Back to the bicycle: how a lifestyle gives birth to a mass trendEfesti
1992. San Francisco holds “Critical Mass”: the first bicycle gathering designed to invade the streets normally congested by car traffic. The aim is to make people more think about a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, not sedentary, as well as an invitation to rediscover the city with different eyes. A phenomenon then spread all over the world where, also thanks to it we saw the birth of places entirely dedicated to the world of bicycles: the “CicloOfficine”. These are the places where enthusiasts, but not also, meet to exchange knowledge, opinions, experiences and where they can repair their own bicycles with recycled materials offering a personal price for it.
Ciclofficina Forte Prenestino, Rome
This phenomenon is a result from a healthier and environmentally friendlier lifestyle and has made cycling the ideal way to convey and spread all these principles, moving from niche practice in a real trend of mass fueled by investments in new technology and choices of city governments that have revolutionized their roadway covering the urban fabric of bike paths and offering bike sharing services. Indeed in 2013 the bicycle sales have exceeded that of the car in 26 countries of EU.
A real growing trend that the big fashion houses didn’t be late to ride, offering their own collections of bikes accompanied by series of related accessories. For example, think about Levi’s: it not only created an entire clothing line dedicated to bikers (Levi’s Commuter) but has also opened the Levi’s Commuter Workspace in three different cities – Brooklyn, Los Angeles and London – where events and meeting are held. The Commuter Workplace provides also services entirely dedicated to the doubtlessly most ecological means of transport: the bicycle. Another example is Freitag that created a collection of very resistant bags and accessories, ideal for metropolitan cyclists.
Levi’s Commuter & Levi’s Commuter Workspace
The changes of people lifestyle is inevitably bringing along a change in the sports fashion industry as well. More and more accessories for bicycles are being made based not only on their functionality but also on their appearance. As a consequence, the bicycles themselves have become “accessories”, loved by celebrities as well as the hipster world, that today allows us to express our personality through the wide range of objects, gadgets and accessories that allows an infinite variety of customisation.
In the end, it is here in Bologna, described by the Sunday Times as the “most hipster city of Italy” that arise two important Italian craft stores specialized in bike creation. One of them is ‘’Bruko’’ that creates bicycles demostrating the encounter between tradition and innovation: all-wood frames and components hi-tech, born from an accurate research and with a design inspired by the carbon steel bike. The other is Ri.Ciclo, a workshop in the historic center of the city that, by recovering bike frames destined to junk trade, offer a product with a valued design and a fixed mechanism. Creativity, uniqueness and reuse of materials are the cornerstones of this young man from Bologna graduated in literature and specialized in eco-friendly production that chose to work with his hands to create an ecological vehicle born from the interaction between customer and craftsman, a unique product designed to express yourself.
Above Ri.Ciclo bike; under Bruko bike