BeSpoke and Being Seen


A huge thank you to everyone who came down to BeSpoke the weekend before last and made the event such a success.  What a fantastic afternoon in the sun:  amazing NZ talent, fabulous displays from all the designers and market exhibitors.  Dalston & Starfish made winter 2013 look so good – it was like a shiver of ice block goodness on a hot day.

And so great to see cycle style isn’t just limited to frocks as this years new designers proved:  KAF Kids, Kingdom Of, Sitka (check out their bike parking at their Newmarket store!), C-Unit, and 203H – Thank you!

What I love about cycle chic is it isn’t simply woven into garments, it’s an approach to life.  A bike unleashes the freedom to be yourself.

I honestly can say I’ve experienced moments of radiance on a bike, when the world seems to slow and all is right – peddling a vintage Philips in my wedding frock and equally bumping along, camera over my shoulder, in a cotton T on a dirt road in southern Mexico.

Those are my golden moments.

But like anything in life there are good days and bad…

Two years ago I went on behalf of CAA to meet Waterfront Auckland’s Events team for the first time.  I was 5 months pregnant, it was pourning rain.  After missing the Bayswater ferry I rode onto Devonport (still raining).  I arrived at the WA offices late, panting, and drenched.  A far cry from any image of cycle chic.

IMG_0701But I like to think if Gene Kelly can make rain look good I can give it a go too. Hold your head high and smile. I confessed that 5 years ago I was much more of a fair weather rider. But somehow my bike had gone from accessory to part of who I was.  The WA rep and I had few good laughs as I drip dried and I remember her making the comment “this is what we need to see/know” – the good and the not as good, if they were going to encourage people to cycle.  The day kicked off a great and heartfelt working relationship.

You see, day in and day out, when it comes to cycle style I am inspired by the runway of everyday life:  that’s all of you.  Aucklanders out enjoying a sunny day or making the best of a rainy one.   Last Sunday at BeSpoke I watched a young family cruise across Beaumont street on BMX as my own wee girl squealed and took off on her new trike – it was bliss.  Equally as awesome was the opportunity to be out meeting and talking to people about cycling in Auckland.

Bike culture isn’t just about being “mainstream.”  It provides safety in numbers and builds strength in public opinion to drive the planning and infrastructure changes we need on the ground.

Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 10.00.05 PMIMG_0697One of the best ways we can advocate for cycling is to get on our bike.  Whether you know it or not, you are going to encourage someone else to ride.  So smile.  Be yourself.  Whatever your style – get out there and be seen.

Thank you to all the designers who participated in Bespoke– for making garments we love to live our lives in and for supporting cycling in Auckland.  Thanks to Auckland Transport for supporting this important aspect of cycle culture. And last but not least to Waterfront Auckland and Fresh Concept, for not only taking in a rain soaked cyclist, but for week after week providing a place for people (and their bikes too!)

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Bike Auckland is the non-profit organisation working to improve things for people on bikes. We’re a people-powered movement for a better city. We speak up for you – and the more of us there are, the stronger our voice!

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