Thursday, 15 October 2009

The Rational Dress Society & Tweed Rides

An article from one of our followers:

There is a close relationship between style and action. This relationship can become complex when new modes of action emerge amidst an earlier range of styles.

Thus it was when cycling first achieved popularity in what was very much, a horse-drawn society. Men could quite easily mount the bicycle saddle in everyday clothes, or clothes similar to those worn for horse riding. For women the situation was very different, side-saddle on a bicycle is not an option and so, in response to the desire to go cycling, a social revolution was born.

The new activity required a new style of dress and as a result, in the late nineteenth century, a campaign against restrictive clothing was founded: The Rational Dress Society; this campaign for the release of flesh from restrictive garments provided for developments in a wide range of activities including dance and athletics.

Today restriction afflicts us in another form: the commodification of experience implemented through the straightjacket of consumerism, where commercial interests promote not only a particular set of clothes for an activity but a range (if not lifestyle!) of items for small variations within all activities: different clothes and bicycles for different circumstances! And just when you think you’ve got them all, out comes a newer and ‘better’ range.

This close identification between a particular dress style and cycling has become unhelpful and burdensome. Firstly there is the exhaustion caused by all the work that has to be done to earn the money to buy these commodities and the bigger house you’ll need to keep them in. But worse still, it leads to the marginalisation of the activity that is supposed to be facilitated – the activity comes to be seen as being over specialised, the wearing of logo-laden lycra gradually becomes almost mandatory and eventually, because we know it isn’t really necessary, faintly ridiculous!

(Words - Roderic Howard) (Pictures -

There is a better way. Come to Bristol Cycling Chic on Saturday 7th of November. Meet at The Fountains, outside the Hippodrome at 10.30am.

Tweed Rides take place all over the world - here's a link to a Tweed Run in London. How about one in Bristol?

Heels on Bikes

I've been pondering this for a while - particularly when admiring the Copenhagen Blog. No pictures as yet but a good chat on cyclechic's Facebook Group - I like this one "its much easier cycling in heels than walking in them" - hope to see some heels next time out.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Cycling Chic's back!

Well, chic cycling in Bristol hasn't been away, I'm sure, but the blog has.
Anyway, we've been out and about trying to catch up for lost time. Had a few trips over here during the summer and managed to grab some pictures which will be added a bit later, but for now here's some up to date Autumnal shots:

So, it's October in Bristol, the leaves are turning and starting to fall, and it's time to start putting coats on as the evenings start to get a bit chilly. You can still ride with style though - nice bike and a relaxed riding position and a contented look on the rider's face (she might not have been quite so happy riding on the cobbles though!) (and those shoulder bags still in evidence).

All in black - nicely matched bike and outfit (with the shoulder bag too!)

The subtle schemes are often the best though - does she have a scarf for every bike or is it the other way round?

Well wrapped up.

And a very elegant pose - the cigarette dangle.

But not everyone is affected by the weather - there's still a bit of summer in the air (and that's a very wistful look!).

And for the men - the classic rolled up shirtsleeves.

Meanwhile, the youth of Bristol have a sense of "any time/ any place" and a splash of colour.

Who wouldn't like to ride on this - but where would you get the outfit to match?

And to cap it all - the chicest guy in town!