Bikeable Style For Beginners (And Everyone Else)
Skirts and boots. This was my daily uniform until I started cycling. Can you wear a skirt on a bike gracefully? Can style be safe? I needed to know more.
Leading a Trade School Edinburgh session on the bikeable style and with an ideas board of skirt patterns and winter tips in tow, I realized something.
This wasn’t about cute baskets. Bikeable style is so much more.
It’s the courage to cycle in traffic, your awesome thighs, transportation independence, the uncontained excitement at your first changed tire, and those days when the wind is behind you. It’s sharing the bikeable love.
The bikeable style is your city, lifestyle, and confidence on two wheels.
Cycling has given me a new Edinburgh. I feel intimately connected to the distance travelled (each pothole and curve in the road, even the people I see each day). I finally understand the city’s rhythm and sometimes (if the wind is right), my legs pedal to the same tune.
While I’m still new, I’ve learned a few things along the way.
1. Love your bike. My bike (you should meet her) is the heart and soul of my bikeable style. You don’t have to know everything before you get started—you will learn along the way. Search for a bike as you would a partner—you will know when its love. And second-hand ones carry the best stories.2. Embrace the fact that you’re new. Start talking! Ask questions, befriend local bike shops, reach out to others (trillions of cyclists live on Twitter)—there’s a community of people waiting to cheer you on.3. Find a buddy. Thanks to a patient cycle buddy, I gained a lot of confidence on the road. Many cities and businesses have bike buddy schemes. Or start one yourself!4. Know your route, then explore others. Once you know your route, the world is your oyster. Take your time and you can always pop off if you need to.5. Find your style. Take your everyday fashion, incorporate your city’s landscape and climate, stick it on two wheels, and there you go—your very own bikeable style.
While the world looks towards Northern European cities and my own Minneapolis (go Vikings!), we have some work to do in the UK.
But the bikeable communities in Edinburgh and across Scotland are feisty and dedicated to making our streets bikeable. From the recent successful Pedal on Parliament and the upcoming Edinburgh Festival of Cycling, the city is pushing for more.
And across the UK, Get Britain Cycling has nearly has 60,000 signatures (go on, sign it) and British Cycling is inspiring more women to cycle. There is even a Dutch-style roundabout being trialled down south.
So that’s my #6: Make your politics bikeable. The more accessible and empowering cycling becomes, the more powerful our voice is for change. Plus, there is nothing more stylish than a cyclist who is confident and pulling off a look that represents who they are as people, not just cyclists.