The arrival of Capital Bikeshare in 2010 not only introduced Washington DC residents to a new public transit option, but it also changed Debra Zusin’s life. The 31-year-old lawyer had done some trail riding, but bike share, combined with improving infrastructure and more cyclists on the streets turned her into a textbook case on how to inspire more women to ride bicycles. Zusin started to commute to work, intermittently at first and then every day. Soon, she was on the hunt for a stylish bag that was easy to carry on her bike — one that complemented her work wardrobe. “As a lawyer, I have to look professional,” she says. Dangling a helmet from her wrist didn’t fit the picture.
So, Zusin teamed up with Mari Chambers, 31, a product developer with a background in fashion accessories and jewelry based in New York City, to produce a line of bicycle-ready bags that stylishly accommodate a helmet, as well as other necessities for travel around town on two wheels. Give Love Cycle bags, which come in two styles and colors, are made of easy-to-clean, vegan, weather-proof materials and styled with reflective piping for visibility. Removable straps enable them to be carried in different ways.
“I’ve also carried this to the gym, and people go crazy over it in the locker room,” Zusin says.
The Guilden Large Carryall ($185) has a compartment on the top to store helmet, extra clothes and everyday essentials. The zippered bottom compartment accommodates a pair shoes, in case you’d rather not ride in heels. It can be carried as a handbag, or a 60-inch, removable strap converts it to a shoulder bag or backpack (drawing below).
The Guilden Small Carryall ($135) serves as a helmet bag and purse, or can accommodate gym clothes. It’s sized to fit into the front carrier of bike share bikes, including Citi Bike in New York City, or can be attached to a handlebar or carried as a shoulder bag, using the removable strap.
Give Love Cycle also has added a jewelry line that coordinates with the hardware on the carryalls, including this GLC Bracelet ($65).
Finally, the company collaborates with a variety of partners on custom styles. For example, a portion of the proceeds from sales of the exclusive Small Guilden Carryall in orange (left) benefit Transportation Alternatives. That’s the one I bought for spring!