I checked out the Living Green Expo for the first time this past weekend, and the Bicycle Fashion Show was definitely the highlight! It was put together by the Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota and the Minnesota Environmental Partnership and featured more than 25 models and bikes. They did a great job of representing a variety of different Minnesota riding styles and demographics, though bike polo players and triple-decker bike gang anarchists were not depicted.
All you need to ride is a bike, but a bit of nice gear doesn’t hurt. It was hard to take photos and notes at the same time, but I did my best! Here are some of my favorite selections for women’s cycling attire and bikes:
“Speed Racer Woman” is wearing a jersey and skull and cross bones socks by Twin Six, a local company that combines technical attire with vintage graphics. Freewheel Bike provided her Trek road bike for the show.
This cyclist’s entire outfit and bike were provided by One on One Bike Studio. She’s walking with a Bianchi Metropoli.
This model’s dress is from Elle – The Chic Boutique and her bike is from Gateway Cycle.
This lovely lady is showing off her best rain gear, which would’ve come in handy that day! REI provided the clothes and the step-through is from One on One Bike Studio. I love how flash photography really highlights the reflective properties of bike clothing!
This Minnesota winter rider is wearing waterproof boots from Teva and a down(!) skirt, along with Pearl Izumi lobster gloves, a wool cap, and what I assume are wool tights. Her apparel is all from Midwest Mountaineering, and the bike is from Speedhound Bikes. I would note that while the side zippers make it look like the model could winter bike in this outfit, she would need a step through – that diamond frame isn’t going to accommodate her skirt (the frame is also huge!) Still, cute clothes and a snazzy bike. It’s got that trendy new belt drive that’s supposed to be low maintenance and great fenders to handle the slush.
I had to throw in the men’s winter biking model, partly because he was hamming it up and partly because he’s demonstrating a different approach to Minnesota winter biking than the women’s version. Again, you don’t need ANY of this stuff to ride in the winter. I do not have any of this gear and enjoyed my winter riding just fine. If you are the type of person who likes to go all out, however, you too could ride a Salsa Mukluk fatbike with huge tires and poagies, which attach to your handlebars. This guy also has covers for his clipless riding shoes and waterproof outwear with merino wool base layers. Outerwear from O2 rainwear. Bike and other gear from The Angry Catfish.
This Mom is riding an Electra bike from Boehm’s Cycle with a Burley trailer, wearing a Moxie jersey.
This very professional lady is off to a business meeting, wearing clothing from Athleta and riding a Tern folding bike.
Moxie Cycling makes the cutest race jerseys I’ve ever seen, and I’m proud to say they’re a local company! These jerseys were designed by women who didn’t like the options they had for RAGBRAI, so they made their own. This style is called The France Avenue, after one of the trendiest areas in one of Minneapolis’s wealthy suburbs. There are those Twin Six socks again, and the bike is a Bianchi Volpe.
Mom’s dress is from Title 9. Bikes are from Valley Bike & Ski and Nokomis Cycles.
Last but certainly not least, NiceRide (the Twin Cities’ bike sharing program) is represented by a model wearing a Lululemon “stuff your bra” tank and “ride on” cropped pants.
I admit that I completely underestimated the effectiveness of the small amounts of reflective taping that Lululemon added to this line. Clearly, it works pretty well. I’m also intrigued by Mr. Nice Ride’s shorts – the Synkros Hayes short from The North Face. From my front row seat, this fabric looked like any other cotton plaid, but the flash tells another story. A search turned up these similar pants for women from last season. Here’s to hoping The North Face makes something with this awesome plaid for us ladies in the fall!
I had fun at the show and also enjoyed talking to other bike enthusiasts who turned out. Local brands were represented by Banjo Brothers Bags (on a male model), 45NRTH tires (on that Mukluk), Moxie Cycling and Twin Six. Next year I’d love to see more locally based companies like All-City and Surly, and I’d especially love to see something more from the Twin Cities’ custom builders. I can see a big future for this fashion show!
NOTE: Since writing this I have realized that Speedhound bikes, makers of the sharp-looking silver and orange ride the Winter rider woman is walking with, design AND MAKE their bikes right here in Minneapolis. I am embarrassed that I didn’t know this before, but happy to be introduced to a great local manufacturer.