The warm weather is a' comin'-- time for me to bust out my rad bicycle! I can only bring myself to ride it to the grocery store and back during the winter, when my neighborhood is basically a frozen tundra, but in the summer I'm all bike all the time. And I know I'm not alone: thanks to the green movement and cities becoming more bicycle friendly by the minute (for starters, New York is making good on its promise to add 200 miles of bike lanes to the city in three years, and several cities are trying to launch bike share programs), ridership is way up in urban areas. New York saw a 35 percent increase in commuter cyclists between 2007 and 2008, San Francisco saw more than a 100 percent jump in cyclists on some of its streets, and Portland, Oregon's numbers for overall bicycle use shot up 28 percent. Best of all, there are more female riders than ever. If you're like me, though, you're not a spandex-wearing type of lady. Luckily, the cycle chic movement has finally hit the United States.
The Europeans have known what's up for a long time, but here in the U.S., cycling is finally developing a following-- and some fashion sense-- outside the realm of athletics. Cycle chic even has its own Wikipedia page, defining it as 'the culture of cycling in fashionable clothes...cycling is an everyday transport choice and many cyclists choose to wear their regular clothes, as opposed to outfits generally associated with cycle sport, such as bicycle shorts, gloves and shoes.' Celebrities are getting in on the action, too, like Ellen Page (pictured above).
Need some inspiration? The blog Copenhagen Cycle Chic (which started it all) has some fabulous pictures, as well as Velo Vogue , Riding Pretty and the Bicycle Fashion page on Flickr. Instructables has a great, silly tutorial on How to Ride Your Bike in Style. In New York, the recently opened Jack and Jimbo's Bike Shop , a spinoff of stylish bag designer Jack Spade, puts fashion first. --Jax
Photo: Ellen Page on Copenhagen Cycle Chic