I am a lover of the bicycle in all its forms; it’s one of the most superbly efficient and beautifully simple bits of engineering the human mind has ever come up with. However you want to enjoy it is fine with me, whether that’s kicking up the dust tearing down a mountainside, burning up the tarmac on a sleek road machine or perfecting your street stunts on a BMX. All good with me.
However for me, an urban professional of limited means but blessed with a healthy body and a love of fresh air, the bicycle is just the best way to get from A to B. Nothing more, nothing less.
And that’s why I squealed with glee when I stumbled across this wonderful ‘Manifesto’ which I shamelessly reproduce below – read the original here (on possibly the best bike blog on the internet).
The Cycle Chic Manifesto
– I choose to cycle chic and, at every opportunity, I will choose Style over Speed. (I don’t know that I will ever be Stylish but I am, and will resolutely remain, Slow)
– I embrace my responsibility to contribute visually to a more aesthetically pleasing urban landscape. (That means go easy on the Lycra, my urban-commuting friends, OK? Unless you’re going more than 5 miles, or training for a sportive, in which case I applaud you wholeheartedly)
– I am aware that my mere presence in said urban landscape will inspire others without me being labelled as a ‘bicycle activist’. (YES. Making ourselves out to be some sort of ‘alternative culture’ on whose shoulders rest the fate of the planet will never convert our car-bound friends. Showing how easy, convenient and joy-inducing cycling is, without bleating on about it, might just.)
– I will ride with grace, elegance and dignity. (Nope, never gonna happen; I was born under a clumsy star. I’ll leave this to other people)
– I will choose a bicycle that reflects my personality and style.
– I will, however, regard my bicycle as transport and as a mere supplement to my own personal
style. Allowing my bike to upstage me is unacceptable.
– I will endeavour to ensure that the total value of my clothes always exceeds that of my bicycle. (Well, I get most of my clothes secondhand on ebay so this could be tricky. But I like the spirit of it – don’t let the fact that you’re cycling somewhere dictate what you’re wearing, dress for the destination)
– I will accessorize in accordance with the standards of a bicycle culture and acquire, where possible, a chain guard, kickstand, skirt guard, fenders, bell and basket. (A kickstand has been a revelation to me, brilliant addition to any bike. Now I’m in the market for a decent bell, or maybe a horn which plays something like this as I approach. That wouldn’t be over the top would it?)
– I will respect the traffic laws.
– I will refrain from wearing and owning any form of ‘cycle wear’. (AMEN. Although I will continue to wear a helmet.)