There comes a time, usually once, maybe twice a year, where I find myself going to a place or an event that people describe as "nice," "formal," or "classy." It's a rare occurrence, and not to say that I don't enjoy it, but it does require me to shed my usual attire of grease stained (chain print, of course) jeans and wear something deemed a bit more socially acceptable. Such as not this shirt (NSFW language there). Long story short, I'm going to a "nice" Christmas party, and I need to look pretty.
Since this party is pretty soon (read: two days) I wouldn't be able to do what I usually do in these situations and order something from Terry, who at the very least has nice clothing with a bicycle theme. And since it's also almost winter and cold outside, I needed to go out and find something that would keep me warm enough to not get cranky. Which is how I found myself wandering around Target last night.
This is about bikes, I swear.
I wandered, hopelessly, through the clothes section, trying desperately to use what I had learned in Color Theory to put together something that was at least decent looking and that could be worn while riding a bicycle. I managed to gather a few things that were acceptable enough, but needed to find tights, which I was told would be in/near/on a section called "Accessories."
Lo and behold, walking into the accessories section - the very first thing I saw, front and center, was a bicycle.
It was decked out with its own accessories - matching helmet and gloves, matching scarves and hats you could wear while riding it, and while it is still a Target bicycle, it actually looked pretty nice sitting there amongst the stocking stuffers and background Christmas music. For a second, sarcastic me kicked in, thinking "Wonderful. A bike as a fashion accessory...please." But then I realized that while maybe Target might be pedaling (no pun intended) a bike as an accessory, if at least one person does ride it and realizes how much fun it is and that it's a good mode of transportation...who cares?
I've had this conversation before when the fixed gear craze started really ramping up, and also regarding beach cruisers when I lived in Hermosa. People get really defensive and worry that these "newbies" will ride like idiots, or not take the sport seriously, or ruin it somehow for everyone. I hate this attitude. There will always be asswagons on and off the road, but at least people are riding and giving it a chance. Everyone started somewhere, and I'm sure that you didn't start out as an awesome roadie, but evolved from a Kmart mountain bike just like I did.
And while I don't think a bike should be a fashion accessory, at least it's helping the image of women cycling become more the norm. And it wasn't being advertised in a way that was demoralizing (hey guys, look, a pretty girl! BUY A BOAT) so I do have to give them credit there. Plus, lots of women were looking at it - talking about how cool it looked, how they could see themselves riding it. One girl remarked about how convenient it would be to ride it to school. It was an interesting social experiment, in a way, seeing these people reacting to a bicycle amidst earings and purses.
Thinking of all of the people that I know who got swept up in the fixed gear craze and now ride regularly (and not like asshats)...I'm hoping that maybe this is a good thing. I don't care what you ride as long as you love it - so if it suits you, ride on.
After a bit of digging, turns out this is part of the Missoni for Target design bike thing.
And, for those of you who were wondering, I did manage to find tights.