence and enjoy the unique advantages of city cycling. Progress continues to result from public and private efforts to promote infrastructure, street safety, education and world-class cycling events like the Five Boro Bike Tour.
Bike Expo New York is the most-attended consumer bike expo in the U.S. Free and open to the public it attracts more than 60,000 visitors over two days prior to the TD Five Boro Bike Tour. The expo is May 5 (10 am-8 pm) and May 6 (9 am-6 pm) at Pier 36 at Basketball City (299 South Street, Manhattan).
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NEWS: Pippa Middleton Did It Again!

pippa middleton with sawako crocodile helmet

About a year ago, Pippa Middleton made a headline being spotted cycling around London town with a Sawako black croc helmet. 

 pippa middleton cycling in London 2016

And....she did it again! 

'The sports-loving royal sister rode in style in a belted navy jumpsuit with a fitted tan leather jacket — and, of course, her go-to mock-croc helmet.' -People Magazine 

Pippa Middleton with Sawako helmet 2017

This is her go-to helmet!

This time, she mixed this helmet with a navy jumpsuit x leopard loafers x a tan jacket. We love your style Pippa! What is your favourite cycling style? Share it using #rideinstyle. 

Pippa Middleton with Sawako helmet 2017 2

 Sources:

POPSUGAR

People

Daily Mail 

 

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