April 2011 marks the 4rd Anniversary for My Alibi Clothing and the original Bloomers. Though they have earned a reputation of being ‘a bit expensive for underwear‘ these sexy little shorts, pack a powerhouse that just may make you feel like WonderWoman. Nearly 80% of My Alibi’s direct customers have written in to tell us just how much the Bloomers have made biking more accessible for them. Leaving no panty lines yet securing the highest quality chamois in place makes them so comfortable that you almost forget you have them on.
Many of you have probably heard about some of the “extreme” product testing I have been doing on them. So, it seems appropriate to celebrate 3 years with a bit of clarification of the cool facts (we all know how the stories get bigger as they go around… but really there have been some amazing observations).
Though the Bloomers were in development for over a year before I was pregnant, I was 6 months along when the finished product arrived. At first, I was sure it would be another 5 months before I would get to wear them as I was doomed for the extra big/extra stretchy version that goes up over the baby bump. To my surprise they worked perfect even with the belly! It was just in time too as the regular black spandex was no longer doing the trick. Little did I realize at the time just how helpful growing little Dustin was going to be to Product Testing. As a result of such a comfortable chamois, I road my MTB on Marin singletrack until I was 8.5 months booming. (Ok, those last couple of weeks I was stuck on the flats except for a few downhill runs facilitated by my sweet husband who drove me to the top of Mt Vision). I did everything I could to stretch them out but they hold their integrity to this day!
That same pair of Bloomers (pictured above on the first day they arrived from Italy) has been through the ringer. All cyclists know it is a faux paux to dry your spandex, ESPECIALLY ON HOT! But I did it. Over and over and over again. It didn’t seem to phase them, thanks to the highest quality Italian Lycra and Pro Quality Gel Chamois. The Pink version did get a little muted by washing with dark blue jeans (oops) but its funny, I actually like the color better (don’t tell anyone!!)
Of course the next phase of product testing was on the bike. As many will attest to, just running to town suddenly got a whole lot easier with the Bloomers in the wardrobe. Skirts, yoga pants, capri’s, even jeans become an easy option: paired with the Bloomers. No more lumpy, frumpy feeling. No strange binding elastic lines. No suffocation of vital body parts. Just booty protection, and a sheepish smile knowing that no one around you needs to know your wearing them. (Except when you run into your girlfriend and you just can’t help but tell her as she is fidgeting in her Spandex gear.)
Then of course, there is the mountain bike side of the Bloomers. Let me tell you! I put some miles on this pair in the dirt. In fact, I have scoured Northern Cali and beyond to find they are perfect for the hour spin or the epic Downieville downhill –where I actually crashed in a gnarly rock garden in these particular Bloomers with the above pictured Pedal Pushers BEFORE that photo was taken, see any holes or snags? Not a mark made… but we are talking about the Bloomers.
So we covered, stretching them out, insane laundry practices, Urban riding, MTBing, skirts and the new function they give the rest of our wardrobes. Touring is a no brainer. I get the best stories of women traveling around the world on bike in the Bloomers. Unfortunately, you can’t tell that they are wearing them in any of the pictures, but that is the point, right? The only angle that the Bloomers didn’t shine in was for long road rides. It’s not that the chamois isn’t sufficient, but it’s kind of difficult to wear anything over them, so if you live in Florida, San Diego, or Kona, you might try them on a blistering hot day and let me know what you think! As for wearing them alone? Not everyone’s cup of tea but I have to say when it was 102 degrees in Fruita, I was stoked to work on my tan lines on the singletrack.
So after 3 years of great rides I decided to take that first pair apart and see how well that chamois really held up. After a tedious hour of taking out the stitches, I was shocked to find the gel insert had no sign of deteriorating!! Now in my years of racing, I went through some chamois’! Pretty much every single one I ever owned (especially if it was team specific) broke down in less then a season, some of them almost fell out, and in most of them the foam had compressed to nothing in the key spots. I am not talking about cheap bike shorts either. I paid $100+ for at least 3 pair per year. I couldn’t believe it, these 1000+ day old Bloomers, that had been through the wash at least 5 lifetimes (in the fabric world 80 washes is a lifetime), were almost as good as new! The body shows no sign of wear (I am using it currently to test out some less expensive chamois for a cheaper version; more on that later), the Chamois top was as soft as ever with pretty even wear that didn’t effect it’s performance, and the gel insert was perfect!
My conclusion: (Now if you know me, you have heard me say this…) My Alibi Bloomers are a wardrobe investment that will pay for itself in gas saved, calories burned, and the smile on your face. But don’t just take my word for it. Here is what a couple of customers had to say:
“What I love most about your bloomers is the low waist, and the chamois is incredibly soft and comfortable. I just love them!” ~Laurie
“WOW … they are AMAZING! GREAT PRODUCT … I will tell all my girlfriends for certain. ” ~Louise
“I was a little apprehensive to spend so much on the Bloomers at first but they were so cute I went for it. After wearing them a few times I love them so much I am buying 3 more pairs!“ ~ Sara
Of course, that is just a sampling of the praise from My Alibi customers. The Bloomers are the prized possession of those who have made the investment. Are you ready to feel beautiful on your bike?
