Bike: The Fashion Accessory...

You know, i wrote this way back in February. February of 2013 that is. I didn't consider it worth posting at the time, and so it has languished near the bottom of a list of some forty to fifty similarly imprisoned posts yearning to be free. This morning i noticed that BikingInLA linked to a similarly themed story and thought, "ah damn, why didn't i bring this out a year and a half ago? Now it is just going to look like i picked up the idea from somewhere else." He who hesitates has lost. So be it, you will believe it or you won't; regardless, here is my take:

It has been a while since I last stirred the cycle chic pot, rocked that boat. I might take a little heat for this but, one of the things that bugs me about the whole cycle chic thing is that, often times the role of the bike is incidental, it becomes relegated to the role of accessory. Now before anyone gets all flustered, this is not always the case, I will freely admit. Many sites and blogs which I would categorize in the "cycle chic" realm do a very good job of combining bicycling and fashion, positively portraying smartly dressed riders. When I say "smartly" dressed I am referring to both good looking and functional. These help to normalize the image, the activity. On others, however, you can scan through page after page and never see anyone actually riding. Instead they stand next to a bike in a field of wildflowers, they sit on the lawn in a park with a bike sprawled next to them, they push a bike beside them while walking down an otherwise empty street (and thus perfect for riding), or they lounge at the seashore with, you guessed it, a bike somewhere nearby.

photo seen at C.

If you noticed in those last few lines above, I did not write "their bike", instead preferring to use "a bike", this is because I am never convinced these bikes actually belong to the people nearby. In fact I can never be sure that the models even ride a bike, let alone own one. The bikes are merely props. In these cases I come away with nothing more than bike as selling point, no different than the slender, beautiful model, the stunning landscape, the languid pose, the luxury - nor, for that matter, the long flowing shawl, draped over the handlebars and billowing in the breeze, which would surely get caught in wheel or chain. "Not", as Jerry Seinfeld would say, "that there is anything wrong with that." But still, if the objective is to normalize the activity of bicycle riding in "everyday clothes" (whatever that is), should there not be some riding taking place? Somewhere? Sometime?

You know, now that I think about, I really should not let this bug me. I just need to remember that there are two entirely different things going on. On the one hand there is the cycle chic that effectively combines the two - cycle and chic, and then there is the other hand, disconnected, ambiguous, no clear connection between the two - fashion, with a bike thrown into the mix because it sells. Not that there is anything wrong with that?