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Pushies are back!

What’s a pushie?  A push bike.  Remember when we called them that?  Well, they’re back!  Everything old really is new again. And we baby boomers will welcome them nostalgically.

I read an article recently about “cycle chic”.  And what it turned out to mean is that people are riding push bikes again, sitting upright and seeing the world instead of bending forward, hunched over handlebars and seeing the bitumen.  Hoobloodyray.  I never could understand the joy of whizzing through the countryside seeing nothing but the ground beneath your wheels.

And, being the 21st century, this is now turning into a cult, courtesy of the internet. Cults usually have a uniform, and so does cycle chic!

This is a fashion model wearing cycle chic. She also has a blog.

If you want to be really in the thick of fashion you might buy a quilted leather pannier from Chanel – part of a $10,000 bicycle that fashion house recently launched.  What you won’t buy is flourescent gear and racing helmets.  And you won’t hunch over.  You will sit up straight, gliding gracefully along a riverside cycle path, perhaps with a pooch in your basket, or your picnic lunch or perhaps with a group of friends.

I love it!  Not so long ago it was remarkable if someone rode a bicycle in a skirt and high heels.  Now it’s fashionable to do so.  And if you’re a bloke, it’s ok to ride a bike in jeans and boots or funky shoes or whatever you like.  And it’s alright to have a basket in the front or the back.

Cycle chic for the city.

I think the Dutch have always had a cycle culture which extended way beyond the mere sporting – more power to them.

Here in Brisbane the Brisbane City Council has introduced cycles for hire dotted around the city.  You simply enter your code, the bicycle is released from it’s bay and off you go, returning the bicycle to another bay when you are done.  The good thing about the bikes (I think) is that they are sit upright bikes, so you can see the city you are cycling through.

Brisbane City Council's City Cycle.

I think they are meant for both tourists and city commuters but either way, it’s nice to see where you’re going.

This “new” bicycle trend is in part a response to the cost of fuel, the overcrowded streets and roads and concern for the health of the planet.

You know the saying “it’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good” and this (cycling) is one of the good things to come out of an ill-wind (ill-health of planet etc.)  Think of the wonderful extras attendant on cycling in a sociable way – people will talk to each other, people will slow down their lives, people will smell the roses, perhaps it will even lead to more smiles, more friendship and if you keep joining those dots, perhaps it will contribute to world peace.

I know that’s a long bow, and of course cycling will not bring world peace on its own, but you can see how many small things can bring a big change.

I love the human spirit.  One way and another we keep on keeping on and good things keep popping out of “bad”.  At bottom I think all human beings want to have a good time, be kind to each other and live in harmony.  No matter how screwed up things get the “good” part of us keeps popping up, clamouring for recognition.

I’m going to get an electric tricycle as soon as I find the one I like.  My ordinary cycling days are over – but those electric bikes.  Have you ever seen or ridden one? Fantastic.  You can pedal when you wish and then turn on the power when you need assistance.

I could do my shopping at my local big shopping centre pedalling and powering, I could get to my friends houses or just go for a ride along the cycle paths.  I can buy a whole new cycling outfit too – and be part of the “cycle chic” movement.  This is a part of the 21st century I might just manage without tears and frustration – cos I’ve been there before.

For an Australian retailer of cycle chic accessories or to see an interesting blog, click here.

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