For years we had been biking for weekend trips or longer, on sunny days for fun, regularly for exercise or transportation to school in the morning, picnics in the park, movies, post office, quick trips to the grocery store. We were the Biking Family – three little ducks in a row between Mom and Dad along the side of the road.
But we have never been stylish, except by accident.
So it has been amazing to discover a whole world since then of knowledgeable, stylish and passionately dedicated riders out there (see “of interest” in the sidebar for a quick sampling). Connoisseurs of brake pads and vintage lugs. (Last year, I didn’t even know what a “lug” was unless it was what you had to do with heavy baggage.) Experts on seat post heights and bike geometry and the best bike lane design. Opinionated aficionados of bike baskets, bags, caps, seat covers . . . How to dress, how to fix, how to work around car traffic . . .
It’s a good trend, and one I hope lives long. Lives long enough to become not just a trend for today but an everyday way of life for more than just the lone stubborn white-haired lady . . .
Because long before the first Cycle Chic appeared in Copenhagen, Mrs. C, who has her own ideas about style, has been making her daily rounds.
I started noticing her shortly after I first moved here more than a decade ago.
“Who is she? I see her out there riding every day! Rain or shine!”
“I know. She’s amazing.”
Mrs. C back then was in her late 60s, had taught piano to half the pianists in town.
Once when we were both on bikes, me on my way into town, her on her way back out already I told her how my friends and I admired the way she got out on her bike every day.
“Well,” she said, “if I don’t get on the bike one day, then yesterday? – that was my last bike ride.” And she rode away.