14 April 2008

The Cycle Chic Manifesto

We've been discussing for ages the composing of a manifesto regarding Cycling Chic. We coined the phrase, after all, so we thought it necessary to highlight what it's all about. As ever, with a hint of seriousness, a splash of poetry and a dash of playfulness.

With that said, we present to you The Copenhagen Cycle Chic Manifesto. Here's a link to the manifesto in French.

- I choose to cycle chic and, at every opportunity, I will choose Style over Speed.

- I embrace my responsibility to contribute visually to a more aesthetically pleasing urban landscape.

- I am aware that my mere prescence in said urban landscape will inspire others without me being labelled as a 'bicycle activist'.

- I will ride with grace, elegance and dignity.

- 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.

- 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.

- I will respect the traffic laws.

- I will refrain from wearing and owning any form of 'cycle wear'.


(Let's be honest, steel-toed boots, lifevests, bullet-proof vests, construction hats, bike helmets or any other kind of safety gear have a hard time being chic, no matter how much the people who make them and profit off of them would like them to be. Chic isn't just on the surface, it's also in the brain so we encourage people to make an effort to understand the science of helmets. Or see this TED talk on the subject.)

54 comments:

Peter said...

hilarious.

and awesome.

:-)

Anonymous said...

Love it!
Zak for Prez.

Or can you get Hillary, The Bammer or ol' McCain on board?

Zakkaliciousness said...

Yes We Can.
:-)

Zakkaliciousness said...

Or rather in Danish... "Ja vi kan"

Raquel said...

i will tatto it in my arms!

bck said...

Excellent! Sign me up!

I will be in Copenhagen in October for a conference. Will I be able to rent a bike? If so, I'm planning my outfits now! ;)

Gamlao said...

Way to go!

Greg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Greg said...

This may not be "chic", but it's definitely a fashion statement... and just cool kinetic art:
LINK

Claus said...

Wallpaper Mac
I love it ;-)

Claus said...

I forgot my picture ;-)

Zakkaliciousness said...

thanks everyone! spread the word!

@bck: email me for more information about renting bicycles in copenhagne.

@claus... wicked cool! :-)

eradler said...

not willing to disturb you but starting with September will you join me introducing cycling futurism - cyclifutur ;-) there I want to introduce speed and style...

hyperbike.cc

providentstyle said...

I need to print this off and plaster it around my city! Haha!

Andy B from Jersey said...

Is it okay to ride racing bike or a mountain bike on the weekends or for fun (even in spandex) and still ride a nice practical urban bike to get around in normal cloths the rest of the time and still be cycle chic?

I just happen to love all forms of bicycles, whether they are built for speed or just practical transportation.

Otherwise I love it!

Zakkaliciousness said...

sorry, andy... if you abide by the Manifesto, you must denounce all false idols, including the technical abberation that is the mountain bike.

you must only worship Danish bicycles.

:-)kidding. just make sure you mountain bike in the woods where nobody can see you... :-)

chic cyclist said...

Andy, I'm with you. All forms of cycling have their place. I love the Tour de France - that kind of efficiency has its own grace and thus chic.
I guess I was just never one for rules, they tend to be made to be broken, especially in fashion!
"Personal style", there's a qualifier that makes this all work. As long as the look is an extension of self it will always contribute to the cityscape.

Svend said...

I always wear my everyday clothes, never fluorescent or space age fabrics.
Haven't made the upgrade to a suit and tie though since I don't wear one at work, my jeans are a bit too worn and casual to be stylish.
However, you'll be happy to learn that I've ditched the old running shoes for nicer leather ones solely because of your site. (pun intended)

Zakkaliciousness said...

thanks for commenting, everyone.

svend... i'm honoured! and don't worry, suit and tie are soooo last century.

2whls3spds said...

"Most excellent"

It has been Printed and Posted along with the definition of a Gentleman Cyclist from www.abcetour.com

Aaron

London cycling chick said...

Im new to cycling in cities and it's hard to be chic on a mountain bike when im being chased by a bus (the horrible london shared bicycle/bus lanes) but im inspired by your manifesto. This is one london cycling chick who's not going to wear a flourescent yellow vest (im thinking a golden, shimmering sequined biking jacket!). If i have to be seen, at least it's seen in style.

Zakkaliciousness said...

thanks for the comments.
london cyle chick: first of all... what are you doing on a mountain bike in a city?! :-)

glad to hear the manifesto appeals to you. for bespoke reflective elegance, you might want to check this out

Here's wishing you a tailwind! (but not one strong enough to muss your hair... -:-)

Granny Julia said...

