What follows is a story of bike fashion, wherein our hero, Davey, goes from being a total anti-consumerist prick to being a model, twice. Starting tonight:
So I'm a total hater sometimes.
Much like the bikesnob, I get all pissed off when I see a commercial interest co-opting something that is simple, individualized, and accessable, like biking. As a result I often react like a traumatized victim experiencing a flashback whenever some new product 'drops' that is supposedly designed for bikers.
You can imagine my reaction when Krista approached me about being a model for a 'bike fashion stroll' in May. "Stupid." I thought. I exchanged a lengthy email flurry with Tara,
who is organizing the event, starting with one more or less like this:
Very cool you've got this all up and running. I'm really glad this event is happening, and I think it'll do great things for cycling in Salt Lake, but I not yet sure if I'll participate. I don't really see a reflection of my attitudes towards cycling clothes embodied in any of the sponsors. I don't mean to preach anything, but I do ride a lot and thought I'd share my perspective and see how it ties into your perspective and your show.
I appreciate things that are durable, functional, and not tied up with a lot of accessorizing. I think as a general rule people complicate cycling. I'm not going to carry around something to wrap around my leg to keep my pants from getting caught in the chain, I'll roll them up instead. And roll them down when I get off the bike. But things needn't be ugly, either, they just need to work. For ages.
Outlier does a pretty good job, I think, of combining style and cycling-specific functionality:
and maybe with a little bit of Chrome's no-nonsense durability thrown in, though they're a little 'urban ninja.'
At about this point in my windbagging I started actually using my brain and thinking about it. I had decided in my mind that this event wasn't going to promote my values, but there was really no indication that it wouldn't. I had just made it up based on past prejudice. So I changed my tone a bit, and told her about Velo City Bags and mentioned that the only cool sponsor was Saturday Cycles.
Amazingly, Tara not only responded to my rant, but she informed me that she was doing all this work without charging the vendors, simply to promote cycling in Utah and show the different clothing options out there. So if I'm into durable, functional things like waterproof bags and indestructible pants I can show them off, all on Saturday Cycle's bike. I'm in.
So then of course the next day Esther calls me in a panic. "All my guy models bailed!" Apparently she's behind Velo City's appearance at tonight's gallery stroll. So now I'm repping their bags, twice. Money where my mouth is, I guess...
Come out to either of these bourgeois fashion events and tell me how much I've sold out :) You'll enjoy yourself, I promise. Tara's got a website up for the Cycle Style Show, I'll post more about it as it comes up. Tonight the bikers should be on at 7 pm.