I had a my foreign corespondent Nona Varnado on the scene in Las Vegas. (Right, actually she was already going, just to dispell any rumors that I have any kind of staff what so ever.) Nona was on hand to promote her line of cycling apparel for woman, she filled this report on the current state of bike fashion from Interbike central.
Interbike 2010 Fashion Report
Interbike is overwhelmingly “back” according to the number of exhibitors and attendees after last year’s ghost town. From components manufacturers to apparel there seems to be a big gulf between companies updating existing lines and companies pushing out innovative new stuff, largely in response to the huge growth in new cyclists and fashion conscious urban riders.
Not surprisingly the coolest stuff seems to be coming from small new companies trying to make a name with stand out products. And where fashion is the usual all male concentration becomes decidedly more female. I’m at interbike to launch a fall/winter line of women’s cycling apparel (nonavarnado.com) and it has been awesome to meet a bunch of super talented young women producing gorgeous quality products; from Po Campo’s bags to DZR’s amazing street cycling shoes (originally designed only for women, but they were so hot she added a men’s line).
Spandex, pink stuff and more floral prints were strongly represented, so for ladies who joy those established looks, have no fear of a total revolution in bike chic. For that category, Dude Girl is my clear favorite. Sticking to the comfortable classics my favorite jersey’s were from Swobo; comfortable fabrics, minimal (but cute) details.
Men’s choices, being a far more developed business, are both more varied and nuanced. Campagnolo, unsurprisingly has the most minimal garments – from spandex to outerwear with both the men’s & women’s lines coordinating. Chrome has some gorgeous men’s apparel and accessories out now that will be classic enough to look great a few years from now too. Wheelmen’s bags & shirts looked whimsical & fun.
Speaking of bags, there are a few companies (Ortlieb. Timbuktu) making small rectangular backpacks that are gorgeous. They look comfortable & hip even outside of a bike context.
For high tech garments, the Mavic shoes and apparel look great, incredibly well made and super minimal. Their shoes & jackets are all one color, plus the yellow logo. Showers Pass had some really lovely rain jackets for men and women in the fashion show that were attractive enough to be worn to work or on a date.
Chrome & Swrve have some great bike specific pants for both men & women, though I can’t speak as to the fit (soon hopefully!) Swrve has a pair of riding pants that seem insulated enough to be worn on your next commute through Siberia.
With a few worthy exceptions apparel seemed to be a low point amongst all the bikes and components. The most intense fashion experience seemed to come from accessories, such as the gorgeous BASIL bags from the Netherlands. Between those and some of the new commuter bike lines (Linus, Globe) you could probably wear a plastic trash bag and still look good.
Lazer helmets seems to have heeded the call of ‘helmet covers’ and has come out with a really attractive plaid helmet that comes pre-covered.
It’s a significant leap from some of the DIY craftsmanship but with all the styling. Nutcase has also upped their offering to include the really silly (watermelon?) to the simply pretty (Gold & sparkles).
I missed the last Bike shorts, Ken Stanek’s ongoing short film festival in Brooklyn. Even though there were two opportunities to see the movies, due to a rain date. RATS.
There was a lot of buzz about the winning film, Rachel Brown’s short about bike lanes.
It doesn’t take a great documentarian such as Errol Morris (Thin Blue Line, the Fog of War) or Michael Moore (Sicko, Capitalism a Love Story) to make a concise investigative film. Rachel just grabbed a camera and interviewed some riders of the new bike lane on 1st Ave. This is an excellent look at the debate about whether bike lanes in NYC are actually safer.
Joe Nocella, of 718 Cyclery has this really cool concept about outfitting people with the perfect urban commuter. He calls it collaborative builds and it basically works like this: You pick out a frame, generally an old school ten speed or some gem either you find or he finds it, mostly on ebay or craig’s list. Then you discuss parts, wheels, what you want to use the bike for and your riding style. Then Joe orders the parts, lays them out and then you schedule an appointment to build your bike. Joe builds the wheels.
According to his blog, it looks like Joe is getting a store front, scheduled to open at the end of October. (pending the signing of a lease) 461 7th Ave. In Park Slope Brooklyn.
Luckily, Joe is also an architect so he’s put up some concept graphics of the new space.
Ok, first there was the immensely popular and hilarious, stuffwhitepeoplelike.com. Take a look at this blog, in case you had any doubts, or need a good laugh.
Then I stumbled upon this little gem. It’s good to know we made the list of Things Republicans Hate.
“Riding a bicycle has become fashionable for extreme liberals known as â€˜Bohemiansâ€™ or â€˜Hipstersâ€™. These hipster cyclists can often be seen with their right pant leg rolled up. This fashion statement is the equivalent of a pierced right ear (theyâ€™re gay). Hipsters enjoy riding their bikes to useless, liberal arts courses and head shops.”
Thought this was the best way to get around school?
Looks like college campuses across the US have adopted bike sharing programs.
Check out this article in USA today.
Bike-sharing programs spin across U.S. campuses
By Didi Tang, USA TODAY
Photo caption: Jason Dallam, left, adjusts a bike Blake Bodendorfer checked out for the semester from Drury University on Aug. 30.
