Biking Blowout

Have wheels, will travel

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

When I’m peddling my Trek cruiser to work—or to play—pretty much the only thought I give to what I’m wearing is to ensure my butt crack isn’t going to be making an appearance and my clothing won’t get caught in the spokes and inadvertently cause me to tumble into the street.

If you’ve lived in Bellingham for any length of time, you’ve probably already noticed that bicycle riders in this burg come in a rainbow of shapes, sizes, abilities and, yes, even fashions. Unlike me, some choose to consistently don racing jerseys and skin-tight Spandex—whether they’re whizzing down Galbraith or just riding from their house to the Farmers Market—while others keep it simple with T-shirts and shorts. 

There’s a whole other genre of riders who manage to look like they’ve just come from a fashion shoot. They don’t seem to sweat much, and their outfits exude confidence in the vein of “Yes, I’m participating in an activity that’s extremely good for me, and also for the environment, and I’m still giving careful thought to what I wear.”

In an effort to move beyond wearing jeans or yoga pants and Target V-necks while commuting to and fro, I’m considering going to Everybody Bike’s upcoming “Belle on Wheels” gathering happening Sat., May 11 at the Depot Market Square during the Bellingham Farmers Market.

The event, which focuses on both fashion and functionality, will feature a variety of spring outfits, handbags and accessories modeled on matching chic bicycles. The clothes will come from such fashion hotspots as 4 Starrs, Sojourn, Black Market, and more, while the sweet rides will be sourced from Kulshan Cycles, Fanatik Bike, Fairhaven Bike & Ski, Earl’s Bike Shop, and Jack’s Bicycle Center. And, for those who want to see what they look like on the bikes they’re drawn to, there’ll be the opportunity to star in your own photo shoot.

Since it’s National Bike Month, reps will also be on hand at “Belle on Wheels” to share information about other biking opportunities that will be happening through the spring and summer—namely Bike to Work and School Day and Summer Rides.

Bike to Work and School Day happens Fri., May 17 throughout Whatcom County, and the premise is simple: In an effort to draw attention to the both the physical and environmental benefits of bike riding, participants can stop by Celebration Stations on their way to work or school and pick up a number of free goodies—whether it’s baked goods, coupons from local businesses, vouchers to ride the bus or reflective tape (among other things). Plus, when each rider arrives, they’ll ring a cow bell in recognition, which is pretty cool. 

Summer Rides have kicked off for the season, as well. Two or three times a month through Aug. 25, riders can gather for site- and theme-specific rides focusing on everything from urban farms to trees to cows. On June 2, there’ll even be “That ’70s Ride,” which calls for attendees to wear polyester shirts or other relics of the hippie era. It’s a decade I’ve never grown tired of, so I think I’ll change out of my yoga pants and join the fun.

SVCR Don McLean
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