Go Cycle Chic spread the biking virus around. I wish you the best for your biking advocacy. If I were not old, I would gladly join you. :) Speaking of old, aren't the old ladies in Copenhagen not into the biking culture? I am sure they could negotiate the bike with grace and style if they do. I would love to see some pictures if you please. All the best.

Zakkaliciousness said...

thanks, granny julia. indeed, the elderly ride their bikes, too. i have a few photos here and i'll be posting more.

João Paulo Esperança said...

Well, I posted your manifesto in my blog (I hope that's OK). We should follow good examples...

Zakkaliciousness said...

great joao! how about a link?

Jeff Stevenson said...

Hi. Please join the Bicycle to Work! LinkedIn networking group. Members pledge that they will try to ride their bicycle to work or on an errand at least once a week. Although the benefits should be obvious, let me outline them here.

Right now people in the industrialized world are facing two very grave problems: obesity and a growing scarcity of oil. Compounding this problem is the new food shortage brought about, in part, by the conversion of food cropland to bio-fuel crop production. Most people feel powerless to help, but there is one thing that we can do. Ride our bicycles to work.

If everyone would agree to ride their bikes to work one day per week we could cut oil consumption by as much as 10-15%. No one would argue that riding a bike burns more calories than driving the car. Although popular politically right now, most bio-fuels consume more energy than they produce. We would be much better to eat those bio-crops then use our own energy to transport us around.

So spread the word. Make it a movement! Bicycle to work one day a week and do your part to cut back obesity and the overuse of oil and precious cropland.

Just go to my profile at http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffreylstevenson and you can click on the group to be included. While you are there, don't forget to ask to link to my network of more than 7,000,000 like-minded professionals. I accept all invitations and look forward to meeting you.

Jeff

C said...

Finally, someone who wants to put the pleasure back in cycling! I don't want to commute forty miles to work or ride over a mountainous trail. I want a cute bike and I want to look cute riding it around my neighborhood. I don't want cycling to be arduous, I want it to be fun!

João Paulo Esperança said...

Sure, Zakkaliciousness. Here's the link to my blog. To see the manifesto scroll down.

djc said...

This is the only blog I've run across where the black background seems natural. Don't know anything about "design," but you're looking good.

Makes me wish I lived somewhere that wasn't so hilly. Or that I was 20 years younger.

Zakkaliciousness said...

thanks for the comments.

c.: what a great way to put it!

djc: thanks. i think the black background compliments the photos. as for hills... some of the great cycling cities in Europe are in Switzerland! Berne and Basel! Mountainous! :-)

John said...

I just randomly found your blog tonight and read the Manifesto. Living in rural New York State, USA, I always thought I was a dork for riding a 1968 Raleigh 5 speed (with chainguard!) in street clothes with non-aerodynamic helmet. I'm just living in the wrong country!! I'm getting my bike tuned up and getting back on the road with "style and dignity". Thanks!!!

Zakkaliciousness said...

John, you're not a dork. You're a hero! a role model! :-) Style over speed!

dynamo hum said...

Ride with grace, elegance, and "dignity"? C'mon, manifesto heads, you can do better! Riding with 'attentiveness' is far more conducive to effectively transporting the collective. Besides, nowadays the term 'dignity' is about as semantically useful as words like 'purity' or 'perfection'. Chic is one thing. A delusory sense of pride, another. With or without gear or go-go boots, when it comes to cycling, safety trumps dignity daily.

Zakkaliciousness said...

Your interpretation of the current usage of the word 'dignity' may be interesting, but it is hardly standard 'these days'.

Just visit copenhagen or amsterdam and you'll see exactly what we mean. That grace, elegance and dignity foster attentiveness. Style over Speed is a fantastic safety message.

sac cycle chick said...

well put!! love it!

Anonymous said...

Hey Chief - love your work!

You were talking about a book at http://www.copenhagenize.com/ - we'll I may be making a preposterous assumption there... but you said something in passing I really liked:


"We don't talk about bicycles, we just use them."

Genius for the modern world! I'm hoping as we do it rubs off along the way.

Cheers!

Threespeeder said...

I am faithfully riding my Raleigh Sports (73) here in Dayton WA in the middle of the Palouse wheat country! It is quite a challenge with all the diesel pickups around but so far so good! Yeee haaaw!

mrk_d said...

For someone so concerned with "cycle advocacy" your claim that one's clothing should be worth more than one's bike seems a bit preposterous - having a nicely-functioning bike is no crime, and let's face it, you (usually) get what you pay for. I like cool bikes too, but having some fresh grips, nice new tires, and a new drivetrain is a great feeling, and certainly shouldn't be held against anyone.

