Monday, December 15, 2014

Bike Tom Boys and Bike Sartorialists Sans Helmets, and Bike Share Hygiene

What should the cycling sartorialist wear in winter?  The best shoes, the most elegant, funnel-neck wool coat, a lot of lights, and a self-satisfied smile.  Drivers will feel envy.  The godfather of elegant cycling of the 21st Century is Mikael Colville-Anderson, of Copenhagen Chic, the blog about well-dressed, helmet-free cyclists.  But what about the tom boys?
There once was a tom boy named Wende Cragg, who liked to tear up the mountain with the boys, but without a helmet.  She made all the little girls who liked to ride their bikes in stylish flats and well-tailored clothes seem prissy.  And now there is a movie about how a group of cyclists in Fairfax, California invented mountain biking.  #wendecragg  There she is, second from the left with the shag hair cut and knee socks.  And Gary Fisher is there too, with the facial hair that is suddenly "a thing" again.  If you want to read more, go to  #mountainbiking  In the meantime, have fun trying the spot the helmet in this crowd.

How did cycling become popular once again?  This British documentary explores the reasons why cycling is now being used as transit by more people.  I have my own theory.  People are sick of getting home too late to spend time with their kids.  They hate the fact that cars make people act terrible in ways they never would if they were face-to-face.  It could be that people are getting smarter, possibly because of some additive that has been placed in the water supply or some evolutionary process that has recently accelerated.  Actually, the documentary is less than $30 online and might make a nice Christmas gift for the cyclist in your life.  #bicyclethefilm  #cycling
For the trailer, go to:

Bike share is an amazingly wonderful thing for humanity.  Like votes for women, electricity, penicillin, and the cotton gin.  A year's membership would be a great gift for someone you love.  But it may not always be a clean or well-maintained thing, according to a recent audit of Citibike.  Worse, the docks are empty more than they should be.  Holy deterrent! 

Citibike was dinged for unclean bikes, and broken bikes and docks.  Oh, for crying out loud, they are kept out in the elements.  Yes, I am aware that some guy in New Zealand was caught riding his bike with nothing on, which prompted the police to write him a ticket for riding without a helmet. A bike befouled and placed in a faulty dock could prove a real downer for share lovers.   As for the bare bottomed cyclist, I would point out that this occurred overseas and not in Manhattan, where there are arguably tens of thousands of far weirder people than on that small, two island country.  As for broken docks and bikes, the audit checked a fraction of the system's infrastructure.  Not a scientific approach in my view.  I have wondered if this audit was commissioned by some bike share hater.
Not only is bike share wonderful, but bike share schemes can help people with fewer financial resources, if the program is planned and managed well . . . and kept clean . . . and the docks and bikes in good repair.  Most importantly, if people are to use the system, they need to be able to find a bike.  A reasonably clean bike.  So if you give the gift of bike share this year, place a small travel packet of hand sanitizing wipes under the tree too.  #bikeshare  #citibike  #nakedcycling  #mostthingsleftoutsidegetgummedup

So if I see you in the bike lane, whether you are wearing a tailored dress and heels, or knee socks and a pair or brown Pumas, let's be smug.
Elisa P.

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