Madame est bienvenue! New IMF boss bikes to work!

Elizabeth Braw from HuffPo reports that Christine Lagarde, the new boss of the IMF, will bring her bike from Paris to D.C. so she can bike to work in her new environment.

Bravo, Madame! So far, we think you are a huge improvement to your predecessor.


He's just a hot dude on a bike.

Probably the best video about riding a bike that I've ever seen.

Le Velo

Face it - when you're hot, you're hot.



we've come a long way baby?

Velocipede, tobacco label, 1874

Resulting from the discussion of women and bikes last week, I've received some interesting links that shed additional light on the issue at hand - Why don't more women cycle?

First, a report from CNN about how the invention of the bicycle emancipated women. Women of the world who bike unite with me and say YEAH!

And following a similar yet strange wave, the wikipedia page about how cigarettes were marketed as an emancipator for women. (See? We can be brainwashed too.)

One step forward, two steps back - here's a study on how the automobile gave women more freedom of movement.

So it comes down to - well - spin (pun intended). If society says "the bicycle gives you freedom and you should spend your money on it," it has been proven that people, including women of every income bracket, will do just that.

Which brings me to the facts. Serendipitously, I received notice after last week's reaction to Elly Blue's article in Grist about a survey that was done on the state of women's cycling in North America. 13,000 women answered questions about why they cycle, where they cycle and how they feel when they do it.

You can download all the info you need here, and this reading material should keep you busy for a few days!

And this site, the Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals, will give you surveys, articles, webinars and more ways to get involved.

I think this discussion has opened a door to a wide superhighway of thought regarding the popular use of the bicycle by women. I'm happy to continue the discussion here on Vélo Vogue, and please take what you have learned or discussed here back to your own homes, families, neighborhoods, city councils and beyond.

We've come a long way, but we've got a long way to go, baby.


Vogue Around The Globe - Women of the World on Bikes

In response to the post of a few days ago regarding why more women in North America don't bike, I offer you these inspiring photos of the women who do, and do it every day, with pride and confidence. Thank you for being you!

from Chattanooga by Cameron Adams

Cycling at 35 weeks pregnant
from America's Midwest by Simply Bike

skirtbike 2011 by velobello (31)
from Bucharest, Romania by Andreea Velobello

from Toronto by 'Xander @416cyclestyle

from Holland by Dutch Street Impressions

2011_juny 274
from Barcelona by Bart Omeu

from Lyon, France by Soya le gato

WorkCycles Secret Service
from Portland by poetas

Pilen, the Swedish Guest
from Boston by Lovely Bicycle!

day1876 fri06may2011
from New York by a.pic.a.day

Great smile!
from San Jose by richardmasoner

That's a great smile to go out on. This blog exists to inspire you to get on your bike and experience the joy, the adrenaline, the euphoria, the connectedness, and all the other benefits that cycling brings an individual. My hope is that through these images more women (and men) will make the choice to put their butt in the saddle and start pedaling again!

Ride on!


or are we just plain stupid?

I don't know why more women in North America don't ride bikes more as their means of transportation. It makes sense to me why everyone should bike, but Elly Blue of Grist asks if it's the economy [stupid].

I'm not sure if I buy her argument that the sluggish economy and the disparity between men's and women's salaries contribute to women not riding a bike, though I do agree with most of Elly's conclusive statements in her well-thought out article. Personally (call me a conspiracy theorist), I think industry and government conspired to make women think that cycling was dangerous, by providing an infrastructure for cars and not for bikes, and therefore some of us find it unsafe and refuse to get on a bike and out there on the street.

I don't see any legitimate reason why your average middle-class North American woman doesn't find herself a set of two wheels and get rolling. Everyone has an opinion, and consequently, we had an exciting debate yesterday via Twitter and Facebook.

Here's what some of our followers on Twitter chimed in to say:

I believe that there are fewer women on bikes, but I don't buy the economy argument.

I think it can play a part, but it's just a piece of a big puzzle.

I believe that there are fewer women on bikes, but I don't buy the economy argument. (I agree. Flawed argument)

I agree too. Bad argument. No correlation between economics & female modal share in market by market analysis. And there actually is a correlation between female modal share & infrastructure quality. It's the risk aversion.

I don't buy the headline. If you read the article it's more like 'it's the infrastructure, stupid'.

Economics as explanation for fewer women cyclists?.. RT @velovogue "I don't buy it" (me neither)

One of the things that doesn't get mentioned a lot is that in Denmark, most women work part-time. When you work part-time multi-trip bike transport becomes easier to do. But the number of working women who say part-time work is ideal is increasing. (source: http://bit.ly/jOo2b9) 52% full-time, 12% part-time (source: http://1.usa.gov/laNJrE)

I don't buy it completely but interesting RT @velovogue: What do you think of this point of view? http://fb.me/UX1FpVP9

More cultural than economic IMO.

@skeskali It's larger than individual choice and responsibility. It's structural. It's systemic. And that's why I loved that Grist piece.

Not economy. Carrying capacity. I buy that. I live that. A trailer for a 4yo & 2yo plus panniers helps for now

In N. America, bike infrastructure friendly changes don't usually begin until poor neighbourhoods gentrify. But focusing on how cheaply you can get a bike is the wrong focus, IMO. I think it's very real for a lot of women who aren't represented in the "cycle chic" aesthetic

And from Facebook:

Peter Verdone
I don't either. I'll give them the time argument, but that's not the greatest factor of all.

