Never have waterproofs felt so needed as during this very windy, very wet season. Cycling to work everyday in the rain can actually be fun if in the right attire (head to toe goretex) but there is no escaping the fact that at best we look like an anonymous blob.
So, when we were contacted by the lovely Otto himself from Otto London with a suggestion that we stock his beautiful cotton lined waterproof rain cape, naturally we jumped at the chance.
It's important to remember that the Otto London poncho isn't your average bike cape. For a start they look great, they don't flap about in the wind to create a sail and the neat, slim fit means you look just as great on and off your bike.
Having the Otto London capes at Bells have brought many folk to the shop who are not cyclists and don't intend to cycle in them. These are the top five reasons we've discovered from customers for wearing an Otto rain cape off your bike:
1) Dog walking. It seems as though people are keen to brighten up their wet dog walk and who can blame them.
2) The school run. Gather all your children under your cape whilst you wait for the bell to summon.
3) The wet walk to work. Pop your bag/rucksack under your cape for dry sandwiches.
4) Out with your baby. The handy slips that protect your arms and hands while cycling work equally well with a buggy and stop your legs getting wet.
5) Layering up. What a coat will never be able to achieve is allow you to put on as many jumpers + a rucksack and still fit comfortably under it.
If you are convinced by the benefits of an Otto London poncho, you can look at the whole colour range in our acessories section.
I've always wondered whether one day we would have a secret shopper posing as a customer. I've hoped they wouldn't catch us at a bad time, as a huge delivery arrives, as a tired child throws a tantrum, when I've popped out for a coffee, the possibilities are there and not that uncommon. Luckily when Bike Biz (top trade cycling magazine) visited Bells none of the above were happening. It seems as though after visiting all the bike shops in Hastings and St Leonards, they liked us so much they awarded us the Best bike shop in Hastings and put us forward for the Star Store award - the best bike shop in the UK!
They loved the style and ethos of the shop. They were very pleased with the service, even though it was a very busy day. But most importantly, they loved the bikes! Especially the beautiful Tokyobike CS which our sneaky shopper took out for a test spin and by the end was sold.
I really hope everybody who shops at Bells has such a good experience, our main aim after all is to make a bike purchase fun!
Every year the majority of Hastings (and beyond) dress themselves in
green. They decorate their homes and shops in ivy and head to the Old
Town where they watch a man dressed as a large bush lead a prosession
through Hastings consisting of woodland imps and morris dancers. Then
everyone seems to get very drunk. This occasion is called Jack In The
Green and represents the start of spring for many south coast dwellers.
This year at Bells Bicycles we wanted to capture the spirit of Jack In The Green by holding a free portrait studio in the shop. People popped in wearing varying degrees of green finery and then vanished into the crowds for a day of sun, sea and celebrations.
This is a glimps into Jack in the Green 2013:
Bikes and bags seem to just go together, especially rucksacks. They both embrace style and practicality: our two favourite things at Bells Bicycles. Our new love is the Herschel range, cool colourful and comfy.
They are the perfect bags for cyclists, when we say bags for cyclists we are referring to well made, structured, comfortable bags that are great for carrying your things when on the move. They don't attach to the bike, they are so comfy they don't need to!
Our chosen pieces from the Herschel range have to be the Little America for its modern twist on the old mountaineering rucksack.
The Herschel Little America (grey) £78
Herschel Little America (black) £78
Herschel Little America (blue) £78
You can find more of the Herschel range in our bags for cyclists section.