Accessories are actually a woman’s necessities. Can I get an AMEN? 😉
One of the things concerning riding that I’m growing in is knowing what kind of gear works for ME as a busy woman and a rider. My needs are not the same as someone else’s. I need gear that is multi-tasking, multi-functioning, HIGH safety enhancing, and y’all…I’m a Diva…I want it to look GOOD. PLUS, I’m a sport rider, not a Harley babe. Skulls and such just aren’t my thing. (Although I DIG their bling!! ❤ )
BUT neither are huge tropical flowers, which seem to get slapped all over everything made for a woman sport rider. I mean obviously, by plastering huge Hawaiian flowers on something automatically makes it look good for a woman? It just makes me think of Weekend at Bernie’s…I’m a full-grown, real-job, carrying-kids-dogs-groceries around, multi-tasking Wonder Woman… A lack of large flowers on my clothing is actually a life style REQUIREMENT for me so I don’t try to shimmy into my 8 year old’s undies by mistake, at pre-coffee 5 am…(I’m not a highly conscious morning person, don’t judge me! ;p) I don’t even OWN a Hawaiian shirt…why would I want that design style on my helmet, gloves, jacket, or even my backpack?
Not to mention, I am thankfully not the same shape as my Hunky Hubby. 😉 Gear like his backpacks and such don’t work for me the same way they do him. For example, the chest strap on his fav Swiss Army backpack cuts me right across rather sensitive (not to mention unflattering) areas…strapping that backpack on tight makes it just SO SUPER comfy for anything longer than a 60 second upright sit, right? And then if I LEAN FORWARD to stretch my arms out to grab the handles…?!?! I mean, who needs to breathe while riding? It really doesn’t affect my focus at all…
I sit a lot differently on my bike than my hubby, and I am a much less experienced rider, so tank bags that work for him are currently a huge distraction to me. I have a tail bag that I can use on my Diva if needed, but it prevents my Littlest Beauty from riding two-up with me. If we get the rare chance to ride to school, I’ve got a computer and such to tote with me. And that bag needs to have space enough to stash a pair of sandals with all the rest of my stuff to change into so I’m not clomping around in my moon (sport riding) boots all day long. I must have gear that works for me.
I have literally spent HOURS online, shopping all the sites, and Pinterest hunting for gear that I think looks good, but is super functional and safe. Before I go any further, I want you to know my opinions are completely uncompensated. And y’all know I have PLENTY of opinions! I am not an affiliate for these products. I’m just sharing what I found, cause that’s what Divas do.
While looking online, I came across a startup company called MotoChic. Debra Chin has created this brilliant company that provides highly functional and CUTE gear for women. Plus it’s a small business led by a superstar woman…and I’m all about supporting that! She designed the Valerie and Lauren Bags.
(MotoChic graciously granted permission to use their stock photos.)
My Hunky Hubby surprised me with the Valerie clutch for my birthday last year.
The Valerie is a small hand bag, with an inside zip compartment as well as credit card/license slots. The bottom expands nicely, so I can fit my comb, lipstick, and even a powder compact in there if I choose, as well as my cash, license, and debit card. It’s made out of a material that wipes clean easily. SO nice to be able to easily wipe bug goo off… ;P In fact, I just got back from Cancun and it was my bag of choice there…the sand just slipped right off. And when it rained on us (often!) it was no biggie.
It can be worn as cross-body or carried as a clutch. I use it ALLLLLL the time. I usually wear it as a cross-body under my riding jacket and then carry the clutch when I use my Lauren.
Which leads me to the Lauren Bag…One of my FAV Christmas presents evahhhh…Yallllll, I LOVE this bag. Love. It. LOVE IT. It’s SO well designed, from a safety aspect as well as for functionality and fashion. I’m a teacher. I ALWAYS carry bags-MANY bags, and I tear through them in a year’s worth of work. I’m super hard on them and I stuff them to the gills. I need to carry my Mac with me, along with my kitchen sink. And I want it protected while I do, never mind my own person. But my biggest concern was safety. Big bulky backpacks are distracting and uncomfortable, and they don’t leave my Little much room to sit two-up. When looking for a bag, I was desperate for something highly usable on the bike that didn’t look or feel like a man’s backpack. I would love to only carry ONE bag. Something I can shove everything into, yet not look like I’m dragging the world on my back. I was SO excited when I found this bag!
The Lauren bag is all about safety first:
It’s SUPER highly reflective…Very legitimately BRIGHT on the bike. And visible = SEEN = less chance of getting smacked from behind, so it’s kind of a biggie. When it’s on my back, the rear side panels glow very reflective in headlights, even just the daylight running lamps at dusk. It’s also a very low profiled fit, so I don’t really feel at all it when I turn on the bike to check lanes or such.
There’s side snaps that create a sleeker profile so it’s not a parachute on my back that wears me out by catching the winds. And the CHEST STRAP…people. It’s placed for a WOMAN. As in NOT cutting the girls in half. The chest strap slides up and down, so you can custom your own fit, which every woman knows is a must, even week to week. You can slide it as high or low as needed for you personally. (Can I get a Hallelujah!?) Even little details like loops that hold the extra straps length tight so it’s not slapping against me in the 45+mph breeze make it obvious that Debra thought of just of just about everything. Reinforced seams in the straps and super sturdy zippers minimize the concerns of losing valuables on the ride. People, I got my bag for Christmas. I’ve carried it everyday (whether I ride or not) to work and such, full of all my stuff. My concern was the straps giving out. But I’ve been amazed at the strength and durability of the straps.
Extra pockets EVERYWHERE, both zippered and non, make stashing my stuff an organized breeze. My OCD side rejoices! There’s even a stashed key strap that the Valerie clutch connects too or my bike key. In fact THAT is my only complaint about this bag – the claw clip attached to that strap broke the first time I used it. It was tucked in the pocket, so I’m not sure what I did, but somehow I snapped the clasp in two. The compartment zips though, so my clutch is safe, making it no biggie for me. All the other hardware is very sturdy, so I am pretty sure I just got a wonky one. I wasn’t willing to part with it to have it replaced, so I just deal.
It’s CONVERTIBLE. Y’all, it’s a tote bag for leg days, and a backpack for wheels days. The Lauren has these ingenious tote straps that hide inside the sides of the bag in magnetic compartments, and also backpack straps that hide in a zippered compartment. It’s so easy to change in a flash. Just unzip and clip to convert it to a backpack, and stash the tote straps in the magnetic closed compartments. For off the bike errands, it looks like a fashionable tote bag. You’d never know it was convertible. I get compliments all the time on it, and I always have to stop and show off the quick change possibilities, much to the delight (eye roll) of the unsuspecting complimenter.
The lining on both bags match and are super cute- non pink, vintage motos are inspired for a fashionista. Not a Hawaiian flower in sight! ❤ It’s even got a hidden rain shield in the bottom that stores away unnoticed until needed. Just slip it out and no worries that my Mac will get ruined in the down pour.
Check out this video of the bag’s functionality as well as look! https://vimeo.com/121756715
As far as beautiful, practical gear that enables me to ride more often, fitting into my lifestyle, these bags have made my life SO much better. I LOVE them. They fit my personality and fashion sense, while keeping me SAFER and able to transition from street to bike in a more streamlined way. They are WELL worth the investment!!
Check out the full line at MotoChic’s website. She’s got a full line of adorable stuff that I can’t wait to add to my collection! If you order, tell her I sent you! Divas help Divas out, ya know? ❤
Rock what you got, y’all…and leave the rest to Him!