Really, in any urban or semi-urban area riding a bicycle is far easier, quicker, and cheaper that driving a car no matter your gender. I'm sure all ...of these poor women own cars so it debases the entire article.

I think the biggest reason for the gap is that women are encouraged to and feel fine with making excuses not to ride. But nobody is going to print that.

Infrastuctre change will be nice but I'm not one that believes that its the real problem. I've bike commuted for the past 25 years off and on on the east and west coasts. Things now are pretty fantastic compared to the old days.

The heart of... what I'm saying is that when I put my bike on the bike rack of the bus each day, mine is usually the only one that goes on out of 3 spots. I've only been 'bumped' two times in the past 4 years. Until that changes, I'm not going to blame the infrastructure for peoples lack of motivation.

Anna Lebemosdeff
I learned to ride a bike on the mean streets of SF, and don't buy this POV either. Change begins with each of us, and as SFYBP states, there are many organizations ready to help get ppl on 2 wheels, regardless of sex or financial status. It's about enjoying the ride.

Maybe we'll never really know why more North American women don't cycle until we actually see them out in droves.


dad's debut

Happy Father's Day to all you dudes who also happen to be dads!

Yesterday, my dad suggested we go biking on Angel Island, a gorgeous state park that used to be the Ellis Island of the West and a military base dating back to Civil War times.
waiting for ferry

You can take a ferry over there from Tiburon, San Francisco and even Oakland. The ferry ride is all part of the fun.
on ferry

It was the first time in two years that my Dear Old Dad got on his bicycle (he had shoulder surgery). He thought he looked really cool in his Italian jersey.
kt & dad

It was also the first time his wife had ever gone to Angel Island, and the first time I'd been there since I was about 16 years old.
karen & kt
It felt like a new discovery for all of us!

So we were all thrilled that the weather not only cooperated but exceeded our expectations! Beautiful and clear! Sunny and warm! No wind to speak of! Amazing!
kt & dad with the city
I rode my single speed folding bike (a.k.a. the latte), which my dad kept referring to as the Monkey Bike (new name?).

We found many a picnic spot for next time...
old barracks
leaning tree

and got a good work out in with a few hills built into the perimeter...
pushing bike up hill

and great views around every turn.
city with tree

Though riding bikes with Pops on Angel Island was a first for us, it certainly won't be the last time.
dear old dad
Give a hand to my dad for making his Vélo Vogue debut!


chainless wonder

Here's something fun to think about - how about a bike with no chains?
No chain Bi Omega

Why yes, what better way to protect your pinstriped pants?
No chain Bi Omega

This bike from biomega gives you the freedom to ride wearing whatever you want.
No chain Bi Omega
No chainguard or velcro straps required.


armani one-ups darius

So I just gave you a video featuring a sleek pair of jeans from Darius, but I think Armani's got something on Darius here.

The scene at the end is a bit freaky, but I think it can also be interpreted as funny ha ha. What do y'all think?


What To Wear - Darius Pearson

Vélo Vogue and Mind The Gap have teamed up to bring you some simple bike commuter tips. First up, What To Wear for men, featuring Darius Pearson, manager at Chrome SF who commutes by bike to work daily. He tells us what he typically wears when he bikes to work or play.

Let us know what YOU wear to work! Especially the guys this time!


Mind The Gap - Trip to China

Check out my friend Laura's Kickstarter campaign for her film Mind The Gap! Help Laura film in China by making a donation! Laura is a talented filmmaker and her project on sustainable urban transportation is so important.

Here is what the project is all about:

MIND THE GAP is a multi-platform documentary project examining the exciting work individuals, advocates and governments are doing to foster sustainable urban transit. The project includes a feature length film, event series, and webisode series.

At the end of May we plan to go to China to film in Beijing and Guangzhou. I’ve been talking to the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy who just named the city of Guangzhou the winner of the Sustainable Transport award for 2011. They are very welcoming and will help us understand how Guangzhou got to where they are today, as well as help us find commuters to follow. In Beijing, I am speaking to a local producer who is able to put me in touch with local bike advocates, local commuters, and transit policy people. We will also film an eclectic Beijing native who is a subway engineer by day and is an experimental musician at night.


black and white and having a ball

The fitting word for SF fashion is "unique."
Black & White SF
I happened upon these two during a random street fair on Market Street.

Happy Friday, yo!


baseball babes on bikes

The bikes and baseball babes go to the ballpark!

KT Ade Robin Erin
KT, Adrienne, Robin & Erin (featuring Buster Posey - Dreamcatcher).

(If you were at the game on 6/5, you might have caught us during the sing-along on the big screen!)

We love our team! Black and Orange all the way!!!


summer hotness

The Dudes are Back!

shut your facebook (are those flowers for me? awwww shucks!)
shut your facebook
by Gabi~

Policía (is that a gun in your pocket, or...?)
by Claudio Olivares Medina

URBAN OUTFITTED (plaid flannel + man purse = metro hot)
by 'Xander @416cyclestyle

Showing us how it's done (show off those lovely biceps)
Showing us how it's done
by richardmasoner

Bob Weaves (let's cross that bridge, honey!)
Bob Weaves
by JoeMBPro

Urban Cyclist Project 111 (let that healthy head of hair flow in the breeze)
Urban Cyclist Project 111
by Velovotee

Thanks for being you, guys!



Let the green goddess lead the way...
Green Goddess

to a more sustainable future!

I've seen this bicycle parked at the Hayes Valley Farm. In San Francisco, I have the sense that we are evolving into a more liveable city.