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Thread: Nice CNN Article

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    Default Nice CNN Article

    "Pedal perfect: Bikers shed spandex to inspire new riders"

    With the Tweed Ride going on here in DC it seems like we're right on the curve!

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/13/living...ide/index.html

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    I thought most of this article was pretty well-balanced, even reminding readers that safety is the most important concern for riders...a lot of times that gets left out of the discussion. That said, I sometimes wonder if the whole "Copenhagenize" movement is necessarily a good thing for cycling in the long-term. So much attention is placed on the fashion and style of it all and I think some of the growth of cycling can be attributed to people getting into the fad of "cycling chic", rather than changing their lifestyle to include cycling as a means of transport/utility that is key to long-term growth. Cycling doesn't require fancy tweed or wool or "vintage" outfits any more than it requires spandex, but somehow that aesthetic gets billed as what is going to bring cycling into the mainstream...to me, that just seems indicative of people adopting the style and seeing old-timey bikes as a fashion accessory. For instance, I went on the BicycleSpace Luau ride this summer...it was great that so many cyclists showed up, but it seemed to me that a rather large number had little experience riding through traffic and their $1200 Pashleys looked like they'd never been ridden.

    "We consider ourselves a lifestyle brand so we like to curate a collection of products that represents us and our customer," he said. "People want to look good when they're on a bike, and they cycle more when they feel like they don't have to dress especially for cycling."
    How does that even make sense? People want to look good while riding, so they buy clothes from this guy's shop that are made for riding...but they ride more when they feel like they don't have to wear clothes made for riding??

    Anyway, I know I'm probably overgeneralizing a bit to make the point, but I think cycling advocates do a disservice when they focus on style and the "cool" factor, when we really should be focusing on rider safety, infrastructure, and driver education/awareness. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with cycling for fashion's/trendiness sake, but it isn't a good foundation for building a large and dedicated cycling community. I seriously doubt that the Danes started cycling because of the new clothing options it offered.
    Last edited by TwoWheelsDC; 11-14-2012 at 03:23 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    How does that even make sense? People want to look good while riding, so they buy clothes from this guy's shop that are made for riding...but they ride more when they feel like they don't have to wear clothes made for riding??

    Anyway, I know I'm probably overgeneralizing a bit to make the point, but I think cycling advocates do a disservice when they focus on style and the "cool" factor, when we really should be focusing on rider safety, infrastructure, and driver education/awareness. There's nothing fundamentally wrong with cycling for fashion's/trendiness sake, but it isn't a good foundation for building a large and dedicated cycling community. I seriously doubt that the Danes started cycling because of the new clothing options it offered.
    This is fundamentally the same argument that drives me crazy in discussions about women and cycling. The idea that if shops stocked more products that were "appealing to women", more women would ride. More "shrink it and pink it" stuff. How about the fact that women are statistically more risk-averse than men, and when society as a whole is able to make cycling safer and more comfortable, more PEOPLE (including women) will do it. It's not about the clothing and it's not about the toys.

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    The cycling attire for women is abysmal. It is too ugly for words.

    And what is considered fashionable is boring, neutral toned, and "sensible."

    Luckily, along comes Pedal Chic. http://www.pedalchic.com/

    Eventually something like this will come to the DC area.

    If the attire is masculine it acts as a big sign that says, "femininity is not welcome." It makes a difference. Sure, I wish it was safer for me to ride but that isn't going to happen anytime soon.

    I invent my own biking fashion because there isn't much out there that appeals to me. And in a large way that sends me the message that all in all, I'm tolerated but not welcome.

    So I wear a blinged-out helmet and lace on my socks. I ride. I race. But I'm still a woman. And the market hasn't caught up to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    but I think cycling advocates do a disservice when they focus on style and the "cool" factor,
    I'm not sure it is the fault of the cycling advocates -- if you go to a BAC meeting anywhere in this country you will probably find a roomful of hard core, high mileage cyclists who, on a scale of 1 to 100, are dressed at about 100 on practicality and 1 on cool. I think it is probably a clever marketer or 50 who are behind this new emphasis.

    Look, the vintage style is also not to my taste, but if a self-described chicken has fun on a tweed ride, who knows, maybe she will take Atlanta's version of a Confident City Cycling class and soon become a dedicated cyclist. I wouldn't rule out any path that someone takes into cycling, even if a few Pashleys end up unused in the basement.

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveK View Post
    This is fundamentally the same argument that drives me crazy in discussions about women and cycling. The idea that if shops stocked more products that were "appealing to women", more women would ride. More "shrink it and pink it" stuff. How about the fact that women are statistically more risk-averse than men, and when society as a whole is able to make cycling safer and more comfortable, more PEOPLE (including women) will do it. It's not about the clothing and it's not about the toys.
    Well, it may not be about the toys, but I sure would love to at least covet a cyclocross bike. But Clovis The Wise has told me I need a women specific bike, and cyclocross bikes aren't available in WSD. It would be nice if a wider variety of bikes were available in sizes to fit women.

    Liz

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    Quote Originally Posted by acc View Post
    And the market hasn't caught up to me.
    They are trying:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Kelley View Post
    "Pedal perfect: Bikers shed spandex to inspire new riders"

    With the Tweed Ride going on here in DC it seems like we're right on the curve!

    http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/13/living...ide/index.html
    we've got some nice curves around here too!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eminva View Post
    Well, it may not be about the toys, but I sure would love to at least covet a cyclocross bike. But Clovis The Wise has told me I need a women specific bike, and cyclocross bikes aren't available in WSD. It would be nice if a wider variety of bikes were available in sizes to fit women.
    Interesting. What's the difference in the geometry/sizing? There are tons of women racers I guess on "mens" bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoWheelsDC View Post
    How does that even make sense? People want to look good while riding, so they buy clothes from this guy's shop that are made for riding...but they ride more when they feel like they don't have to wear clothes made for riding??
    .
    This observation made me laugh. Isn't it the classic hipster conundrum…how to spend a lot of money and time on how you look, while trying to appear as if you do neither?
    But seriously, I think the tweed rides and things like that are great for cycling in general. A lot of people are really turned off by the spandex aspects of cycling. It’s like sometimes we (and I’m putting myself in this category) forget that we didn’t wear spandex as kids, and yet seemed to ride just fine. I know the tweed ride is just as costumed as a spandex kit, but it at least highlights that “normal” clothing can be worn on the bike. I think as advocates, it is equally important for us to ride around sometimes in normal, and I mean more normal than tweed, clothing to remind people that we are somewhat regular people trying to get around town and do regular things. I repeat…somewhat regular…let’s be honest.

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    Pedal Chic is a women's specific bike shop and active wear boutique. We offer flattering athletic and lifestyle apparel for REAL women who want to look chic while pursuing their ministry of movement.
    Wait, does that mean I'm not real?! SO CONFUSED!

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