London is positively crawling with über-trendy cyclists. Cape-clad women on their three-speed Dutch bikes and cool-dude guys on their bright orange fixies are everywhere. When I cycle through hipster-tastic Hoxton on my ten-speed racer (she’s called Elspeth, by the way), I couldn’t feel more out of place. But in their wisdom, the City of London is attempting to promote cycling by emphasising just how trendy it is with a series of 40 photographs of London’s ‘most stylish cyclists’.
All the photos have been taken by fashion photographer Horst A. Friedrichs. They feature London dignitaries the Right Honourable The Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Michael Bear, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, and shoe designer Jonathan Kelsey.
The exhibition is being held outdoors, 24 hours a day, at the Royal Exchange, which is bang smack in the City. At the end of the exhibition the pictures will be sold off, with the proceeds going to The Lord Mayor’s Appeal 2011. This year, the appeal is called ‘Bear Necessities – Building Better Lives’ and it aims to help disadvantaged young people in the UK and beyond.
‘From fashionistas to financiers, an increasing number of Londoners are taking to the saddle,’ says Friedrichs. ‘The bicycle is now being seen as a reflection of your own personality and fashion choices rather than a simple way to get around. I hope the exhibition will show London exactly how you can ride in style and encourage more people to start cycling.’ I’m sorry, I think I want to vomit.
You know, if you really want to encourage people to cycle, you want to emphasise just how universal it is. Fashionistas and hipsters won’t help people who don’t think of themselves as a la mode and constantly on trend. Nope, it’ll just make cycling seem all that much more unobtainable. It would’ve been a far more inclusive and likely successful venture if you’d shown everyone, from couriers dashing across junctions to kiddies pedalling to school, via me on my racer and my friend Elena on the bike that she built herself (how cool is that?), as well as the trendy-types. Oh, and some more women, too.
You don’t need to be stylish to cycle, you just need a bike.
Still, the photos are kinda cool.
City Cycle Style runs from 28 September to 29 October 2011, 24 hours a day, at The Royal Exchange, London, EC3V 3LR.
(Featured image is of Jonathan Kelsey)