Friday, June 20, 2008

Portland Cycle Chic

The majority of times I climb onto my bike, I am most definitely not cycle chic.

For one thing, my commute is just shy of 5 miles in each direction and I like to ride... well, sort of fast. For another thing, I work in an office with a "business casual" dress code. These do no make for a good combination if one wishes to ride to work in the clothes she intends to wear for the rest of the day. If I lived closer or could work in jeans and a t-shirt, I could pull it off... But alas, that is not my fate.

Such as things are, I am usually clad in assorted combinations of spandex, neon yellow, and waterproof fabric. Oh, and shoes with laces are out. I may not look that great, but at least I don't ruin the clothes I actually care about. And the real life saver is the locker room and warm shower awaiting me at my job. No matter what the weather is like, upon arrival I can put myself together in a somewhat "professional" manner.

That being said, almost nothing gives me greater joy than putting on a pretty dress, climbing onto my saddle, and pedaling off to my destination. I just don't get to do it as often as I'd like. In my leisure time, sure. Riding to brunch with friends, going to see a movie, Scrabble at a coffee shop... Sure. But Monday through Friday during rush hour, I'm stuck putting function ahead of fashion.

I was (obviously) inspired to start this site by Copenhagen Cycle Chic. But I see so many people riding bikes around Portland who look super fantastic that I thought we deserved our own site dedicated to those who can truly look good while riding a bike.

I think that bicycles could possibly be reaching a tipping point in Portland. I feel extremely lucky and privileged to be a part of such exciting changes. It's really something special to be part of a moment in time like this, and every time I get on my bike (be it in spandex or a pretty dress), I'm very thankful for it.