Also, shouldn't riding a bike be more about one's enjoyment of the activity than an extension of their 'style'? It seems that putting up a facade of grace is a bit pretentious compared to having a good time on your bike. If riding a bike should simply be an extension of a person, shouldn't it be carefree and natural?

Anyways, I like the blog, but this particular post just had a few points that I don't quite agree with. Regardless, keep up the good work!

Mikael said...

there has always been people - and always will be - who enjoy the technical side of cycling. selling cycling to the broader population requires hammering out the fact the it's not about the bike for most of us. it's about YOU on the bike.

Sweetman said...

Love it, love the site, this is my manifesto as well.
I believe cycling should be fun, attractive and without harassment (on behalf of motorist or cyclist). I think the best way to make cycling an attactive alternative to cars is to make is appealing to all.
Many thanks.
Cheers, Sweetman

minkypinkpanther said...

hi, this is excellent! but unfortunately doesnt come out right on my desktop, looks like the resolution's not high enough as it's a bit pixellated so not v legible... any chance I could get it in a higher res please please pretty please?

Paul Kramer said...

I'd like to reproduce your manifesto in my magazine, along with some introductory material on your site/movement.
Can you contact me at:
paul_kramer@riderscollective.org

http://www.riderscollective.org

Thank you!

Paul

Angel said...

Hi, can I use this manifesto as a picture page?

Anonymous said...

Love the manifesto. As an active (and rather frumpily stylish) Sacramento city cyclist, I'd like to ask a favor from all the lovely people riding in midtown. PLEASE obey the most basic rules of the road and do not ride on the sidewalk nor against traffic. You make it harder for all of us and reinforce the perception of many non-cyclists that bicycling is for children. It's also dangerous and frustrating to experienced cyclists. I only mention it because I encounter so many sidewalk salmon on a daily basis, generally on their celphones with a small dog in their baskets. Please be a responsible 'stylish cyclist'. Thank you!

camembert teuton said...

i choose style AND speed.

tdoornbos said...

Hey, just came across this site from treehugger.com -- haven't gotten much work done in the last day or two b/c of all the great photos. Love this movement, love the idea of riding a bike and wearing normal clothes and looking good. We could use more of that in Grand Rapids, MI, US where I live.

Have to say, though, the clothes worth more than the bike? I just can't agree that spending insane amounts of money is the only way to be stylish... where's the creativity in just buying designer labels?

Anyway, love the site -- keep it up!

Anonymous said...

your manifesto's attitude toward 'race' or 'mountain' bikers has make you as exclusive and intolerant as some drivers' behavior towards cyclists. i know about bike intolerance as i have biked for 20 years in the most hostile bike city in the world: dallas, texas. biking is about inclusiveness, not about delineating yet another club to belong to.

Anonymous said...

That's great, wearing 'nornal clothes'.

I'll keep my frogmans suit on when I ride intro work!
my page

Puteri Bintang said...

I can't get the wallpaper. The link is broken.

Mikael said...

Unfortunately, "cyclists" seem to be one of the greatest hurdles to our efforts to mainstream urban cycling for Citizen Cyclists.

The sub-cultural, aloof attitude inherent among "cyclists" does little to spread the word about the bicycle as transport. It is largely male-dominated, testosterone-driven and that doesn't do much for re-establishing the bicycle on the urban landscape.

The bicycle was invented for everyone and for most of it's existence it was mainstream. Over the past 40 odd years - in many countries - it became the domain of a sub-culture.

I cover this issue in the Behavourial Challenges for Urban Cycling post at Copenhagenize.com.

Grey said...

I agree with your manifesto, except, my clothes are rarely more expensive than my bicycle. Mais, bien sur, I live in Madison, WI, which has a very laid back clothes ethos. If I lived in Montreal, peut etre, it would be different.

Still, keep up the good work. Vive le velo!

(Around town I ride a 1978 pearl blue Schwinn Le Tour III, with jeans, Keen shoes and a casual shirt.)

baljeetd said...

Love it, but I have a question...

Around my beach suburb, of course I shun cycle-clothing & helmet and cruise around gracefully. But commuting 24km each way over Sydney's biggest hills, I wear very light sports clothing (on a different bike). With normal clothing, I'd get very hot and sweaty - is that what you suggest? It seems to me there's a place for all types of cyclists, not just one type...

Ben said...

Sorry if somebody has already asked but does a high viz vest count as cycle chic because I think it should as its not something that is just for cyclists (builders as well) so cannot be classed as "cycle wear" Otherwise I like to be stylish on the bike as well (I wear jeans and jacket). BTW I didn't notice a Bristol Cycle Chic yet!! any plans for one?