Spending time on hair, or makeup often seems pointless since it might be ruined in the first five minutes on your bike (especially if you live in rainy Portland like me). Nail art will last you 5 days or so and is a fun way to express your individuality on a bike. As a cyclist, the relative toughness of a manicure makes the time you invest more worthwhile.


From a visual perspective, who doesn’t appreciate coordinating their kit to their bike? Fun nails can open up a whole new avenue for coordination and expressing one’s sense of style. Nail designs have been known to inspire frame paint schemes, socks and probably a kit or two. You can paint your nails to coordinate with teammates, celebrate an event, or if you’re me, express your love for sharks!                    

What I’m getting at is manicures are fun, occasionally a little bit silly, and a great way to rest and unwind after crushing yourself on a ride.  


This weekend, I rode to my cyclocross race, competed, met a friend for burgers and beers, and then came home to indulge in painting my nails pink with silver lightning bolts. The benefits are two fold; I do my nails and then I sit on the sofa and watch TV while I wait for my nails to dry. As a perpetual busy body, it takes some coaxing to get me to sit down and relax which is essential for recovery. It might seem odd, but painting my nails is a weekly ritual that manages to compliment my life as a cyclist.

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  • Seche Vite quick dry top coat will change your life. It’s super shiny, and really does take your preliminary dry time down to about 15 minutes. That said, I still try to wait an hour before doing most things. 
  • Gel manicures are great if you’re heading into a block of travel without time to paint your nails (just make sure to remove by soaking in acetone rather than peeling it off; your nails will thank you!)
  • Get a metal dotting tool. It’s super easy to use and who doesn’t enjoy polka dots? 



Abby Watson is US Head of Finance at Rapha. She races CX for Breadwinner, Road for River City Cycles, and Enduro for The Athletic. 

Follow her on  tumblr or on Instagram @abbylwatson