Friday, October 5, 2012

Stripey Duo



A lovely pair in stripes. So fresh.


  1. I just found this site. It's very different from the original Copenhagen Cycle Chic, so much different I have to ask about it. I don't know if that's how it started but nowadays that whole site is just photos is young women cycling and it's so sexist it's embarrassing. Except it's amazingly popular and nobody makes that obvious comment. Well this site is totally different and I'd really like to know, is it cultural differences, just down to whoever gets the name for their city, or what?

  2. I personally love Copenhagen Cycle Chic. However I am the awful type of woman who is not often offended by what other women(and men) think is sexist. The Copenhagen Cycle Chic site and those photos of women are what made me start cycling to begin with. Before that I didn't think that people like myself could ride bikes. In my mind it was too dangerous and I thought cyclists didn't care at all how they look. I am a fashion designer and I care. I know Mikael wants all types of women (people) to ride bikes. I can see how for other people that can seem odd frivolous and sexist though.

    As for my site, I am glad you don't think it is sexist. There are definitely cultural differences. And every Cycle Chic blog has it's own view of the Cycle Chic movement. Americans don't dress like Danes so my blog could never look like Copenhagen Cycle Chic even if I wanted it to. Danish women tend to be taller, thinner, and blonder than here so genetics plays a pretty big part too. Also I am a black American woman I am not a white European man. I could never see the world with that view either. I am also a mom so I see people through mom goggles. I live in LA which I think is an amazingly fantastic place and I like to show Los Angeles the way I (and the other contributors here) see it. I actually think L.A. is almost the Anti-Copenhagen with the fashion, the architecture and the light and the weather. The main point for me of a Cycle Chic blog is to present an appealing perspective of transportational cycling. We want to see more people on bikes.

    I hope that my images make other people think "I can do that" like Copenhagen Cycle Chic did for me. My life is so much more fun now that I own a bike(or several). People in L.A. know that sporty people ride bikes so if they are sporty they know they can ride. People know that poor people who can't afford cars ride bikes because they have to so poor people who need to do. People who are neither sporty nor poor have no clue that they can too many of them are afraid of cars(not that bad) and spandex(rightfully so I say). So I photograph reasonably attractive people wearing normal clothes on bikes. So, anyway, I could go on for ages, but yes it is mostly down to who gets the name for their city. Each blogger brings their own perspective of cycling in their city.

    I am curious if there is a way you think Copenhagen Cycle Chic could be less sexist? It seems to me they are just taking pictures of what they see. They aren't posing or anything just riding along. Is it the lack of men in the photos for you?

  3. All sites from "Cycle Chic" family are very different, because they all from different countries and cities, more then, from different cultures. But I think it's very nice and create really fully picture of cycle culture in the world.

  4. Thanks for taking the time to reply. I guess the thing that worries me about the Copenhagen website is the way most of the cyclists being photographed are captured in a lot of detail but from a distance, it's obvious there was no personal engagement, or if they did notice they're not necessarily pleased. Some of them look quite angry. So I think it's quite voyeuristic, and of course there's a huge imbalance because the photographers are mainly interested in looking at women - the other day I counted 44 photos (not counting the thumbnails): 8 men and 36 women. White European males, as you put it.

    What you say reminds me of what I'd forgotten, that this is mainly for inspiration - and on that score it's certainly effective - and not supposed to be entirely serious. Colville-Anderson is a rather a control freak though and deserves a bit of criticism - this for example Banning photos of anyone wearing a helmet is just silly, and a bit of bike clothing isn't so terrible. My favourite jacket in the changeable weather we've got here is my ultra-lightweight breathable cycle jacket, folds down to nothing and feels good for walking as well as cycling.

    There is a London Cycle Chic site of course but it's predictable photos with no text and no hints about who is doing it and why. I do prefer your approach where it's more of a personal narrative. Even when you're photographing complete strangers like the stripy couple, somehow I'd guess people see you pointing a camera at them and feel flattered, not angry.

  5. I don't think I could shoot those kinds of ratios(36 to 8 is a ton). Not enough women on bikes here for that. It would be awesome to have that kind of possibility.

    I have to say the perspective from which I shoot is hugely due to where I live. L.A. is full of actors, singers, performers of all kinds of people who want to be famous. Also there are always tourists all over the place taking pictures of everything including people walking down the street. I think people around here are kind of used to it. I also prefer to have pictures taken from the front-ish angles because I love faces. I also like to stand out in the open and like to make sure that people see me with my camera as much as possible just in case anyone is in the witness protection program or anything they can let me know that they don't want their photo taken by a stranger. Though I have never had anyone refuse a photo mostly I have a hard time getting people not to smile and wave and throw up peace signs and stuff. People around here sort of seem to like feeling like they are being captured by paparazzi I think. Also I like to take pictures of people who have a confident style and those people aren't usually camera shy either. Also I am a bit flashy and vain so I like to put myself in my blog. I am sure other cycle chic bloggers are less interested in being noticed so keep a bit of distance from their subjects and their readers.

    It is pretty certain that the author of that blog post would hate me. As for the critique of the brand control and attention to detail are required for any brand or else it isn't a brand of much worth. However everyone is entitled to their own views and joining the brand is not a requirement for supporting the movement. The helmets aren't "banned", just strongly discouraged and not to be featured as the focus of a photo. I couldn't post very many pictures if I could have no photos of people with helmets on because if 3 people are riding down the street together here where I live chances are at least one of them will have a helmet on. Plus it is the law here that kids wear them I'd rather have kids in helmets with riding with helmetless parents than no kids on my blog at all. Kids and moms are key for bicycle infrastructure improvements.

    If cycling clothing looks like regular clothing that people are not going to take off and hide when they reach their destination and dismount their bicycle then that is passable too. If you love your jacket wear it. Spandex isn't flattering and cycling shoes are not attractive plus they make people walk weird and are super loud, no way is that stylish. Hi-viz yellow is hideous and looks awful on most people but because cycling is becoming fashionable it has spilled over into mainstream trends so as long as it is cut well it is passable. Reflective gear tends to ruin my photos because sometimes I have to use a flash so I avoid it. I do the best I can to show cycling in an attractive and normal view. I have not yet had my logo taken away so Mikael must not be too strict about all that.


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