For us, this photograph represents a great vision of London Cycle Chic.
Off the bat, a description of the picture doesn’t sound spectacular: ‘a lady has cycled to a cafe in London and has sat down to enjoy her drink’. However, a deeper analysis reveals a much more encouraging shift in London’s cycle scene.
For starters, this lady has cycled in casual clothes, and so her bike is not a piece of sports equipment, but rather a vehicle of general utility. The fact that there is no hi-viz (or other safety equipment) shows that she does not perceive cycling to be a dangerous activity, but rather a normal part of everyday life. Riding a step-over frame also shows that her cycling is not guided by the accepted ‘wisdom’ of chain bike shops, which tend to have disappointingly small ranges of predominantly pink bikes aimed at female riders. Her bike even has a subtle, tyre-driven bottle dynamo to power the lights – she is clearly one discerning cyclist!
In a city where the MAMIL* is king, what a beautifully alternative vision this rider represents!
*MAMIL stands for ‘middle aged man in lycra’