The Best of City Cycling Celebs and Culture 2014

Posts on velojoy about cycling celebs, including song-writer Pharrell Williams, fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff and actress Charlotte Le Bon, were among your favorites last year. 2014 taught us that, more than ever, cycling in cities reaches beyond a means of getting around; it’s also a vehicle for creative self-expression. Embraced by celebrities, reflected in a growing array of fashions for pedaling in style and propelled by more bike lanes and bike share systems, two-wheeled transportation is hip, social — and increasingly mainstream. Here, a summation, admittedly biased toward New York City, of popular urban cycling culture in 2014.

Lead photo, upper right: Accessories to a Wedding: Solange Knowles, sister of Beyoncé, and Alan Ferguson rode away from their New Orleans wedding in fabulous style on matching white bicycles, her handlebars bedecked with softly hued roses. Solange’s bike-ready ensemble: a jumpsuit with a plunging neckline and a cape by Stéphane Rolland. Swoon. Photo: elle.com

Remembering a Gentleman Cyclist: The brilliant and beloved comedian Robin Williams was a passionate bicyclist who plied city bike lanes as readily as he shared the road with elite road cyclists. When he died this year at age 63, the cycling community remembered him for his kindness and generosity. Williams was, for a time, a regular customer of Bicycle Habitat’s SoHo store in NYC. In a 2010 interview, owner Charlie McCorkle remarked of Williams: “He can’t help himself, he’s telling jokes all over the store.” Photo: Peggy Sirota/Parade

This is “How She Do”: Pop songstress Katy Perry skipped the limo in favor of fresh air, biking to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for her Prismatic World Tour date in July. She posted her exploits to Instagram, wearing a considerably more demure ensemble than the one in the photo above from a more recent tour stop in Australia. Perry, who regularly rides bicycles, followed in the tire tracks of Beyoncé, who famously rode across the Brooklyn Bridge to her Barclays Center show in 2013. Photo: Paint My Bike

NYC Doubles Down on Bike Share: The largest bike share system in North America will grow even bigger. Acquisition of Citi Bike parent Alta Bike Share by a group of investors will provide the cash infusion to double the fleet from the current 6,000 to 12,000 bikes; expand to new neighborhoods in Manhattan and Brooklyn and newly to Queens; and upgrade software and equipment. The price of an annual membership went up, but Citi Bike is still the best public transportation bargain around. Photo: AM NY/Getty

New York is No. 1: Bicycling Magazine named the Big Apple the No. 1 bicycling-friendly city in the U.S. The magazine’s editor-in-chief Bill Strickland pointed to the variety and dynamism of New York City’s cycling culture, including its growing network of bike lanes, robust advocacy movement and introduction of bike share. “We wanted to reward the entire vibrancy of what’s going on in New York City,” he said. Bicycling formulates the rankings every two years; NYC ascended from seventh place in 2012. Photo: velojoy

Fashion Loves Citi Bike: NYC-based fashion designer Rebecca Minkoff shared her bike love by creating stylish backpacks designed to fit in the racks of Citi Bike and other bike share systems. The Bloomingdale’s flagship store toasted the launch with a party and lined the windows of its block-long Lexington Avenue façade with the blue bikes surrounded by helmeted manequins rocking the latest Rebecca Minkoff fashions. Photo: velojoy

Athleisure Wear is a Thing: Active apparel for daily wear was among top 2014 fashion trends. From sneakers on couture runways to coveted gym-to-street collections designed by the likes of Alexander Wang for H&M, the sporty look took fashion by storm. The Gap active wear brand Athleta even showed at New York Fashion Week. All this is great news for people who ride bikes. It means more choice in stylish clothes that promote comfort and ease of movement on daily adventures around town. Photo: Popsugar

Fine Tailoring for Cycling: Blending of fashion styling with performance features in clothing for men who make urban cycling part of their daily routines reached new heights with introduction of an exclusive tailored collection by the Italian brand Incotex for the e-commerce site Mr Porter. It includes a suit jacket (photo above), trousers, a dress shirt and two styles of polo shirts – all with cycling-specific features, such as reflective details. The tailored pieces join a selection of luxury urban cycling apparel by names like Paul Smith, Café du Cycliste and Brooks England sold online by Mr Porter. Photos: Mr Porter

On the women’s side, Net-a-Sporter, the active apparel site-within-a site recently launched by online fashion behemoth Net-a-Porter, must have missed the memo on the popularity of urban cycling. The new site seems to have snubbed two wheels altogether in favor of luxe togs for equestrian, sailing and golf. Will the New Year bring cycling clothing (for spin classes, at minimum) to Net-a-Sporter?

Happiness is a Bicycle: Further cementing his Renaissance Man status, Farrell Williams, who fell for BMX cycling early in life, designed a bicycle covered entirely in hand-stitched water buffalo leather (with a frame by Brooklyn Machine Works) priced at $16,500. Bonus track: Vivienne Westwood, designer of his signature hat, is noted for riding her bicycle around London – at age 71.

Greener Living Through Public Art: Last summer saw installation of more than 100 bicycle sculptures at 10 parks, plazas and other venues in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The public art installation, La Bicicletas, was created by Mexican artist Gilberto Aceves Navarro, 84, as a means of connecting art, healthy lifestyle and environmental awareness. “We need to do something so that all the green, which is the essence of the world, flourishes again,” Navarro said in an interview. “Bicycles are a great solution for this.” Photo credit

With the growing popularity of bicycling in urban centers, here’s an easy prediction for 2015. There’s more to come. Much more.

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