Posted on: April 1st, 2011
You have somewhere to go: that place where you learn and grow, give and take. How you get there greatly effects who you are in that place. Traffic, radio (talk or music: it’s all white noise), running late — always. Or you may just find you are always in your car. You, my friend, have a choice.
The bike integrated lifestyle is a choice. We choose where we live, what we do, who we socialize with, don’t forget “How We Get There”. By living your life on your bike, you will see your world more closely. The buildings seem grander, the flowers are brighter, the people seem happier, the clouds take more form.
Now remember, I said you have somewhere to go. It may be school or work OR it may be the coffee shop, playground, grocery store, or pub. It is about integrating the bike into our lifestyle in a way that supports who we are as individuals. Connecting to Self, Community and Environment in a deeper way is the BIKE INTEGRATED LIFESTYLE.
Posted on: November 13th, 2010
The bike is a key element to a Green Community on many complex levels. For most people the obvious reason is anti-CAR. Of course, in our traffic jammed society, this is an important factor. The more people that implement the bicycle into their transportation regime, the greater the impact we can have on lowering fuel emission pollution, lessen traffic congestion and slow the ever escalating need for more concrete expansion. There are also personal benefits that occur naturally when we choose to pedal our way around town. The absence of road rage leaves most bike commuters arriving with a smile even if the circumstances were not perfect.There is just something about the wind in your face and your heart pumping that makes the effort worthwhile In our busy lives connecting to our bodies on the bike can almost be a surreal experience. The bike becomes a place to reflect and clarify the mind. The physical act can be strenuous but the rhythmic action releases endorphins that allow for conscious thought. The combination of mental and physical activity gives our complex brain’s a chance to find balance in a world that otherwise demands us to tax one piece of our intelligence and let the other elements shrivel. Of course, there are other means to find this center but the awakening of the mind to the environment around us is a unique experience to the bike that requires us to take action in our lives. For those commuting through densely populated cities, this may resemble a new sensitivity to bikes when behind the wheel of a car. Or a profound realization that some trips actually take less time by bike without traffic and parking conditions. Or maybe just noticing a mural, or finding something beautiful along the way that you would not have otherwise noticed. For those escaping to the woods the experiences could stimulate a desire to preserve nature and take action to protect the environment. No matter how brief or extended ones ride may be there is no question that social interactions made on a bike have a greater sense of worth then the numerous motorized passings we make each day. The opportunity to share a smile or brief “Hello” offers us a sense of connectedness that is essential to the development of community. The time spent pedaling becomes a ritual to engage in the culture surrounding us. It gives us a choice to participate in creating the future and being the change that we want to see in the world.
Posted on: October 5th, 2010
It seems Green is the new Black these days with everyone trying to capture the Environmentally Conscious consumer dollars in the marketplace. The other day I noticed that even Clorox has a new Green detergent. Is it really “good for the environment”? Living in Marin County,CA, any time I feel my Green Ego bursting I just go to the Good Earth for a Green Check-Up. There you are sure to get a raised eyebrow if you forget your bag or throw anything in the trash.
For My Alibi Clothing being a certified Green Business is a commitment we don’t take lightly. Treading lightly on the planet is the core principle at the root of this small apparel business. Not only are the products themselves designed and manufactured in the most environmentally responsible ways available but the product concepts themselves are meant to inspire women to utilize a bike as a form of transportation. Being Green is more then buying recycled products, it is a commitment to continually analyze every action in our lives to lower our CO2 output. If that means, riding the bike two blocks to the local market to buy milk rather then jumping in the car to drive across town to the more trendy “Green Store” or if it means finding a factory overseas that doesn’t dump pollutants into the local water source, we are looking for every opportunity to instill green values into our lives and products.
My Alibi products are designed to get you out there on your bike more but that isn’t the only thing that makes them green. Product durability is one of our highest priorities. Not only are the styles designed to endure seasonal trends but the quality of materials and production are chosen to create a high quality garment that won’t wear out. This means we take R&D really seriously. So when you buy a pair of My Alibi Bloomers you can be certain that they are an investment that will accentuate your wardrobe 10,000% (or more) longer then that $80 would have gone in your gas tank. The cool thing is too, they actually help you burn fat while still smiling (another thing that SUV can’t do!). Help us celebrate My Alibi Clothing as a Certified Green Business by purchasing your pair of Original Bloomers!
Posted on: August 27th, 2010
I love to ride my bike downhill. The thrill of the the speed, the challenge to respond quickly, and the wind in my face are all pleasures that reverberate through every inch of my body on the descent. These rewards are like candy to my soul that has inspired me to excel on the climbs. Yes, I learned to ride fast uphill to get to the downhill more quickly. With time, I have come to appreciate the uphill struggle for many reasons but I must say that climbing to the top of a mountain before descending only makes the joy more fulfilling. A hard earned reward signifies an accomplishment, which greatly increases its value.
