It's become a personal mission of mine to find good riding gear. I've really struggled to find shorts, jerseys, protection and shoes that fit, function and look good. Although the larger brands are starting to realise women want more variety... that we come in more shapes and sizes than the typical S, M, L... I still feel that smaller brands get closer to the mark than the big ones. Brands like Flare Clothing, SHREDLY and Puddle of Mud Designs are all founded by female riders who know what we want, what we need and how much we can afford. These women are looking to make a change, and are working hard to give back to the women's riding community.
Puddle of Mud designs is still in its infancy, less than a year old! Operating out of Brisbane, Australia, the brand was founded by keen biker, Mary who is all about fun, friends and well... mud! Since her early years of riding in Dublin, Mary carried her passion for MTB over to Australia where she now races, rides and produces these fun jerseys.
Mary believes that bikes are an extension of ourselves, and I like that. I spend more time cleaning and maintaining my bike, than I do on myself! I take pride in riding my bike, whether it's a social ride with friends, a moody vent down the park, or just to get somewhere! Puddle of Mud jerseys reflect the fun and passion we riders have.
Here's how Mary sees it: "I am very proud to be part of a HUGE community of female riders, of all disciplines, here in Brisbane. We're called the Brisbane Chicks Who Ride Bikes. I am really passionate in helping women get into mountain biking (as that is what I know over any other discipline), and I realise it isn't as scary as it may look in the media. It's wonderful to be away from the hustle and bustle, wandering through beautiful forests and taking in all that fresh air whilst keeping fit!"
Recently, PoMD have put together a race team of four passionate biking babes who all live for riding. Mary has plans in the pipeline to expand the race team in the future, so watch this space! It's great to see pro-active riders taking their initiative and passion to give back to the community. So, massive thumbs up to Mary for establishing this great company, and I really hope to see it grow and make it's way over to the UK in numbers.
I got the Skye jersey (I'm a sucker for tartan), and it's great! Fits really well with a flattering contour to the body. It's got a lovely loose material which doesn't even make you feel that you're wear a bike specific top... you could easily get away with wearing it casually as well. There's a secret hip pocket for your keys, or for midget gems in my case! ... and the variety of designs are awesome!