Bicyclette

On Saturday I had a lovely languid day in the sun at the 10 and 5 Biggest Bierfest… Cape Town’s finest were out in their finest, sipping on Coronas with lime, nodding heads to music, munching on potato salad and bratwurst and getting a little silly in the sun, all beneath a makeshift canopy of flags, parasols, pretzels and a blue blue sky. It really restored my faith in Cape Town’s creative scene, which can sometimes be elitist, snooty and to be honest, derivative. The 10 and 5 team pulled out all the stops and it was a lovely, happy way to kick off Loeries weekend, with name tags, Facebook Like stickers (see my weekend tweets for the things I Liked) and friendly, fun people in abundance.

Anyway, in a very round about fashion, the Bierfest got me thinking about bicycles… I admit this is a very loose connection, but I think it was the combination of sun dappling down onto summer frocks and bare legs and the carefree atmosphere that did it. Having seen more and more Capetonians taking to the streets on their bikes, I did some research into the cycle chic phenomenon that’s making fashion-forward guys ‘n girls the world over more mobile, one velo at a time. Popular in Europe and Asia, cycle chic is the term given to those who choose bicycles as their chief form of transport and who ride in their normal clothes, rather than spandex and helmets. The phrase was coined by Copenhagen filmmaker and photographer, Mikael Colville-Andersen, after he launched the blog Cycle Chic, a chronicle of Copehagen’s bicycle culture, in 2006. Since then, Cycle Chic has been voted a Time Top 100 blog and has been described as ‘The Sartorialist on two wheels’. Colville-Andersen’s advocation of urban cycling and the joys of velo-venturing are contagious, with stylistas all over Europe taking to the streets on their fietse. You just have to look to The Sartorialist himself to see the amount of beauties bicycling around Paris, New York and Milan.

Cape Town looks set to follow, with the city’s IRT system unveiling numerous bicycle lanes and velo-lovers wheeling their way to events around the city. At the You and Me and Everyone We Know market, I saw quite a few cycle chicsters, and the Greenpop crusaders carried out their De Waal Drive flashmob on foot and on fiets. My friends in London and Sydney have also started biking around town. Perhaps it is time to break out the old bike?

My personal bike is an ancient maroon Avalanche that I wouldn’t be seen dead on. I have something more like one of these sleek Schwinns in mind. Or a pink lady to peddle down Kloof.

This is my favourite. I would just love to ramble around town in this outfit on my bike – the incongruence of it is most delightful.

Betties have been making bikes look stylish for decades. Love Audrey Hepburn’s riding outfit, she looks so chic and girlish.

Don’t you just want to go for a ride now? Breeze in your hair, the sun on your neck, that childhood feeling of going too fast down a hill, experimenting with the tautness of the brakes and seeing your hands gripping the handlebars in front of you… Yay! I spotted a gleaming black second hand bike in Knysna while I was there, with glossy old-fashioned hubs over each wheel and a sleek retro body. Next purchase?

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2 responses to “Bicyclette

  1. oh how i wish my Pink Lady Macquarie would come back to me…:(
    i am now getting a temporary electric blue ‘normal’ bike to get me by until I find a suitable replacement. but biking is the way forward…especially with summer upon us.

    • So sad that she got stolen – I find it really bizarre that someone would steal a bicycle! It’s so personal. Haha… I think the universe will bring her back to you. Your karma is good, my child (etc). x

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