As cities all over the world try to catch-up with Copenhagen’s bike culture, the two-wheeled lifestyle is becoming ever more chic. Toronto is flaunting its cycle chic with 416cyclestyle, a blog based on the popular copenhagencyclechic, showcasing images by velotographers Xander N’ Dante of trendy, hipsters as they pedal around the city.
The global phenomenon of cycle chic, coined in Copenhagen of course, has helped change the way we look at cycling as a form of everyday transportation. One need no longer choose function over fashion, as individuality reigns. This applies not only to clothing, but also to how cyclists are accessorizing their bikes, from silk flowers to milk crates. Even retailers are seeing the opportunities in bike fashion, such as Top Shops Bike Club, which kicked off the opening of Top Shop NYC this summer, a week long event with cycle-friendly styling tips and free bike rentals.
Celebrities are also singing praise for the bicycle. With Bicycle Diaries, David Byrne, Talking Heads lead singer, describes his world from the height of a bicycle seat, as stated on his website, it “became his panoramic window on urban life, a magical way of opening one’s eyes to the inner workings and rhythms of a city’s geography and population.” He recently collaborated with the New York City Department of Transportation on a series of nine unique bike racks in are located in a number of neighbourhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn (sadly, only for 364 days).
With organizations such as the Toronto Cyclists Union and the Bike Storage Station, at Union Station, cyclists are gaining a more cohesive voice and presence in the city, which can be seen by the number of websites and blogs dedicated to Toronto bike culture.
However, I am slightly concerned with the overall lack of helmets in many of these cycle chic photos, so if anyone can invent a helmet that is hipster approved, you’d be on to a winner.
Photo by Xander N’ Dante