This article from The Daily Beast came out recently and describes how women are leading the charge in taking back biking as a ‘normal’ ‘everyday’ activity!!!! Hurrah – we knew ya’ll would lead the way just as Jeff Mapes predicted.
Here’s an excerpt…
“Women today ride in dresses, pumps, hats, and all kinds of professional and casual attire. They are also more visible socially and politically. Women are opening bike stores around the country, manage and staff hip bicycle cafes, and design innovative and stylish cycling clothes and accessories. They also head up some of the most influential advocacy organizations in our country.”
This great google map was put together by our Cycle Chic cohorts at Bike by the Sea in Santa Barbara. Isn’t it neat to think that 10s of 1000s of us are Cycling Chic all over the world, and that our marvelous little town on the Atlantic is part of it?? Pretty amazing…
At least according to our great online news source – The Digitel. We agree. They did an Top 10 List for things and news in Charleston. Bikes, and yours truly made #5. We are thrilled! Hopefully together we’ve got the momentum going for some real changes in 2010.
So hop on over to the Digitel to read the full story and see the other numbers. And you can read an excerpt below.
“It’s probably safe to say that both sides aren’t happy where 2009 has left the state of bike accommodation and regulation in the Charleston area, but from the continued involvement of Charleston Moves, to the firm establishment of the Holy City Bike Co-op, to a ladies-only bike outing, we’ve seen that bikes have been placed in an an elevated social and political status.”
I found this great article in the New York Times, that talks about biking as the new art of living. Aren’t we so hip and fabulous Charleston Cycle Chic-ers? New York City itself has come a long way in making the city more bike-friendly and since most trends and fashions start in the US in NYC, I’m hoping some of their influence will rub off here. 🙂
Here are some excerpts from the article! Click here for the full text.
“Until recently, bikes were merely fashionable. Lately, it seems, they are fashion — and they don’t have to be ultraexpensive novelty items to qualify. As fashion companies start marketing bicycles and bike gear, Mr. Dutreil, a supporter of bicycle-advocacy programs in New York, said he wants to see more cyclists pedaling around in high style, just like that woman in the Randall photograph.
“An elegant lady or man,” he said, “on a bike that is elegant, that’s really the new art of living.”
In fact, bikes have become de rigueur in many boutique windows. It is no coincidence that fashion is having a bike moment at the same time that New York City, the capital of American fashion, has gone bicycle crazy. The number of daily cyclists in the city has jumped to an estimated 185,000, from 107,000 in 2005, according to Transportation Alternatives, a bicycle-advocacy organization. In addition, the city has installed more than 120 miles of bike lanes in the last two years, making it easier for new cyclists to take to the streets dressed to impress, not to duel with cars.
While some cyclists outside the fashion world expressed mixed feelings about seeing their trusty mode of transportation turned into the next gladiator sandal, others looked on the bright side. Even if new riders buy a bike only because they’re the cool new thing, they’re still buying a bike, wrote Matt Simonds, a cyclist who works at a nonprofit agency, in an e-mail message. In such cases, he wrote, “it’s kind of strange what happens when they got on a bike after a long period away from one — they remember how awesome it is to ride one.”
Ok so this post isn’t exactly about Cycle Chic in the ‘chic’ sense, but it IS about something near and dear to my heart (and the underlying motivation of Charleston Cycle Chic) – making a city more bike-friendly. This past weekend, the NY Times wrote an excellent article on how Boston, long known as a ‘cyclists’ minefield’, is turning itself around and implementing measures to become more bike-friendly. Now Boston was established much the same time Charleston was. It has historic buildings, narrow streets and is surrounded by water and bridges. It also has a history of moving a bit slowly to get things done. But not anymore. In fact, Bicycling Magazine recently cited it on it’s Five for the Future list.
What does it take to make a city bike-friendly? As I experienced so clearly on my recent trip to Boulder, CO – it’s about creating bike lanes that go from Important Point A to Important Point B. It’s about having bike racks everywhere (here’s a link to ours). It’s about businesses encouraging bike parking (like Charleston’s Downtown TacoBoy!), and educating drivers about what it means to share the roads.
But it’s also about having leadership that loves to ride. Boston’s Mayor Menino recently discovered the biking lifestyle and realized just how important it is to a city’s sustainability and enjoyment and so quickly got to work. He even started Hub on Wheels, a Citywide Ride and Festival.
So I get it. As much grassroots moving as we can do, it still has to come from the top. So Mayor Riley – here’s what I propose to you. Come ride with me around our beautiful city. If you don’t have a bicycle, I’ll buy one for you. That’s my commitment to you, to this city, and to this lifestyle. Try it! It just might change your life.
I just found this article on Treehugger.com talkin’ about all ya’ll Charleston Cycle Chic aficionados with a photo of our lovely Cara Kelly riding down the Battery. What do you say CCC ladies (and gents)? Are we going to live up to their vision of us? Our gorgeous fall is just around the corner and we can no longer use the excuse of ‘perspiration’. Let’s ride into the sunset, shall we??
By the way, if you haven’t seen Treehugger.com before, they have a superb collection of posts on all things ‘green’ and progressive – from Design and Architecture to Food and Fashion and everything in between. Check them out!
“Charleston Cycle Chic is making biking to work all the rage. Bonnie wrote about Cycle Chic in London last year and while it took a little longer to catch on here in South Carolina, the movement is gaining a foothold. In South Carolina and even in a more forward thinking Charleston, all too often you’ll see people hop in their cars to drive two feet and then have trouble finding a parking space which leads to them continually driving around the block…more
Oh yes – I have been mulling the idea of a Cycle Chic Boutique over for quite some time – even come up with the style and colors for the inside (robin egg blue with white couches and big mirrors, walls of baskets and the ability to mix and match bikes and accessories with ease), have discussed the concept with my friends and local bike shop owners – the works. And while I don’t personally want to open a retail shop (too many things on my plate already) I WISH I WISH I WISH someone would take this on in Charleston! Check out Fleetwood Kit Kat’s bike boutique in Dallas, and be sure to read their blog for all the neat things they do or see this video from their local news station. Kudos!