Saturday, June 21, 2014

Novara's Sporty Summer Separates for Your Walk or Ride: REI Flash Sport 15

Hike & Bike like a girl! Feminine, fashionable, functional gear for work & play
Summer is HERE! This means spending more time walking or riding outdoors, perhaps even after dark. As for me I LOVE to ride my bike to get around NYC and at home among the bucolic horse farms of NJ. Many times after doing my errands, I'll want to stop at the local coffee shop. However, not too long ago, the only women's cycling clothes were tight spandex shorts. I'm sorry but walking into a public place with THOSE almost guarantees strange looks (especially at your backside) and unwelcome stares.
Today, unless I am doing a race or sportive, I wear a cycle dress or skort for my commutes. Same thing if I have a meeting, social engagement or business appointment. 

Novara Skort with ruched sides and colorful cycle jersey
Novara Style
I am a big fan of urban cycle wear so when I saw the Novara display set up at The Women's Story media event, I made a bee line right for it! I like bike wear that's stealthy and doesn't announce that you arrived by bicycle, not that there's anything wrong with that. Still some of the new technology is quite impressive as I found with the following pieces from Novara.

Novara's Haisley Woven Top in Black/Blue Plaid
Novara Women's Haisley Woven Top
I saw this top and thought it looked great! You would never guess that this is a cycling shirt replete with a invisible zippered pouch in the rear and multiple pockets. As you can see, I'm wearing it here and the fit is SO comfortable due to the stretchy side and black panels. This shirt would definitely work for my morning walks as it has a cord port in the back pocket for headphones. The Haisley has an UPF of 50+ sun protection and is moisture wicking.
Built in Reflectivity
What is extra cool are the flip up sleeves and collar which allows you to deploy or hide the reflective trim. In fact the whole shirt is interwoven with reflective 3M Scotchlite threads. These fibers blend into the plaid pattern during the day but radiate a gridded glow at night. So if your are walking or riding home late after sundown, that reflectivity could be HUGE in increasing your road visibility.

Novara Haisley Woven Top & Miss Carema Gel Skort
Miss Carema Gel Skort
This cycling skort is a God-send for the hot summer weather ahead. This is the first skort that I have tried with a sheer bottom panel and I'm not sure I'll want to go back to the solid ones. Attached is a cushioned chamois gel short with elastic leg grippers to keep them in place. There is even an envelope stash pocket on the short's leg for that gel pack. At the waist is a super comfortable nonbinding crossover waist band. 
Short List of Features
I really like the weight of the short's fabric and the fact that it offers 4 way stretch. Like the Haisley Woven Shirt, the Miss Carema Gel Skort is moisture wicking, quick drying and offers a UPF of 50+ sun protection. It also has reflective accents in case you get caught walking or cycling after dark. These pieces can be dressed up with a blazer or capris should you wish to walk or ride your bicycle to work or maybe to lunch. People will simply notice that you are dressed well, not like "Lance".
Want to see more styles for work and play? Visit online

REI Flash Sport 15 Pack
If you are looking for an ultra-light women's pack to take with you for a walk, run or ride, check out REI's Flash Sport 15. Designed for fast paced hiking and trail running, you could also use it for that hike into work or an outdoor event this summer. It accommodates a full on hydration system, (I have my CamelBak Antidote 100 oz reservoir inside), with ports on the straps for easy water access. Averaging 1 lb, 1 oz its volume is a respectable 15 liters.

REI's Flash Sport 15 Women's Specific Pack
REI Exclusive: Flash Sport 15
The shoulder straps and hip-belt are perfectly proportional and sculpted to fit women. The shoulder and hip strap pockets help organize gear I wish to keep close at hand like my Omegalicious Gummys and Probars. There is a roomy stretch mesh pouch in the rear for wet or bulky items you might not want to carry inside.
A clip loop in the rear of the bag can hold a blinky safety light if you are out at night giving you extra visibility if you are on foot or a CityBike. Walking or riding, this pack is just right. See more gear and packs online at

Hike or Bike. The NEW look of urban street wear!

Clothing c/o Novara Bike
Pack c/o REI
Tortoise Shell Framed Eye wear by Hobie

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