Lately it’s really feeling like there’s a groundswell of bike love going around. Could be wrong; it could be my newly-awakened awareness of a culture that’s always been there. But for a city that hasn’t traditionally been very cycle-friendly, Sydneysiders are taking to the streets – and the web – in treadly-treasuring droves.
Cycle Chic is a movement gathering pace around the world – driven by girls who like to look pretty while they ride. It’s all about basket-and-streamer-clad vintage steeds, fashion and all the best things about bike-riding. There are regular meet-ups for Sunday rides which are a great way to make contact with like-minded (bike-minded) girls; unfortunately I missed the one just passed, but am determined to catch one before I leave Sydney. A lovely lass called Saskia is Sydney’s ambassador for Cycle Chic; check out her blog A Spirit Of Place. And of course visit Cycle Chic Sundays online; or join the Facebook group.
If you’re more the minimalist, fixie-lovin’ hipster type, you’ll be well aware that Tokyo Bike has opened in Surry Hills’ Crown Street, and boy do they have some eye candy for you…The bikes are stripped back to beautiful basics, their lightness and simplicity betraying their origins in, you guessed it, Japan. And you can’t argue with their mission statement:
“More about slow, than fast, Tokyo Bike believes that speed is not always the aim, destination is only part of the story, and losing yourself in a city’s small back lanes and expansive parks and gardens, is one way of switching off and escaping it all.”
Then, bringing together two great loves, there’s a fantastic little project called Small Stories Big Picture happening as part of Sydney Design. Over three Saturdays (July 31, August 7 and August 13) you can register to take part in an ongoing photographic installation. If you’re one of the lucky 25 each week, you get to pick up a bike, goodie bag and Lomo camera for the day… You have to ride around Surry and the design precinct, ticking stops off a passport and talking to shop owners and designers and, of course, taking pics.
“Does it make me pretentious that I’m stupidly excited about this?” I asked my voice-of-reason friend. “Hmm.. bikes, antiquated cameras, Surry Hills? It’s ridiculously pretentious,” she decreed. “But that’s the shit you love. It would be pretentious if you didn’t do it because you were worried about looking pretentious.”
More bike porn at Bikes, Bikes & Bikes!; gorgeous, cheerfully unaffordable bike fashion and accessories at CycleStyle Australia (they’ve been running a great campaign where they leave cards on hott bikes offering discounts); and two other great loves come together at the excellent Foodie On A Bike blog.
Oh, and there’s some race on in France, apparently?