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Bike Fashion show a hot event, but needs to get out of hipsterville.

October 8th, 2010 · 8 Comments

I’m nursing a Stanley Park Ale in the pulsating hip basement of the Calabash Bistro, with a crowd of cyclist types way cooler than me. It’s Momentum Magazine’s BikeStyle Tour Fashion Show and it’s making me feel like a stowaway in bike geek heaven.

Momentum is ‘North America’s Bike Lifestyle Magazine’. And they created a truly electric atmosphere, blocking off the whole street outside the bistro. A valet bike parking pen was bristling with two wheeled steeds of every pedigree. And after a few cool libations at Calabash, the crowd poured out into the street where models cruised up under Hollywood lights, showing off both bikes and wear. My little iPhone video hardly does it justice.

It was refreshing to see a fashion show where the models actually had something to DO besides look seriously over-serious. They zipped up on their bikes, propped them on kickstands, and even deftly demonstrated technical panniers and folding bike mechanisms. All while looking decidedly UN-GoreTex-ish.

So what was missing?
The mainstream. Yaletown yuppies who think they can’t look macho if they’re not idling in a Bimmer. Burrard street business babes who won’t leave the house without three-inch heels. (Yes, there were models in pumps on the pedals) This whole event was one great inside party, cheering on the announcement of new bike lanes, signing up members for the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition and geeking out over the latest in bike light design. A hip choir cheering the sermon from the two-wheeled pulpit.

The Green Briefs Two Bits: If we’re going to move cycling to the mainstream, maybe that’s where we have to bring these sorts of events. Perhaps with time we can take over Granville or Robson streets. Momentum Magazine’s  half price subscription offer ($10 including a free beer ticket) was a great deal. Picture partnering that with a coupon for a larger chain like Starbucks or Blenz. More on site branding for the event would also help.

But overall I was definitely more excited than bitter. Seeing the style, fun and sheer urban panache that cycling can have just fills me with visions of grandeur, I guess. But I definitely need to upgrade my ‘bikedrobe’ before crashing the next fashionista cycle happening. (See my dream jacket here)

So a tip of the helmet to Mia Kohout, the hard pedaling peeps from Momentum, the cheery crew at Calabash and everyone involved with Bikestyle. Let’s see an even bigger, better more mainstream event next year!

Tags: Environment · Events · Sustainable Lifestyle · Sustainable Products · Uncategorized

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Mia // Oct 18, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Thanks for the write up Lorne! Funny enough, when I first conceptualized this fashion show I wanted to do it on South Granville and really hit the mainstream. (was happy to see a big photo of this in the Georgia Straight – even if the story missed the mark…)

    But alas, we needed to start somewhere!

    Maybe next year…..

  • 2 admin // Oct 18, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    It was a very well done event, Mia – I’m sure it will be bigger and better next year… and the years after!

  • 3 laura // Nov 4, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    As someone who commutes to South Granville where I work and shop I would love to see Momentum partner with the South Granville Business Association for their next fashion show. Last spring there were a few businesses on South Granville which used bicycles in their window displays to sell their clothing lines. Oddly enough bike parking is almost non existent in front of most of the shops. There is some bike parking on the side streets which are not very well lit so most cyclists struggle to attach their bikes to parking meters. A Momentum fashion show with the South Granville Business Association would certainly bring fashionable cycling into the mainstream. It would also open Momentum Magazine up to a whole new audience as well as the VACC. If there is a plan for such a possible partnership please let me know I would love to help out.

  • 4 admin // Nov 4, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    Thanks Laura
    I agree, biking is becoming a fashion statement all its own! Mia Kohout at Momentum would be the person to talk to about future opportunities with that group. Keep on riding!

  • 5 PaddyAnne // Dec 22, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I think your article is dead-on. I actually didn’t attend as I am mainstream, and I thought I would feel out of place. Kudo’s for your courage!! I also love Momentum Magazine – except for their front photo covers. If they want to reach us non-trendy but love-to- bike-types, they need to ensure their mag appeals to all ages and all cyclist types. I had a hard time convincing my brother to read a great article penned by the Vancouver lawyer who was interpreting some laws and probable court outcomes because the front cover was too hipster-ish/radical bikerider-ish for him to consider the magazine serious. I know that my comments may widen a generational gap, but I fear that some great articles are being bypassed. Anyway, enjoy reading your posts! 🙂

  • 6 admin // Dec 22, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Thanks, PaddyAnne
    Maybe we need to start our own bike mag – call it ‘RealityBikes’ or ‘FirstGear’ or some such. Make it an entry-level mag for the new rider types…

  • 7 Kate // May 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I completely agree with you Lorne and PaddyAnne. Lots of great content in Momentum is buried under a devotion to hipster style that goes over the top. Perhaps a mix of hip and unhip could be the next radical idea to direct their editorial eye, or maybe an online zine like you suggest, Lorne. There is definitely a cultural divide produced by the sub-cultural imagery. VACC is a good example of how to ignore that, but from a marketing perspective there needs to be a larger cultural presence of mainstream cycling chic to attract people out of cars and transit who geographically speaking have the option.

  • 8 admin // May 13, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    Thanks, Kate. I was just riding downtown today, and the masses of cyclists are growing. Along with this growth will be the emergence of a number of new groups of riders, I imagine!

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