It seems like they are everywhere. Wearing skinny pants, carrying the ever-present messenger bag while pedaling furiously to wherever it is they are going. The bike of choice seems to be a road bike, but just as often you will see them riding cruiser bikes as well.
So whom I referring to?
I’m talking about Hipsters. Hipsters may have been the best thing to happen to cycling since Greg LeMond and “American Flyers” the movie. If you know either of those references, I’ve proved my point. Bicycling had gotten a little stale.
What happened to all of the cool movies and cycling icons who caught our imagination and made us want to be them? Well, it’s my belief that Hipsters and other pop culture enthusiasts may be the answer that we’re looking for.
Hipsters, who may or may not be Millenials, have created an energy and fun in an activity that can take itself a little too seriously sometimes—like golf. What’s the deal with all of the whispering?
It’s not just Hipsters making bicycling cool, the following groups have helped as well: Frugalistas, Bike to Work enthusiasts, bloggers and environmentalists.
Social media has enabled cycling communities to connect from all over the world, too. Soccer may be the world’s game, but bicycling is the world’s transportation. You can now go online and find: bike races, movies about bikes, and even do searches to find other bike enthusiasts.
Why do I think pop culture is making biking cool again?
People seem to be tapping into: the health benefits of riding, the possibility of saving money and the freedom that riding a bike brings. There are now biking events with local and national events, and the use of social media has helped grow this amazing community. Also, there are increasing numbers of people who are opting to live a car-free life or use their bikes to balance out public transportation usage.
I might not want to ride in super skinny jeans, but I do love seeing people speed by me on their tricked-out tall bikes, ride leisurely on brightly colored cruisers or spin by on their ultra-light road bikes. I feel like I’m a part of something bigger than me.
Even though Hipsters provide a lot of late-night joke inspiration, I like all of the different types of cycling enthusiasts that I meet. Their enthusiasm about bicycling matches mine and reminds me that the world is a small place and that we have more in common than we may realize.
Ultimately, we should embrace the emergence of these new cycling enthusiasts with open arms. There are so many ways to love this activity and that is the beauty of bicycling. While I’m waiting for another cool biking movie to come out, I will go to a cruiser ride, ride up and down blocked off streets during a local Ciclovia and hopefully get to ride in a Ciclovia event in Bogata, Colombia—the homeland of the awesome closed-to-cars events.