Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Stylish cycling couple promotes "velocouture"

Posted by on March 29th, 2007 at 10:54 am

Local couple Patrick Barber and Holly Maguire want to infuse a heightened fashion sense into cyclists everywhere.

They recently started an online community — via the popular photo-sharing website Flickr — to unite fellow velo-fashionistas. Check out some of the fantastic cycling styles on their Velocouture photo group.

Here’s a great shot of Patrick and Holly in the duds they sported at the recent Alice Awards party:

You can read more about Velocouture and see photos of well-dressed cyclists from all over the country on their blog.

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  • pushkin March 29, 2007 at 11:52 am

    Great photos, I always knew that Portland was the most fashion-forward bikey city. Good to finally see other bikers who understand that you don’t need spandex and helmets to look cool!

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  • Carl March 29, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Long live wool!

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  • WOBG March 29, 2007 at 12:39 pm

    Ummm, yeah to post #1. A helmet is not needed because looking cool will save your noggin when a “situation” occurs beyond your control. Do I have that right?

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  • pdxrocket March 29, 2007 at 12:49 pm

    I wear spandex and a helmet for comfort and safety respectively.

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  • da Square Wheelman March 29, 2007 at 1:15 pm

    A Fred (or Fredrika) by any other name is still a Fred %)

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  • Andrew March 29, 2007 at 1:16 pm

    I’ve seen that Kogswell on the left rolling around. 650b word

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  • Scout March 29, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Yay for Patrick and Holly! They’re good folks. =)

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  • Cecil March 29, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    If you read Patrick’s blog posts on the subject, you will note that he makes the point that different rides allow/require different wardrobes. There are a lot of wardrobe variations that I can get away with for rides that are less than 15 miles one way, but after that I start heading into spandex territory. That said, I would be hard pressed to say spandex ever looks “cool.” It is, at best, functional and, at worst, really unattractive.

    My favorite personal cycling outfits date from my days as a UCSB co-ed in the early 80s – I rode to school almost every day in a minidress or skirt and Candies high-heeled pumps. Fortunately, there are no photographs of that period left unburnt.

    As for helmets, there is no rule that you can’t wear a helmet and be stylin’ at the same time.

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  • ridealot March 29, 2007 at 1:33 pm

    This morning my dayglow windbreaker did a big part in saving me from getting nailed by a Frito-Lay truck.

    Hi visiblity. Now that is fashion.

    And I’ll keep my helmet.

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  • Coyote March 29, 2007 at 2:33 pm

    Ba ha ha ha ha ha! Nice knickers dude.

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  • Garlynn March 29, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Hmm… they seem rather stylish, though they also kind of look like the nihilists from The Big Lebowski.

    And, where are their helmets?

    Anybody can put on some stylish duds, then jump on a bicycle.

    It takes real talent to remain stylish while rockin’ a helmet, too.

    I’d urge these self-styled fashionistas to put their skills to use making helmets fashionable. It’ll save lives. And hopefully, if enough people voluntarily do it, there won’t be a Ralph Nader in the future who calls for making the wearing of a helmet mandatory for everybody (ala seatbelts in cars).

    At least it looks like her bike has a bell, though I can’t tell if his does or not.

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  • Cecil March 29, 2007 at 3:21 pm

    Um, folks? Patrick and Holly are standing in their garage posing for a picture. Who is to say that they did not then put on helmets to ride off to the awards? Personally, when I am having my picture taken, I try not to be wearing my helmet unless I am actually riding my bike, in which case I would of course have my helmet on. My helmet may be an important, and stylish, accessory while I am riding, but I generally don’t need it while just standing around posing, and I am guessing that is true for almost everybody.

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  • Syclist March 29, 2007 at 3:33 pm

    Cecil, yopu’re right, the shot of them is in their garage, but if you check out the Flikr shots, there are very few, if any, shots of folks with helmets, on or off a bike. My favorite was a St Patty’s day shot of a stylin couple on a tandem, with no helmets, and the caption mentioning they had been drinking. Biking without a helmet after drinking is so unfashionable, I don’t care what you are wearing. I know too many people who have been in crashes out of their control. Some were saved by helmets, and some have had permanent brain damage. Dress how you like, but come on, please wear a helmet.

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  • N.I.K. March 29, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    What’s the big deal? They’ve skillfully reinterpreted late 1800s/early 1900s cycling garb for the sake of *fashion*. It’s a style thing they’re associating with bikes. Not my bag, but hey, they dig it, and as a function-oriented guy in terms of both biking and attire, I’ll even break down and admit it looks pretty damned cool. If this is their way of participating in the part of bike culture that goes beyond riding in and of itself, more power to ’em. It might even draw some more people’s attention to cycling, and as much as everybody loves to gripe about people getting involved because it “seems cool”…well, isn’t it, in the end? 🙂

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  • Cecil March 29, 2007 at 4:51 pm

    N.I.K. is right, and Patrick’s wool knickers are not only stylish but eminently functional – just ponder the number of messengers around town who have torn or cut their pant legs off at the shins – how is that so different, really, except that the tailored knickers sure look nicer –

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  • edward March 29, 2007 at 5:44 pm


    They look like every other hipster doofus in town to me. How is dressing like everyone else stylish?

    How does anyone find time in the day to take themselves that seriously? They look like they need someone to run up and throw a couple pies in their smug faces to me!