This translates beautifully to life. Ironically, in our lives we cherish the ups and dread the downs. I challenge you to embrace those humbling experiences with your chin up. Take on the challenges with a graceful smile and “See Through It”. If a negative drone persists, take it to the bike. You will be sure to surprise yourself with what treasures you hold in your heart.
Posted on: May 6th, 2010
“I would ride my bike, BUT there is a big hill!”
I can’t tell you the millions of times that I have heard this excuse. That’s all it is too… an excuse. Okay, so maybe I am being a bit harsh but there is a reason. You see, the hills are where it’s at! Climbing to the top is an accomplishment no matter how small the hill or slow you go up, there is fulfillment at the top. For most of us the reward comes in the downhill… without hills there would be no ‘downhill’. Most bikes today are designed to go uphill well with many gears to shift and make it easier on our bodies. I am not going to let you get away with saying your bike isn’t a climbing bike either, as I can climb up that mountain just about as strong on my single speed.
The greatest thing about hills is the amount of learning that can happen when we embrace them. (Calories burned is definitely a bonus too!) Of course, the variety of lessons is as vast as the range of sizes hills come in. Whether it is a consecutive set of small rollers or a huge mountain with varying pitches, the more you practice the better you get. It is in these challenges that we find inner strength and physical fitness. Many people think of riding a bike as a physical activity that is tiring, but I want to challenge you to experience the rejuvenation of the mind that is almost unavoidable on a good ride.
Read this little story about my ride on Monday to illustrate this Mind/Body experience. If this gives you just one little glimpse of inspiration, let it be this: The mind opens the door to the body’s potential just as the body does for the mind. For more enlightenment surrounding this concept, I highly recommend the book Thinking Body Dancing Mind. If you still need a bit more inspiration to embrace that hill, skip the gym and try a new hill everyday for a week. Then tell me what happened.
Posted on: April 24th, 2010
I am not a novice by any means, but some days getting up the hills isn’t easy, even for me. In the office, Monday just suck. It always seems like I do a great job getting my lists organized but checking tasks off is another story. I am sure you can all relate to how difficult is to end the workday on Monday feeling satisfied.
Last Monday, I took the stress and discouragement to the Mountain. Over the weekend, I had cheered on my girls and watched my competition attack the Sea Otter Classic then I went on a long road ride alone on Sunday. So Monday I decided to challenge myself to climbing Mt Vision Road, twice. It’s a great 1200 ft climb that reveals an amazing 180 degree panoramic view that includes the Pacific Ocean, Tomales Bay, Mt St Helene, Mt Tam and beyond on a clear day. It is not an easy climb, but it is peaceful and exhilarating. My mind was so saturated that I felt it unraveling with every pedal stroke. A tangled ball of thoughts being stretched out across the ground I covered until, voila, I was at the top. Suddenly, I hit my brakes as I found myself accidentally rolling across the last inches of pavement as if I was going to ride down the dirt trail ahead of me. Yes, my mind consumed me to the point that I almost forgot that I was on my road bike!
As I turned around to head back down the fast winding downhill, I felt a slight hint of fear in the pit of my stomach as I know it is a fast decent where some of the corners make me uncomfortable. I instantly banished the fear from my mind and charged. Something magical happened on that decent. It was as if that string of thoughts I laid on my way up created a perfect groove. Not seeing a single car, I barely ever touched my brakes as I felt centered, balanced and fluid through every corner. As I rolled down the hill my thoughts rolled together in an orderly fashion free of tangles. When I reached the bottom… rinse and repeat. I could have done it again. Going into this ride I anticipated pain and sluggish legs, but instead I was treated to a rejuvenated spirit.
Posted on: April 23rd, 2010
Let’s face it, transportation is one of the biggest global environmental issues, and we must see change in our lifetime. With the fast pace that we live in, it is really hard to leave the car parked and find alternatives. At My Alibi we believe that the bike is Queen in the world of Green transportation. Not only do you leave the car parked, but it is good for the heart, body, and mind as well as the planet. My Alibi is dedicated to inspiring more women to pedal their bikes, for at least a few, of those short little trips and errands we each make everyday.
By creating a line of feminine clothing that looks great on and off the bike, yet functions well while riding, we are supporting all women to integrate the bike into their lifestyle in a sustainable manner. You don’t have to be a “cyclist” to ride a bike to the grocery store for milk, or to meet your girlfriends at the coffee shop. What a better way to get to Yoga class, put yourself in the perfect space to accept balance, I promise you will be smiling in bliss as you pedal home.
Posted on: February 26th, 2010
To Laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends
to appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others,
To leave the world a little better
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know that even one life breathed easier because you have lived.
This is the meaning of success
Posted on: October 24th, 2009
Beauty is how you feel inside
and it reflects in your eyes.
It is not something Physical.
Posted on: May 5th, 2009