Saturday, 19 November 2011

Everyday tweed.

A tweed ride look, perfectly suitable for everyday cycling!

If you want to read more about the #2 Manchester Tweed Ride, read here and here.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

TweedRide Manchester!

Ladies and gents, here at MCR Cycle Chic we are delighted to share with you that, on the last day of British Summer Time, the lovely people of TweedRide have organised a ride... yes, this coming Saturday!

Meet at 2pm at the Whitworth Art Gallery.

If you fancy a bite to eat before hand, get there for midday and join like-minded cyclists for Wheelers' Brunch!

Don't forget to wear your best attire!

{Image courtesy of (c)TweedRide}

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Goodbye summer, Hello autumn

Goodbye summer!

As we plunge into autumn, we say HELLO timidly, as we are aware we have been missing from the blogosphere for far too long!

We are gathering material to carry on showing and sharing Manchester growing cycling culture, in the meantime we send out a request to come and join our Flickr group and to submit your photos of Manchester cyclists out and about in their everyday clothes.

They will be duly credited here on the blog.

We've mentioned in the past that we created this blog to share with others that everyday cycling doesn't require specialised, expensive clothing... but that to enjoy the many benefits of cycling - freedom, ease and speediness to get places - we can all just wear what we would wear if hopping on a bus, train, tram... you name it!

One day we'll proudly showcase images a la` Copenhagen Cycle Chic, but for the time being we'll be celebrating every little steps that this city and its cyclists will be taking.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011


... amongst a chaotic sea of street furniture and signage.

There's something quite calming about a cyclist walking his/her bike looking for parking, in contrast with the hustle and bustle of traffic speed and noise.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Catch me if you can...

It's great to sit at a bar, enjoying a drink and watch the world go by...

It's not so easy though to catch our Mancunian cyclists, who 'thanks to' that 'amazing' cycling infrastructure *insert level of sarcasm in here* have to dash to avoid being squeezed by traffic...

Looking good nonetheless on a lovely vintage ride.

We have a long way to go till we can compare ourselves to this:

Image courtesy of (c)Amsterdamize
And this:

Image courtesy of (c)Copenhagenize

Monday, 27 June 2011

Baby Steps

I think one of the best indicators of a cycling culture is parents cycling with children. In Manchester, as much of the UK, this is a rare sight. Seeing children being carried by parents with cargo bikes is an even better indicator of a healthy bike culture, and consequently an even more rare sight in the UK. I was therefore pleased to see what looked like a mother and child riding down Oxford Road with a Christiania cargo trike. OK, so if we had a booming bicycle culture I probably wouldn't have even batted an eyelid at the sight of this, but still, baby steps....

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Human Scale Transport

On my lovely ride to Chorlton for groceries today (via the Fallowfield Loop Floop) I saw a few older folk on bikes.

I saw the lady with the bike parking up at the cross-roads at the time I went into the supermarket. When I was leaving, it looks like she had bumped into a friend and elected to push her bike for a while so they could chat. Bicycles are remarkably "human" modes of transport, travelling by car, these two would never have had their chance encounter and a chat.

I bumped into this chap locking my bike up at the supermarket, he was sorting out a puncture. He seemed very impressed with my bike, mainly because he didn't know they still made, "Proper bikes." I saw him again on my way home via the Floop and I rode with him for a few minutes chatting about where he got his bike from and how he enjoys it because "It gets me around."

The encounter left me in a good mood, and I hope I had the same effect on him. This is the sort of interaction which only happens when transport is on a human scale, another one of the benefits of cycling.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Bike Babble: Vicky

Manchester Cycle Chic bike babble Vicky and Pashley
Vicky, outside Bicycle Boutique

Hello! What are you riding?
A Pashley Poppy - handbuilt in Stratford, weighing 18kg, with some fetching but quite useless Japanese cherry blossom and gingham panniers from RideLow. She is covered in stickers for Boneshaker Magazine and Copenhagen Cycle Chic and is called Maggie May. I love her so much I even had her name tattooed on my arm, which is increasingly a sartorial challenge when working with young people as I have to keep it covered up. I got her in 2009 on the bike to work scheme. She has cork handle bar grips, drum brakes and hub gears.
And where are are you going today?
The Spokes Royal Wedding Alley Cat which was an alternative celebration of Wills and Kate getting married and a chance to be silly on bikes around the town centre!Then went on Critical Mass and a street party in Hulme.
What's the best thing about cycling in Manchester?
The variety of cyclists - from hardcore mountainbikers through to hipster students on fixed gears. There aren't many other cities where there's such a range of people doing great things on two wheels - from bike dance groups to bike film's all going on.
What could be improved?
The infrastructure in Manchester is woeful and could be improved - in Trafford they've started taking away any cycle lanes that aren't at least a metre wide so that'll be most of them. This means I've lost count of the number of times my flatmate has nearly been killed by a taxi driver, there's always people parked in the cycle lanes and Oxford Road is a bit of a death trap. That said I'd rather be freewheeling with Maggie than sat on a bus.

Manchester Cycle Chic tattoo and Kellog's reflector

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Bike Babble: Amy

Amy, Oldham Street

Why do you cycle?
It's fast and it's pleasant, especially in summer. Also you get to see loads of things that you wouldn't usually see if you are on public transport.
What tip would you give others to try cycling?
Just give it a go, find a cheaper bike from a local bike shop but get a good lock!
What would you like to see improved for cycling/cyclists?
Get proper lanes, nice and wide, so not to be pushed against buses. A new system that encourages cycling!

