Saturday, July 30, 2011

Personal Style and a Bike

Personal style.  Some women just have it; the rest of us somehow manage to muddle through one fashion train wreck after another until we make enough mistakes that we finally figure out what works best on us and what looks we just need to avoid all together.  Too often, we so focus on looking cute and pretty or replicating the latest version of America's Top Model, that we lose who we are and what makes us unique. 

This lovely, young women, who I stopped to photograph on NAU campus last night, represents for me someone who isn't afraid to follow her own fashion rules.  My guess is that she probably lives much of her life by her own considered choices and rarely regrets the outcomes, even when sometimes they aren't what she planned, because even mistakes are opportunities to learn.  Perhaps, I'm romanticizing her just a wee but her look gives off a self-confidence and groove I completely lacked at that age.  I love the combination of dreadlocks; cute, smarty-pants eye glasses; and minimal make-up.  Intentional or not, she sends out the message that she's not trying to impress anyone because she too busy setting her life plans in motion.

Had I not been in a hurry to meet up with Bob, I would have loved to ask her about her bike and whether or not it is merely an affordable way for a college student to get around or if she sees it as a long-term transportation option once she finishes her studies and begins her career.  I've been chatting back and forth with a number of other women who blog about the intersect between fashion and bike commuting and whether or not women will be the force to make it go mainstream in the U.S. the way it has in many parts of Europe.  I am of the belief that women have had and will continue to have an important role in re-establishing bicycles as a legitimate means of transport.  Likewise, I think it is and will continue to be those women who are thoughtful and adventuresome in terms of fashion but also carry that mindset over to their personal priorities and lifestyle choices


bikeolounger said...

All what you said, but the bike guy in me couldn't help but notice her front axle quick release skewer wrongly applied. It is curving away from the bike, indicating that it's open instead of closed. Lots of folks try to use the lever as a wrench instead of in its intended manner, with the result that the wheel is not as securely attached as it needs to be.

If you see her again, please point out the safety problem. She may thank you for doing so!

See the inimitable Sheldon Brown's site for details:

G.E. said...

I seem to recall reading something somewhat recently (in the last year or so), stating that the ideas and lifestyle of the current 20-somethings are definitely changing the way we will live in the future. They were stating that many of these folks have no desire to live in suburbia or rural areas and are flocking to urban centers. They are staying in cities even after college, rather than moving "back home" or to smaller areas after graduating. I wish I could find it again, but of course that never happens when we want to find things (I apologize). It was interesting to read that many are choosing mass transit, walking and bicycles over any other mode of transportation, and that many of them over the age of 25 don't even have a drivers license and have no desire to even obtain one. This could create a severe change in the way our roads are utilized in the future because there just wouldn't be the same amount of traffic on the highways and interstates of America.

As for her style, I agree with you entirely. It is always nice to see a person expressing their own individuality (whatever that may be). I think often it does take awhile to just be who we are.

She Rides a Bike said...

GE,I read that same article and it felt hopeful. Unfortunately, I think the powers that be don't read those articles or if they do, simply use them to line bird cages. I wonder if part of the answer will lie in more people, regardless of their generation, simply learning to say "I can't afford a car". I write a lot of about affordability or the lack thereof. I suspect those of us from the age of the consumer economy have been well-trained to never acknowledge "I can't afford it" but I find it a very liberating statement. For all the talk about living within our means, it seems to me we receive little encouragement to actually admit what we can and cannot afford, whether it is on the personal level or the community level. When we bought our over-priced house in late 2006, the mortgage broker launched in to a little cheer about when we decide to buy our second home (we're both public empployees! We don't make enough money to own a second home!) I almost laughed in his face. I'm pretty sure this same guy who was itching to sell us another mortgage we couldn't afford doesn't approve of socialist schemes like subsidizing public transit, sidewalks or investments in non-auto oriented transportation infrastructure.

Julie said...

I love her too!

Geraldinefirequeen said...

How do I post you a picture of my own bike style?

She Rides a Bike said...

Geraldine, just send me your shots at Tell me a little bit about how you arrived at your style, your bike and what it all means to you.


Sam said...

I love her style too. I too mostly bumble my way around and occasionally pay attention to how I look.

Nichole said...

All manufactured goods have environmental impact, but bicycles can be produced for a fraction of the materials, energy and shipping costs of a car.


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