Fashion Friday: Chicago Bicycle Uniform

Earlier this week, I was sitting in Heritage enjoying a muffin and cappuccino, watching the morning bicycling traffic on Lincoln Avenue, when suddenly I saw my friend Maria (of Po Campo fame) cycle by.  I’m always excited to see a friend in the wild, so I texted her.  A couple of minutes later she responded that it could not have been her: she was still at home eating breakfast.  Either she has a doppelganger (it’s possible!) or I was fooled by someone who looked kinda alike and sported the same Chicago Bicycle Uniform.

As you can see by perusing the portraits on Bike Fancy, there is no set Chicago style (except for editing).   But recently I noticed that there are some accessories that show up often on Chicago’s bicycling women.

Screen shot 2013-01-11 at 8.06.14 AMresized

Nutcase helmet, Po Campo bag, fall/winter/spring boots, steel-framed bike, and a certain Audrey-esque casual elegance.  :-)

Of course, not every woman wears these accessories – not even close – but I’ve enjoyed watching them become more common through the years.  The prevalence seems to signal that more “regular” people (as opposed to kids looking for an adrenaline rush) are bicycling in the city now.

Have you noticed a sort of bicycle uniform developing where you live?

P.S. Biking home that evening, I spotted my friend Sara cross my path from afar.  When I got home I texted her, wondering for a moment whether I would be wrong again, but I was right.  I’ve yet to see another blue Pashley Poppy in the city.

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4 thoughts on “Fashion Friday: Chicago Bicycle Uniform

  1. “…there is no set Chicago style (except for editing).”

    I see what you did there and I heartily approve. :)

  2. Adam Herstein says:

    It’s okay that you visited Heritage for a snack, but please for your own benefit do NOT get any work to your bike done there. Their mechanic completely messed up my rear wheel and tire after charging me $80, and I had to take it to another bike shop to undo the damage they caused. The mechanic in question and the owner refused to acknowledge their mistake and instead chose to insult me. Read my Yelp review for more details:

  3. What a cute post! I ran into Kathy Schubert just this morning on my commute and she was wearing a bright new Nutcase helmet. I still need a Po Campo bag and my uniform will be complete ;)

  4. Ezra Rufino says:

    Is the dog a part of the uniform too? If so, I’d like to have a uniform also please.

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