Thanks Amy! We hope you enjoy this glorious sunshine!

Tuesday, 3 May 2011


Cycling; it's not just for the healthy. This is Coyote (named for his bike), spotted at Critical Mass having a smoke on his bike. Just like in any group, some cyclists are also smokers. We are all just people after all.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Over the tramways

Spotted in Manchester City Centre by Alan, these chic cyclists braved crossing the tram tracks! But with style and aplomb nothing can stop them.

You can find more of Alan's Manchester Cycle Chic photography here

Bike dancing

Les Velobici at Chorlton's Big Green Festival
The Spokes at Chorlton's Big Green Festival
At the Big Green Festival in Chorlton last Saturday, bike dancing ladies The Spokes took on Bristol's Les Velobici. It was a fierce battle featuring white wigs, hula hoops and Kraftwerk's Tour de France. The winners? Everyone.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Pimp your ride

At Chorlton's Big Green Festival on Saturday there were all sorts of bikes. Mountain bikes. Racing bikes. Battered bikes. Shiny new bikes. And customised bikes - lots of customised bikes.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

There is nothing wrong with this man

I spotted this chap, presumably about to set off home by bike. He is dressed in bike-specific trousers, jacket and even shoes, with a high-visibility tabard and pannier cover and a helmet. There is nothing wrong with this man.

The Cycle Chic movement was borne partly out of a desire to "re-normalise" cycling, to make it feel like a normal everyday activity which almost anyone can enjoy. I imagine the man in the picture is happy with his choice of clothing and his bicycle, and I say good for him. Some people misinterpret the cycle chic movement as being against cyclists like the man pictured, but this is not at all the case. What we are trying to show is that his way of cycling is not the only way. He prefers to wear specialist cycle gear but someone else may prefer not to.

The problem here in the UK is that the cycle industry and mainstream media portray cycling solely as a sporting activity, which attracts people who are predisposed to enjoying cycling for sport. What it also does is put-off people who want to cycle a few miles to get around, visit the shops or meet a friend for lunch by making it seem like an energy-intensive activity requiring specialist gear, sporty bicycles and a lot of perspiration. The aim of the Cycle Chic movement is not to find the most fashionable cyclists or to direct hate at sport-focussed cyclists who wear specialist clothing. It is simply a way to try and redress the imbalance in the image of cycling in the UK, where too much focus is given over to sport-cycling and the potential for the bicycle to be used as everyday transport is all too often overlooked.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Cycle Chic Estonia - Manchester visit

While browsing fellow Cycle Chic blogs, we came across Cycle Chic Estonia! And it so happens that they visited Manchester back in 2009, and already noticed a good cycling community back then, saying "... much more cyclists than Tallin, Estonia".
All images copyright of Cycle Chic Estonia

We recommend heading over to their blog for some great photography of Estonian citizens cyclists.

Thursday, 31 March 2011

Sure signs of spring!

Although Manchester rain has returned, the sunshine of last week brought out the first signs of spring in our cycling community too.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Silver cyclist

It's nice to see the occasional more mature gentleman cycling down student-dominated Oxford Road once in a while, and looking stylish at the same time.

Bike babble: Richey

Richey, Piccadilly Gardens
Hello! What bike are you riding?
A York Free Spirit. I've not seen many of them about, and I'm not sure if that's because there's not many of them or because nobody wants one.
And where are you going today?
I'm going home to south Manchester. I've been out shopping in town today.
What's the best thing about cycling in Manchester?
The lack of hills.
What could be improved?
The existing cycling infrastructure... road markings could be more clearly illustrated, and I think the council has a long way to go in providing cycling facilities.
We like your panda t-shirt.
My panda t-shirt likes you.

Monday, 28 March 2011


Manchester cycle chic Florence bike
Manchester cycle chic Florence bike
Spotted this nice custom paint job outside Sainsbury's in Fallowfield. Wonder if Florence is the name of the bike, or the bike owner?

Sunday, 27 March 2011


No matter what bike you have, a basket is always a pretty addition. As well as being rather useful!
Plus, you can customise it no end! Flowers, ribbons, bunting, toys, stickers... you name it. The basket below is from my bike, silk purple flowers are bound to steal a smile everytime I ride.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

Walking your bike

Who says you have to ride your bike all the time, the brilliancy of the bike is that with friends sans vélo, you can easily walk your bike, and chat, and have fun... and look rather dapper, as this fine chap illustrates!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Northwest is Best

Photo by LC. Thanks!

Hello! I'm northwest is best, one of the contributors to this fine blog. Cycling isn't one of my passions - it's just something that I do everyday to get around. And when I do cycle, it's in my normal clothes. Well, I call them 'normal', but they're a bit brightly coloured for some people.

Oxford Road

Oxford Road cycle chic
Oxford Road is one of the busiest cycling routes in Manchester, full of students heading to the two universities and people commuting into town. You can see all sorts of bikes and all sorts of cyclists, from front racks to flip flops and ponytails to printed backpacks. The charming fellow at the bottom left has even matched his t-shirt to his bike frame. Bravo!

Oxford Road cycle chic
Oxford Road cycle chic

Welcome to MCR Cycle Chic

Oxford Road cycle chic
Well... how long did you expect Manchester to go on without its very own Cycle Chic blog?

Inspired by the original Copenhagen Cycle Chic, we've decided to start recording the growing trend of original, relaxed and chic cycling of this city made famous for its textile AND engineering industries.

So, without further ado, let's commence our showcase of Manchester Cycle Chic!
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