Cycle chic, kind of

So there’s this whole “cycle chic” thing, basically the idea that you should look stylish while riding a bike.  Beautiful people, riding around on bicycles, laid-back and having fun, what’s not to like?

I’ve long been a fan of Girls and Bicycles, a blog that embraces the cycle chic ethos.  I love reading about Sarah’s adventures up in Canada.

The problem?  It’s a lovely idea, in theory, but in practice, it doesn’t really work out for me.

For starters, I do not consider myself particularly stylish, nor is that necessarily an aspiration of mine.  If I don’t wear heels, or other cute, toe-smashing, unsupportive shoes to start with, why would I put them on just to ride my bike?  My footwear is certainly not chic, and the ankles on up aren’t much better.

The cycle chic movement emphasizes “style over speed,” which is another issue for me.  I see my bike as an efficient (and fun) way to get from Point A to Point B.  I like to ride fast.  My cycling shoes help me do that, as does my bicycle style.

The Cycle Chic Manifesto includes the following [ridiculous] guideline:

“I will endeavor to ensure that the total value of my clothes always exceeds that of my bicycle.”

Excuse me?  Perhaps the total value of ALL the clothes in my wardrobe exceeds the value of my bicycle, but a single outfit?  Not close, nor do I ever aspire to wear a $900 ensemble.  (And if I had such a thing, would I really wear it on my bicycle — the thing with dirt and grease on it?  Please.)

But the fact that I’m writing about this indicates that there is at least some tiny part of me that admires these chic cyclists, that wishes I could be one of them.  And so I bring you my attempt at chic cycling from the Festival of Nations this weekend.

Perhaps more Sporty Spice than cycle chic?


  1. Hi Melissa, I think you look great! My interpretation of cyclechic is that you don’t have to wear lycra or spandex to be a cyclist. You certainly fit the bill! Have fun on your rides, and dress how you see fit!

    1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife says:

      Thanks! I definitely agree that lycra or spandex are not necessary for biking — they are not part of my normal rotation. In fact, I’ve seen a lot of the spandex-clad crowd with very poor riding skills (riding in the door zone, etc.). That said, I have a pair of spandex capri yoga pants that I wear more for biking than for yoga.

  2. Bike in whatever is comfy!! I think it is really silly to have to care about what you look like…ever!


  3. You should check out Athleta. It is not the cheapest place to shop, but they have cute stuff that seems like it would be good for bike riding.

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