Britney Dub of City Grounds Bike Shop in front of Utopa Restuarant in the East Village. Image: Allan Crawford
What an exciting week it's been! The January issue of Sunset Magazine came out with local Long Beach writer/author Jennifer Volland's terrific piece on Long Beach's bike-friendly East Village neighborhood and showcasing our brand new Bikestation. You can download a pdf of that section here. Bikestation is also featured in the January Bicycle Magazine on bike parking amenities around the country (but the January issue wasn't online yet when we checked yesterday).
Jennifer and her writing partner Cara Mullio will be our expert hosts for the upcoming "Mid Century Modern Architecture Tour by Bike" coming this April here in Long Beach. In 2004 Volland and Mullio published "Long Beach Architecture: The Unexpected Metropolis" and have a new book project in the works now.
Yours truly has been watching the fashion media closely for news and imagery of the bike and January's Vogue doesn't disappont. The lead image/piece of the "View" section "Light Cycle" shows a beautiful very sleek Ruby Aldridge walking an equally beautiful sleek bike - the only problem? Neither the bike, nor who makes this bike, are talked about in the article, nor is this piece on their website. Those of us interested in moving bicycling from a special interest of a passionate minority to a smart urban transit tool for anyone have our mission cut out for us in 2012 - the invite and challenge of the female fashion media to move the bike from a fashion prop and toy of the wealthy to editorial about how the bike is revolutionizing urban transit in chic and comfortable ways.
What I do like about the Vogue article is writer Sarah Mower's observation of optimistic fashion blooming on youth right in the face of our economic woes. It mirrors what I'm seeing and experiencing in many dynamic young people here in Long Beach. They have fresh ideas about the freedom and opportunities availalbe living within your means - if you're open minded and creative. They are ready to be in the spotlight and try out their ideas.
This week a new bike shop opened in my Alamitos Beach neighborhood called "The Bike Stand" exemplifying what I'm talking about. Owners Nicole Maltz and Evan Whitener know this Long Beach neighborhood, they know bikes, and they know they want to be super customer service friendly to women. The new Bicycle Stand store specializes in European style town bikes under $600.00 such as the hot Linus brand, as well as classic vintage models.
The Bicycle Stand is one of 16 new bike-related businesses that have either opened or expanded in the past year and a half in Long Beach. Charlie Gandy gives an insightful overview of this bike boom in Long Beach in his recent blog post "Are Bikes Good for Long Beach." Our answer? A resounding yes! What Charlie's blog illustrates is that bicycling in Long Beach is not a one-size-fits-all model. We are the most diverse city in the nation and our bike culture is dynamic and fashion forward. Yes we have the lycra clad set, but we also have passionate fixies and a growing and dynamic slow bike group dedicated to dressing for the destination.
On that note a little about the photo above. This is our second teaser shot from the upcoming fashion layout for WoBSoCal's January 15, 2012 issue. Model Britney Dub who works at City Grounds bike shop in Long Beach's East Village models another of designer Nona Varnado's bike friendly fashion jackets. Both Britney and Nona will be profiled in our upcoming January issue as well. Stay tuned!