Photo by: Bob Linder, Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader
Drury University junior Garret Shelenhamer ditched his car and gets to his classes and volunteer commitments using a shiny, new bike provided by the school.
Shelenhamer, 20, is one of a number of students across the USA taking advantage of free or low-cost bike sharing programs, which have become increasingly popular. Drury students agreed to pay a $20-a-year sustainability fee, which funds the bike program. The Springfield, Mo., school purchased 40 new bikes for use by students in time for the fall semester.
“It’s helped me so much,” Shelenhamer said. “It’s been fun.”
Nearly 90 American universities, from New York University to the University of Alaska-Anchorage, offer some form of campus bike program, according to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.
This weekend, the World Maker Faire is coming to Queens. Make Magazine started this upgraded science fair in San Francisco as an expo to highlight the types of things they offer their readers, homemade robotics, DIY inventions and all kinds of innovative projects. Such creations as how to build your own coffee roaster, to making a decorative sewing machine cover and constructing your own solar powered hot tub…who doesn’t need that?
Now this build it yourself renegade craft and science fair is making it’s New York City Debut in Queens at the Hall of Science, 47-01 111th Street–Queens, NY 11368-2950–
September 25th and 26th.
Kerri Martin used to do a lot of great community service for bikes here in NYC. Now she has moved on to New Jersey and is working with a new space called Second Life Bike Shop.
I mean, they’ve got a bike blender, what more do you need.
Here is more about it from the Asbury Park Press.
Asbury Park shop gives new life to used bikes
Asbury Park shop teaches meaning of recycling to area youngsters
By NANCY SHIELDS â€¢ STAFF WRITER â€¢ September 17, 2010
ASBURY PARK â€” Curdel Changoo, 12, a seventh grader at Hope Academy Charter School, tells it this way: There is a boy who is his cousin’s brother’s cousin who came to visit and took Curdel’s bike to the boardwalk where it got stolen last year.
Curdel’s mother told him about this new place at 21 Main St., a 7,500-square-foot space full of donated bicycles, where kids can earn their own bike by working 15 hours learning bicycle repair. So far, he’s worked 10 hours at Kerri Martin’s Second Life Bikes.
Martin, 38, is working hard at her latest job operating a not-for-profit community bike shop where people donate their used mountain bikes, cruisers, trick BMX bikes, and tot-sized bikes.
Kids can earn a bike or work one hour for a seat or tube, two hours for a tire.
Adults can find bike parts they need or pick out a bike that needs some repair and pay about $45 to $100 for Martin to get it road ready.
Saying Chris Ryan has something to do with bike culture in NYC is like boasting that Babe Ruth had something to do with a game played with a small hard ball and a wood bat and building a house for a team that begins with Y.
Yesterday was the marriage of Christopher J. Ryan of the bike punk ska band Team Spider and his lovely bride Allie Compton. However, this was no ordinary affair. It was the perfect blend of traditional marriage meets nontraditional Mar RRRRRRRRRRRRRRiage. That repeated letter in the alphabet is most well known for when you’re dressing up and pillaging as a pirate.
The wedding was held on Governor’s Island, which has become this great local, bikeable spot, just a few hundred yards off of Manhattan. Once a coast guard outpost, it has now been given to a trust run by the city of New York and opened up as an amazing scenic spot where people are encouraged to rent or bring their bicycles and enjoy an almost completely auto free existence.
It was the perfect backdrop for a wedding and best of all, doesn’t cost anything.
Kindred spirits to Chris, in their activism and love for “giving a shit” about NYC, Reverend Billy officiated the wedding for about 100 people.
Saturday (9/18/10) also happened to be international, “talk like a pirate day. This meant there were Santacon like costume parades of pirates going on all over the world and one just so happened to be plundering on Governors Island. It also happened to be another one of Time’s Up themed bike rides in which this time, they were hellbent on plundering Chris and Allie’s wedding, especially since Chris was one of their own pirates and they’d be damned if he went off and tied the knot with out a fight.
This is an event where people reclaim parking spaces across the city and turn them into mini parks, hangouts and chill spaces for a day instead of being used as idle parking spots. Mostly these are done in more “downtown” like locations, where most people expect to see street theater or odd performances, however, Time’s Up broke the mold and headed uptown, smack dab in front of Mayor’s Bloomberg’s office on 79th and 5th Ave. in Manhattan.
This had everything to do with this environmental direct action group’s intention of continually sending a message to the Mayor to permanently protect community gardens once and for all.
Ok, back to the wedding.
So we rode out to Governors Island on a gorgeous September day and offered those who didn’t bring bikes a shuttle on one of the many contraptions you can rent out there including these quad cycles.
All of the wedding guests and the pirates gathered at Picnic Point, on the other side of the island from the ferry terminal and listened to a wonderful speech by Reverend Billy.
Then the pirates made an attempt to defeat Chris and steal his bride.
Chris was successful in defeating the pirates and actually getting married. We all celebrated with a critical mass style bike ride around the island.