Saturday, April 17, 2010

Women of Philadelphia

One of the most heartening aspects of my trip to Philly was the ladies. I was so happy to see an established culture of cycling women, wearing everyday fashion. Philadelphia sets the fashion bar pretty high anyway, so the ridership was a real example of 'cycle chic'. Cycling has become an everyday part of life in a city that already embraces public life, sociability, and unique local culture.

But again, no one seems to know about it. It didn't make Copenhagen Cycle Chic's list of cycle chic cities from around the world. Not even runner-up. All the comments on here, and all the comments I've heard from my friends, have been total surprise. No one has heard anything about bicycling in Philly, or about culture and fashion and streetlife in general. I did an internet search before going there, and pretty much came up with a blank. There was a little something about making bike lanes on Pine Street permanent. Not much else.

I also have a vague recollection about Philadelphia being used as an example of unequal male-female cycling ratios, based on data from last year. I tried to look this info up for this post but couldn't find it. There were more men than women, but the share was much closer than Atlanta. Of course, in Atlanta, it would be hard to measure the ratio at all, due to the small sample size...

Well, cycle chic is alive and well there. And while this is not a cycle chic website per se, I do like to see ordinary women riding in ordinary fashionable clothes, the way I do. So here are a few of the coolest women I saw, including the businesswoman from earlier in the week. This first photo is at Pine Street and 23rd.

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