Canberra Cycle Chic

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Grab your fixie, throw away your lycra and pump up those skinny tyres; “style over speed” is coming to Canberra with the upcoming launch of our own Cycle Chic website, thanks to prolific mummy blogger and photographer, Trish Smith.

Based on the original Copenhagan photo-blog exhibiting images of sophisticated riders, Smith will be hitting the streets each week in search of the most stylish Canberrans on two wheels.

Smith says she was inspired by a trip to Europe in September as a travel blogger for Thai Airways.

“I was really taken with all the bicycles overseas in Oslo and Copenhagen,” Smith explains. “I found myself taking pictures of people on bikes because they looked so lovely.

“Cycling has a different feel in Canberra, it’s the ‘as fast as possible’ thing they don’t do over there, it’s not a race.

“People here feel like they need to get gear, they’re worried about having to have a shower when they get to work. No one ever seems to get sweaty in Copenhagen, leave for work 15 minutes earlier so you don’t have to go fast.”

Armed with her digital SLR, the Canberra native and daughter of Pedal Power founder Bill Crowie aims to document the finest cycle fashion to promote bike riding as a way of life, not a sport.

Copied all over the world, the original cycle chic manifesto emphasises clothes over spokes, promising to obey traffic rules, but personalising bikes and never wearing lycra.

“I will refrain from wearing and owning any form of ‘cycle wear’. The only exception being a bicycle helmet,” the manifesto reads.

“I choose to cycle chic and, at every opportunity, I will choose style over speed.

“I will endeavour to ensure that the total value of my clothes always exceeds that of my bicycle.”

Having not owned a bike since 1993, Smith herself is something of a target for the cycle chic movement.

“I’m approaching the project as a photographer and blogger, not a cyclist,” Smith laughs, vowing to purchase a lean, classic, black, Italian model asap and opening her site to contributor images via photo-sharing network flickr.

“I don’t want to talk too much about the politics of road use, I just like the cycle chic movement – get on your bike and enjoy it!”

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