Safe Routes Scoop

Bicycle Chic
by Dr. Cheryl Allen-Munley


and the trend has inspired countless blogs around the world. Photos of chic cycling celebrities, from actress Chloe Sevigne to activist Al Sharpton, are blogged by Cozy Beehive, among others.  Cycle Chic images can be seen in mainstream fashion magazines such as Bazaar, Lucky and Martha Stewart, as well as Momentum, a magazine devoted to the bicycle chic rider.  Websites like velovogue, ridingpretty, cyclelicious and letsgorideabike encourage utility cycling by providing advice and images that portray bicycling as hip, stylish and fun. Topshop, a British women’s clothing store, opened its first American store in the Soho section of New York City with free bicycle rentals and a chic bicycle photo contest. 
Cycle Chic fashion shows are being held this year from Portland, Oregon to Cork, Ireland.  Interbike, the America’s largest bicycle trade show, will hold its second annual Urban Legend Fashion Show with models trading the catwalk for cycling on a road loop.


In Boston, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, London and countless other American and European cities, hundreds of cyclists are participating in organized Tweed Rides. These group rides have only one requirement -- no synthetic fabrics.  Dapper dandies and bonnie quaintrelles are cycling en masse attired in pearls, pork pie hats and plenty of tweed. Last year, The New York Times attributed Tweed Rides

for starting a trend in Victorian style for men’s fashion.  The South Orange/Maplewood Bicycle Coalition held New Jersey’s first annual Tweed Ride on May 15, 2010.  Riders were encouraged to wear their best Victorian-era finery for a ride through the historic Montrose Section of South Orange.
.  The following week, the Big Apple Tweed Ride was held in Brooklyn’s Park Slope


 You may wonder, why the fuss? Why not just wear normal street wear? Why is any bicycle specialty clothing needed? The fact is that the physical action of bicycling creates certain constraints. As the popularity of the safety bicycle spread in the 1890’s with over 2 million bicycles sold in America in 1897, women recognized the difficulty of cycling in corsets and long, multi-layered skirts. Despite assurances that it was possible to learn to cycle sidesaddle with some practice, the women's movement quickly paired the freedom and independence of the bicycle with the freedom and independence of rational dress.
. In 1896, feminist pioneer Susan B. Anthony said, "I think [the bicycle] has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world."


When using a woman's drop rail bicycle it is possible to ride with a

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