- Joyce's amazing world cycling tour kicks off today in Sydney! Join Joyce as she visits some of Sydney's coolest bike-inspired hangouts, and chats to Saskia of Sydney Cycle Chic! - Lucy x
Very cool exterior of Sable and Argent and some of their trendy Rapha Clothing
Our first destination is close to home – Sydney, which is just starting to embrace the concept of cycle chic. In Australia cycling is still perceived as a sport where you have to dress up in special clothes, be really fit and get hot and sweaty. That perception is slowly changing as people realise that cycling can be a really fun activity which gets you quickly and easily from A to B, out in the fresh air and is good for the environment to boot. When I tootle along the streets of Fitzroy, Surry Hills and New Farm I like to think of it as speed-window-shopping!
My first stop is Clarence Street Cyclery, a well-established bike shop in Sydney that’s just opened the only womens only bike shop in Australia. Jenny and the team at recognise that bike shops can be intimidating places for girls, so they’ve decked out the shop with a colourful mural of Sydney by ilovedust and they stock bikes which are made for the female figure (including beautiful restored vintage bikes from Sydney Vintage Bikes) and cute accessories such as wicker baskets and floral bags. The all-female staff are super-helpful and friendly and won’t make you feel silly if you don’t know what a derailleur is.
Bamboo Bike from Sable & Argent
I then whizz my way to the Woolloomooloo end of the Bourke Street Cycleway to Sable and Argent. This light-filled white-washed warehouse conversion is home to Rapha clothing, beautiful vintage-styled Bianchi bikes, Taiwan’s colourful Favor Bikes as well as exclusively selling the stylish and practical Copenhagen Parts Bike Porter and vintage French figurines known as ‘le petit velo’.
Next stop is Taylor Square, a little hub of cycle chic in Paddington which also hosts the Sydney Sustainable Markets every Saturday. At Taylor Square I spot Hattie, Ronan, Lisa and little Eddy, all looking very cool in their everyday clothes and their chic bikes. I also meet up with Saskia, the lady behind Sydney Cycle Chic who blogs about cycling style in Sydney and organises rides around the city on her gorgeous Velorbis.
Lisa and Little Eddie - too cute!
Hattie and Ronan - cool bikers spotted in Taylor Square
Saskia and I head off to Tokyo Bike, a small independent bike company based in Surry Hills.
Yuki and her husband import light and colourful bikes from Japan and sell funky accessories such as these candy-bright Japanese bike locks and the Cycle Signs by Trent Jansen (also available at CycleStyle). You may remember Lucy chatting to award-winning Sydney designer Trent Jansen before – he makes the reflective spoke and strap-on Cycle Signs out of the offcuts from his Cycle Stools and it’s an truly upcycled product.
Trent Jansen reflective strap-on cycle signs
Trent Jansen reflective spoke cycle signs
Time for lunch at Remy and Lees‘s, a little bike-friendly cafe serving great coffee and easy-going morsels at the Surry Hills end of the Bourke StreetCycle way. Over a mushroom quiche and toasted cheese sandwich Saskia and I chat about Sydney Cycle Chic and her involvement with the Sydney cycle scene.
Remy and Lees‘s - that's Remy top left!
Saskia from Sydney Cycle Chic
How would you describe cycle chic style in Sydney?
Sydney is slowly evolving its own unique bicycle culture and the more you dig the more you find. The style seems to be quite suburb-based so the students and young urban families in Newtown and Chippendale love a bit of grunge and vintage chic on their retro Schwinns. The Gen X riders in Balmain and Paddington are a bit more Euro classic and the cool young kids in Surry Hills love a fixie and mixing it up a bit streetstyle-wise. I think come summer I'll be seeing a whole lot of bikini style too!
What is your favourite cycle chic outfit?
[Laughs] I find myself consciously dressing up when I ride, which is probably just a reaction to the assumption that one must dress practically for comfort. I wear what I always wear and have a pretty eclectic style, mixing labels with 50's/60's vintage. The designers that most influence my look would be Easton Pearson and Gorman and I'm very fond of Funkis clogs or a heel for riding as they keep my feet nicely on the pedals. I just bought a wonderful Audrey Hepburnish 50's dress that I'm saving for summer cycling and a voluminous black silk dress from Scanlon & Theodore that will make good use of my skirt guard!
What is special about cycling in Sydney?
Sydney is definitely a city of villages and that makes it great for exploring different neighbourhoods. I do wish there were slightly fewer hills J There's something beautiful about the light in Sydney and the sun shines even in coldest winter.
Where do you go for cycle chic inspiration?
I find my real inspiration in unusual places, not always bicycle related and I have love affairs with old film, design and photography. My cycle chic affair, however, started with Copenhagen Cycle Chic and I always return there for inspiration.
Cycling hipsters in Surry Hills
Coincidentally on my visit to Remy and Lee’s they were hosting a Bake Sale to raise funds for Joy Ride, a Melbourne to Brisbane ride which will be filmed and made into a documentary for next year’s Bicycle Film Festival
in Sydney. Outside the cafe I snapped Matt,the organiser for the Bicycle Film Festival
chatting to his cycling buddy.
Chris and Matt chatting outside Remy and Lee's Cafe
One last note – if you’re interested in checking out the cycle chic scene in Sydney, why not go along to the next Cycle Chic Sundays
bike ride this Saturday September 11th (even though it’s a Saturday) where they’ll be stopping at some of the places I’ve talked about here.
Thanks for coming along with me today. Tomorrow we pack our virtual passports and head to England!