Tag Archive: hawaii commuting

Chrome Vanya Riding Knicker Review – Will Bike for Pants!

Aloha Bike Commuters… I’m all cappuccino’d up and ready to roll!  Today’s feature, everyone’s favorite two-legged entity: PANTS!  In particular, a review of the Chrome Vanya Riding Knicker – knicker makes me snicker…!  If you remember our earlier article, I mentioned that we received these women’s riding snickers about two months ago from the sunny drain bamaged Chrome folks out of San Francisco.  (I jest – SF readers, I too hail from the land of sunshine-crack California).

Pants - as interpreted by The Oatmeal

The DL: My fave commuter-to-office-to-pau-hana PANTS!  I have done daily rides, night rides, long hot sunny rides (not my favorite for the Vanya) and morning commutes.  I love the pockets, capri-length, fit, wicking, easy washable and durable material and the transformation to business casual with heels.  Only gripe is the crotch panel gets swampy with our humid weather, even if I go commando!  I do appreciate the panel nonetheless, since you don’t have to sit on a hefty seam during your ride.  The only thing hefty about the Chrome Vanya is the price tag at $120.

The headless rider modeling Chrome Vanya snickers in BlueSteel: no rolling the cuff necessary for bike mounting!

The Tech Specs:

Weight: 1.0 lb.

Fabric: Everest 4-way stretch performance fabric

Product Source: Oakland, CA, USA


  • Everest 4 way stretch performance fabric
  • Classic 4 pocket configuration
  • Zip-secured side cargo pocket
  • New sizing runs true to size: XS (Size 0-2), S (Size 4-6), M (Size 8-10), L (Size 10-12)
  • See “Size Chart” link for exact measurements

The riding snickers come in both Charcoal and BlueSteel (not to be confused with Derek Zoolander’s”Blue Steel”.)

Full Frontal of Little Miss Vanya... a.k.a. "Pants"

Me Likey: I have just been putting them to the test for 15 minute lunch errands to the Zach Manago Ride in Paradise.  The pants are versatile enough to work for anytime short or long-range commutes if the temperature is not too hot.  Good in the summer rains too, the Vanya snickers don’t give a shiz about rain or mud – the stuff wicks well, and bike grease comes off easy in the wash!  Plus, you don’t look like a spando weirdo rolling into a bar or restaurant after work – no clothes change necessary from commuter to socialite… (uhhh, does that qualify for cycle chic!?)  The pants have a good amount of stretch and a solid fit with no butt crack revelations along the way! Everyone at my work loves them too; they are jealous of them as regular office pants, and double jealous when they found out they are bike-friendly.  Last but not least, the pants were most comfy while biking around Lake Tahoe for a family vacay: perfect length and material for dry sunny afternoons transitioning to crisp, cold evenings.

Chrome Vanya women's pants fared best in Lake Tahoe summer weather!

That’s right folks, theses pants are SO amazing, I would bike a charity century ride around Oahu and puke tons of HEED electrolyte drinks if the reward at the end was a pair of Chrome Vanya Riding Knickers instead of a dri-fit commemorative tee.

Back it up: two patch pockets reinforced with red stitching!

Me NO Likey: The gripes about the Vanya are few and far between: namely that they are too warm for extra hot days and on the pricey side!  When I rode them on long rides in bajillion percent humidity at 12pm in Honolulu, I got so hot that my shins were sweating!  I rolled them up past the knee and toughed it out… but all in all, I should have opted for spandex in the first place.  Also, me NO likey the price tag on the snickers, at 120 bones, I would much rather buy a separate pair of bike pants and work pants.  (Then again, this is coming from the person who shops at the Goodwill and my sister’s closet).

Red mesh pockets = minimizing sweaty upper thigh: Note my pockets are empty...

Pants Recap: Thank you, Chrome, for making a stylish, versatile, durable, and stretchy cladding for my lower half!  My former Vanya-less pantsless self (imagine me standing on a median, with a cardboard sign saying “Will Bike for Pants”)  could never have imagined a better fit!  I will definitely wear these guys into the ground on and off the bike!  All you Cycle Ladies in search of a nice urban commuter pants option, check out the Chrome Vanya if you have mad cash money to spare.

AMENDMENT!!! After some skepticism from the general public that the Vanya can do a heels pants transformation megatron, I have decided to post this photo that I cajoled a camera-owning friend of mine to take!  In Honolulu, the capri or cropped pants and heels look totally passes for business casual!  Check it peeps:

Chrome Vanya gets down to business with a red top and black summer heels: YOU CAN DO IT!

Hawaii Bicycling League: Zach Manago’s Ride in Paradise

Aloha from Honolulu, Bike Commuters! Mir.I.Am here, announcing the Hawaii Bicycling League’s summer safety adventure: Zach Manago’s Ride in Paradise. Info about the event from Chad Taniguchi, director of HBL, goes something like this:

For more details, contact Chad Taniguchi at HBL :

Join us for Zach Manago’s Ride in Paradise July 9-10, 2011 for Safety Awareness

* 144 Miles around Oahu in 2 days
* Ride all or parts** of it
* Pledge or donate to HBL’s Safety Education & Awareness Program
* Read Zach’s story and register/pledge at
* Order T-shirts by July 4, 2011

The plan is to ride around the island in two days with camping overnight and support vehicles along the way. The group will be stopping at various police stations discussing road hazards and safety awareness for cyclists and motorists alike. The ride is to commemorate the life of Zach Manago, a Hawaii Pacific University freshman who was killed by a hit and run motorist in December of 2010 at the beginning of a round-the-island group ride planned by Aloha Fixed. Word is that Zach’s family is supporting the ride and advocating for bicycle safety on Oahu – apparently notorious for bad driving and an overall disdain for cyclists!!! (You tell me, I’ve never had any bad juju on my commutes, but I typically ride in my own world where Michael Bolton is a pirate).

This ride is not for the weak-tushed. Get your safety gear on and steel your okole for some serious mileage… or take on at least part of the ride! The scenery will be killer and donations go towards a good cause. I’m not usually one to “bike” for advocacy, as my personal form of advocacy reflects the mentality of a kindergartner (“If you ride bikes with me, I’ll be your BEST FRIIIIEEEEEND!”) But anyone can join in for part of the ride, when the group passes through your hood, just hop on the bike and cruise with the crazies. Check the maps** for the breakdown:

Day 1 - West side!

and then there’s this~!


HBL is also sponsoring a free “Cycle Safe Oahu” clinic at 3:30 pm on Saturday July 9th at the State Capitol in downtown (day one of the ride). At the start of day two, meet again at the capitol for the Rally for Safety at 8 am on Sunday July 10th, meeting at the State Capitol and ride with the group to Waikiki. If you want to register for some or part go to to do it right.

Hawaii commuters and cyclists, break out your fixies, foldies, roadies, MTBs, cruisers, commuters, and whatevas to come out for this ride. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun! I’ll be there, bunny-hopping a hot dog or puking electrolytes at about noon on either day…. so no EXCUSES! (Remember the Daria-like athleticism that I overcome on a daily basis.)

Me Bunny-hopping a Hot Dog

Post if you’re into it!!! Mainland peeps, fly over for the fun if you feel so inclined, I can bring you along in my baby cart (Bell says the limit is two passengers at 50 lbs. each). Guess it’s time to learn how to bunny hop for real if any of you fools show up!