3 July 2011

Gay Cycle Chic

Gay Cycle Chic 001
During Cycle Chic's recent visit to Barcelona one of our gay friends presented us with a copy of a magazine he picked up in a gay bar. It was cycle chic-tastique. Which caused a bit of discussion, actually. With all the rise of the bicycle in our cities since 2007 and all the focus on the bicycle as a lifestyle accessory and a trend, it seems odd that the gay and lesbian community have been rather off the radar. Odd because if there is any community that embraces trends, modernist movements, art and culture, it's the gay and lesbian community.
Gay Cycle Chic 003
We would bet our bottom pedal that if there was a surge of interest in this comhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifmunity for the glory of cycle chic, it would boost the movement. All the style, flair, enthusiasm - not to mention the financial weight of the Pink Dollars - of the the community are much needed to get us moving just a bit farther along the separated bike lanes towards reestablishing the bicycle on the urban landscape.
Gay Cycle Chic 004
We're looking forward to a little more positive focus and promotion of urban cycling and Cycle Chic from the gay and lesbian community. Get into the party! Make it even more fabulous than it already is! You can certainly do much better than this website (if you're faint of heart, don't bother clicking.) Although we love the irony of it.
Gay Cycle Chic 002
Here's a tourism poster from 1947: :-)
Copenhagen - Gay Spot of Europe


Anonymous said...

Er, what? What an utterly bemusing (and stereotyping) post. "You're gay/lesbian, so you must have plenty of cash and be obsessed by your appearance - why don't you all draw attention to yourselves by being gay and looking fantastic while riding bicycles."

N said...

I don't agree at all that it is stereotyping to show this great magazine and adorable guys on their cycles - it is cycle-chictastic! Why can't he highlight one aspect of anyone's culture? It's a rainbow, right? P.S. I love that they are riding ladies' bikes. Everyone should use them. So much easier.

Kiwehtin said...

Haha! For one thing, I will never again be able to look at a bottle of Gerolsteiner with the same eyes...

Sure, I think it's a great thing for people in different interest communities to get interested in bikes as part of everyday life (however the German site is definitely part of the lycra culture side of things as opposed to the Madrid mag). That goes for whether you're gay/lesbian or a member of some religious community or whatever else. This kind of thing is a symptom of the message soaking into the various nooks and crannies and corners of society at large.

When I was a kid these were called "ladies'" bikes; this was in the era when "women drivers" were laughed at, no real "he-man" would *dream* of pushing a pram, people made snide jokes about who was "wearing the pants" in a family, and "nice girls" didn't get uppity about wanting good paying jobs that were reserved for men, the family breadwinners. Ladies needed low crossbars so their skirts would not ride up, and it was not ladylike to do a French Can Can to get on and off their bikes. Of course, no real man would use a bike like that, for fear of looking sissy.

Nowadays, at least here in Montreal, as many women
as men ride bikes with high crossbars, because these are the easiest to find. The other kind are step-throughs, and — this is where I end my rant and agree with you ;-) — I personally think they're far more practical. If you're not biking for racing speeds, not having a high crossbar doesn't detract in any meaningful way from your bike's stability. I personally hope that once we move away from the bikes as sports toys mentality (as we have from the 1950s-60s mentality of what it meant to be "manly" and "ladylike"), we may move toward a more objective and practical approach to bike design that would make step-throughs more widespread than they are now.

I ***LOVE*** that pedestrian/bike bridge. Beautiful, attractive design!

Kiwehtin said...

Found this online: it's the Puente de Arganzuela in the Madrid Río park:


Colville-Andersen said...

I don't get the first comment at all. Whatever. Here, however is a link to the concept of Pink Dollars. Like it says, "The economic power of pink money has been seen as a force positive for the gay community, creating a kind of "financial self-identification" which helps gay and lesbian individuals feel like part of a community which values them"

I value them. I also know many of them in my circle of friends. I revel in the fact that I live in a society that accepts them.

I merely hope that we can count on their independence and enthusiasm in giving the bicycle boom an extra boost.

Kiwehtin said...

You could actually substitute "female and well dressed" — the original premise of Cycle Chic — for "gay/lesbian" and the original Anonymous post would make as much (?) sense.

It comes from a particular worldview that starts from the unexamined premise that when anyone says something about a particular group that someone has officially pigeonholed in their head as "[x] OPPRESSED", there must be a snake in the grass/anguille sous roche.

Thanks, Mikael.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

València Cycle Chic said...


Hello! Greetings from Valencia. This time there is a video of rain, now I give away a video of the beach, friends, bikes, sun, night ... I hope you like it

valencia cycle chic

Marie Clausén said...

I'm pretty sure there are already plenty of people who happen to be attracted to their own gender who ride bicycles and some of them who even do so with flair. Perhaps they weren't aware that they had to announce their sexuality while doing so, any more than heteros do when riding a bicycle, driving a car, buying a loaf of bread or brushing their teeth. Perhaps there isn't a particularly gay way of doing any of these things.

Ottawa bike guy said...

I have several photographs of cyclists in Ottawa's "gay village". Are they gay? Who knows?It doesn't bother me in the least that I can't tell whether they are or not. Surely the mainstreaming of cycling is about leaving behind subcultures and identifiable groups? Or maybe I missed something?


Christian said...

I love it! Copenhagen is as gay as Montréal.