Wednesday, August 5, 2009

NYC = Absense of Chic Cycling?

I have been on a search to find chic cyclists in New York City but I am having the hardest time. I'm seeing poorly dressed riders, spandex clad cyclists, wanna-be messengers, dirty looking "hipsters" on fixies and just the general unkempt.

New York City is the fashion capital of the world yet fashion seems to be completely absent when it comes to cycling here. I'm confused and perplexed. Am I the only one here that knows you don't need to look like crap to ride a bike? That you don't need to dress up like a spandex superhero to ride a bike?? Am I the only woman that rides in a skirt and stilettos? A nice suit and shoes? A dress-shirt and slacks? It can't be...

I've been looking in Midtown, Soho, The Village, Union Square, Lower East Side, Gramercy, The Financial District, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, Chinatown, Greenpoint, Astoria, LIC, Williamsburg, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Park Slope... You name it. Not one single well-dressed cyclist among them so far. I'm thinking, hoping, that it's partially due to the heat and humidity(???). Maybe those with style have left the city for hip destinations like The Hamptons, Miami Beach or even Europe for vacation??

I'm hoping that there are at least a few stylish cyclists still left to be found in this city... Because, right now, Copenhagen this is not. :(


  1. Great post. If you would consider posting pics of yourself riding a la Copenhagen Cycle Chic I am sure all will be thrilled to see America is not totally devoid of style! Keep up the great work.

  2. Oh, how cruel you are to NYC! Don't the super hip faux-bike messengers on fixed gears do it for you? What about the enigmatic Cloe Sevigny cruising serenely on her Raleigh 20?

    Nice blog, and I am amused to see Bike Snob NYC and Copenhagen Cycle Chic sitting next to each other on your blog list. I have always wondered whether they are secretly dating.

  3. you are not alone! one outfit at a time, we're trying to upgrade NYC's velo chic.

  4. Thank you all for your comments. I appreciate them.

    @ Kevin: I find it incredibly hard taking pictures of myself (where to prop up the camera, self-timer, framing, etc.) but I will be experimenting to see if can find a way to do it decently. I'll be posting some of the results and I would love your input. Thanks! :)

    @ Filigree: I see such great fashion and fashion sense all over the city on people NOT riding bikes but precious few stylish cyclists. I know NYC cyclists have it in them to clean up their act and be on par with Amsterdam and Copenhagen. We can do it and I hope to help out. :)

  5. If I'm biking to dinner or basically anywhere that I'm not in a hurry to get to, I wear whatever. But when I bike to work in the morning, it's jean shorts or spandex (depending on which is cleaner). I wish I could look all cute when I'm riding but I'm absolutely drenched in sweat by the time i get to work. And of course I'm always running like 5 minutes late so the commute is not leisurely :( I'm totally amazed that you rode 40 miles in heels! The way I figure it, if they're comfortable to walk in then they're probably gonna be comfortable to ride in. ANyway, glad I found your blog :)

  6. I think you should hunt down the Sartorialist and find out here he is catching his chic New Yorkers. He posted a great one this week. Also you may have to open up your opinion of what is cycle chic. Not everyone at Copenhagen Cycle Chic is neatly and stylishly, and tidily dressed but they are all chic on their bikes. Being that NYC is not the Same as Copenhagen people have a very different idea of what is chic. So they may not be dressed in what you would call chic but to them and their friends they are probably smokin' hot. I speak of the hipster population in particular but also the Fixie folks. Those people spend plenty of time on their hair.

  7. @ Cosmo: Thank you so much for your thoughts and your suggestions. I really appreciate it.

    I recently decided that I would have to broaden my definition of "chic cycling" here in NYC. It will make it easier to find and photographer some stylish NYC cyclists. I'm really looking forward to seeing to hip, cool, cycling fashionistas doing their thing and catching it on camera. :)

    And thank you for the tip on The Satorialist. Great blog! It gives me hope.

  8. I work in the village and see chic cyclists everywhere. Some divine looking guys in gorgeous suits and lots of pretty ladies in dresses cruising along. In my experience, Cycle Chic movement is alive and well in lower Manhattan!


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