11 June 2009
Happy Birthday! Two Years With Cycle Chic
It's our birthday! Call someone and let them know!
Two years ago today, the Cycle Chic blog saw the light of day for the first time. The rest is history.
Wifealiciousness and I celebrate two special days in our relationship. The day we first kissed on a bench at 06:00 after a night out and the day we got married. It's kind of like that here on Cycle Chic.
As avid readers of this blog know, on November 14th, 2006, I took the photograph that started it all. On June 11th, 2007 I figured I'd start a blog, just to have my series of photographs gathered in one place.
Little did any of us know back then how the story would unfold. It certainly caught me by surprise, this sudden international interest in photographs of something that is completely normal for us in Copenhagen - well-dressed Copenhageners on bicycles.
In a way it's as though I started a vacuum cleaner blog because in Copenhagen our relationship to our bicycles is the same as our relationship to our vacuum cleaners. We all have them, we all use them, but we certainly don't think about them in the course of a day. Except when the bag needs to be changed/the tyre is flat. So for the sake of good order, here's my vacuum cleaner:
Before the international press got a hold the story, the first magazine to publish Cycle Chic photos was the always cool KBH Magasin. This was even before the blog started.
Back in the beginning of 2007 this spread was featured in a series about The Details of Copenhagen. You can see the evolution of the press coverage on the Press About The Blog page.
So what is 'Cycle Chic' apart from a useful phrase I coined to try and describe the fashionable art of riding bicycles in Copenhagen? Well, we've tried to sum it up in the Cycle Chic Manifesto, but sitting here two years on I suppose that Cycle Chic is a fantastic way to describe how bicycling used to be, how it is in many places and how it can be again elsewhere. The individual defines their own 'chic' and what is 'chic' in Copenhagen may not be 'chic' in Cork but the very simple act of riding around in your regular clothes on normal bicycles is something all of us know, all of us have tried [if only in childhood] and something that we can identify with. Cycle Chic is a mirror into which we can peer in order to see ourselves and our urban landscape in a new way. It's bicycle advocacy, sure. It's streetstyle, yeah. It's fashion on a bicycle, as opposed to bicycle fashion.
But Cycle Chic is urban planning and a way to redefine our cities and transform them in more liveable spaces.
It's about the bicycle in many ways but really, it's not only about the bicycle. The bicycle and infrastructure are merely tools for change in cities and towns.
Rereading this morning the page with testimonials from readers from the past two years is humbling and touching. Without you readers, this blog would be nothing. So thanks so much for visiting our little corner of the internet. It is also humbling to watch the list of blogs and articles inspired by Cycle Chic grow almost daily. It's on the right column, farther down, Copycats & Collaborators. Thanks to everyone involved.
You just KNEW that we couldn't have a birthday blogpost without my colleagues being involved. Lars, a film composer in real life, has been an epic contributor to Cycle Chic. He has really raised the photographic bar. He sent in a guest photo back in the day and was soon a regular contributor. Ironically, we found out that we both work in the film industry and that we have many things in common. So above is a birthday photo from Lars.
Marie [Velomama] blogs now and then, so here's a photo from her camera. I met Marie after she completed her thesis about "Everyday Modest Democracy - The Bicycle as a Symbol of Danishness". She had included Cycle Chic in the chapter about the iconic Cycling Girl in Danish history and how the tradition lives on here on the blog. We've been friends since. She now works for the City of Copenhagen's Bicycle Office, making our city even better for bicycles. Here's a birthday greeting from Marie:
Although my postings are sporadical, my heart has always been with this blog. I've been co-blogging here since early 2008. Once and again this blog has made me marvel at how the somewhat banal reality of Copenhagen's cycling culture - which we all take so much for granted here - can be an eyeopener for people elsewhere.
I find such poetry and reassurance in the fact that a popular, everyday phenomenon such as Copenhageners cycling around in their everyday clothes can actually inspire others and show the way forward towards more relaxed, livable and living cities all over the world.
Those of you who get a kick out of this blog: Find your own voice! Spread the message! Bicycles are for everyone! Big cheers, Velomama
And then there's Wifealiciousness. Susanne doesn't blog much here - she's too busy with her own style blog in Danish - but being my muse [and wife] she is a major part of this blog and I couldn't do any of this without her. She still gets interviewed about style and the blog, however.
In celebration of our birthday, a talented friend of mine, Rasmus Balstrøm, is penning some Cycle Chic illustrations. He's done these two and there are more on the way, which we'll be turning into posters. These two are available as postcards and the first one is also available as a mini print over at our online boutique.
The boy's got talent and has really captured the essence of cycling in Copenhagen. We're looking forward to his next batch of artwork.
Enough, already. It's our birthday! We shouldn't be sitting here blogging. It's time to celebrate. Thanks again to all our readers. We're looking forward to the next two years.
Copenhagen loves you.
YES! It's a celebration!