What you wear while riding your bike shouldn’t be politicized, gendered, or, really, any sort of issue.
But it is. The goal of cycle chic—to emphasize the idea that you can look lovely and ride a bike—is a noble one, but it’s become problematic as it fetishizes women wearing stereotypically feminine clothing.
So let’s move past that. Cycle Whatever is about riding a bike for transportation while wearing whatever the hell you want—whatever makes sense, feels awesome, and is comfortable for you.
Submit a shot (an Instagram, a professional shot, an illustration) of what you’re wearing while you ride your bike, whether your garb is spandex, a full skirt, or shorts and a T-shirt. Your gender, whether or not you’re wearing a helmet, what your clothes cost, and pretty much everything else aren’t relevant here. All Cycle Whatever wants to emphasize is that you can ride a bike to get from Point A to Point B—call it utilitarian cycling—wearing what you want.
Talk about Cycle Whatever on Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram with the hashtag #cyclewhatever. For now, questions and correspondence can go through the Ask box.
(My name is Alex and my personal Tumblr can be found here. I live in Washington, D.C., where I usually ride my bikes in jeans and a T-shirt. My primary ride is a Jamis Coda Femme. Sometimes I forget my helmet.)
I started a new project and I want you to submit to it. I know many of you ride bikes. I know many of you ride bikes in whatever the fuck you want to wear. I’ve ranted in this space before about the grossness that is the glorification of women on bikes in skirts. It’s stupid—and it’s not just the original Cycle Chic, it’s offshoots like the weirdly sexualized Fuck Yeah Girls and Bikes. What I care about is that people—whatever gender they identify as—are ditching their cars to ride their bikes, or walk, or take public transit.
I’d be so, so happy if you submitted to Cycle Whatever one time or with regularity. (Preferably with regularity, because this will look really lame if people don’t play along.) Shitty iPhone photos welcome. So, go forth!
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