    The surest way to look ridiculous is to take your looks too seriously.

    I mean look at that picture! We should add it to Wikipedia under “pretentious”.

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  • Kronda March 29, 2007 at 6:06 pm

    Tossing a big, “What he said” Cecil’s way. They’re *posing* not riding. Lighten up already! Never ceases to amaze me what people will find to A) bitch about and B) rag on other people’s good time.

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  • SKiDmark March 29, 2007 at 8:05 pm

    What a bunch or sourpusses, you post-ers are. That was a fun photoset and it prove that one does not have to wear “team kit” to look cool on a bike. There are a few helmets in there if you look at all the pictures.

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  • N.I.K. March 29, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    How does anyone find time in the day to take themselves that seriously?

    Ummm…they give two shits about something that neither you or I do, maybe? Is it that perplexing? Different people have different priorities and interests. Get used to it.

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  • SKiDmark March 29, 2007 at 9:30 pm

    Why do you think these people take what the are doing seriously, maybe they do it because it is fun? Also some of the pix are from the Zoobomb Calender so they are deliberately costumed and posed.

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  • EJ March 30, 2007 at 7:22 am

    put a straw hat on Pat and SMV sign on his bike and he’ll fit right in with the Amish.

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  • Anonymous March 30, 2007 at 7:36 am

    Heck, levis and carharts work for me. I wonder if there are any “cool” bike shoes that compliment these fine garments. Dudes boots aren’t going to help him ride up the Interstate hill, so I guess he better look cool pushing it.

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  • janel March 30, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Fashion is self-expression, creative and if done well, nice to look at. Cyclists are probably the most highly visible mode of transport. I say the more attractive cyclists look, the more attractive cycling will be to non-cyclists (with helmets of course).

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  • Sasha March 30, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    And I second Janel, except to say that helmets are purely optional!


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  • Cecil March 30, 2007 at 12:48 pm

    I’ll second Janel, but not Sasha. Traumatic brain injury is definitely not fashionable.

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  • Burr March 30, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Why are there always some folks who think we need to be constantly bombarded by the helmet nazi circle jerk? Helmets certainly have their place, but get real folks, there are lots of low-risk cycling activities for which a helmet is not essential.

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  • Greg Raisman March 30, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Food for thought on the essential nature of a helmet:

    Nationally: Between 1996 and 2005, there were 6,592 bicycle fatalities without helmets compared to 493 helmeted fatalities.
    (source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Bicycle Fatality Facts 2005.)

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  • Cecil March 30, 2007 at 2:09 pm

    “Helmet nazi,” huh? Yeah, I can definitely see a connection between the policies of the 3rd Reich and my attempts to convince people that wearing a helmet while riding a bike is in their own best interest.

    Be that as it may, given that I have more than one good friend who has suffered a TBI from taking what seemed to have been a slow-mo fall in a “low risk” cycling activity, I will continue my personal campaign to convince every biker to wear a helmet.

    Besides, those shiny knee-high jackboots I apparently should be wearing would look pretty sharp with my orange Metropolis.

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis March 30, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    Now that Greg Raisman has given us the hard numbers on helmets and Cecil has pointed out that no one ever goes out for a ride thinking they’re going to smack their head against something, here’s the final word on helmets: When you suffer a TBI because you weren’t wearing a helmet, who will pay for the basic care you will need for the rest of your life? It’s either (a) an insurer, or (b) Medicare/Medicaid. Because insurers jack up rates to pass on costs and because I pay taxes, the ultimate answer to who pays is ME! And everybody else.

    So save the “libertarian” schtick. You only have the right to do as you please if it doesn’t cost other people money.

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  • Burr March 30, 2007 at 3:54 pm

    So I guess y’all are going to start lobbying in Salem for a mandatory adult motorist, ped and cyclist helmet laws? Because of all the motorists and peds that died in crashes – and there were more of both of these groups killed than cyclists during this same time period – none of them were wearing helmets.

    Besides, Greg’s statistics are worthless for making a determination as to whether or not helmets would have improved the chances of the non-helmeted cyclist fatalities, a perfect example of the manipulation of statistics for a predetermined conclusion which the data does not support.

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  • SKiDmark March 30, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    How about Helmet Zealot? Trying to convert others over to your beliefs, and telling them the will die if they don’t.

    If you want pictures of hipsters wearing helmets and all kinds of safety gear you should go to Zoobomb. Ah… the irony…except that the safety gear is not some lame ironic statement, it is just necessary. But somehow we don’t need a “rule” to tell us to wear a helmet, common sense (and pain) work fine.

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  • SKiDmark March 30, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Attornatus_Oregonensis: maybe the person who tagged you with their car when they “didn’t see you” should pay for your head injury? How’s that for personal responsibility?

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  • Jacque March 30, 2007 at 5:22 pm

    “Helmet Zealot circle jerk” He he, I love that one.
    Haven’t we heard time and time again that the number one thing that makes cyclists safer is to have more cyclists on the road? A lot of people think that if we all looked more “normal” on our bikes, it would encourage non-riders that they too could get on a bike; the message is, riding a bike just isn’t that big a deal. If that’s true, then all of those people who hop onto their bikes in their regular (personally styled) attire are doing something that could make us ALL safer in the longer run of things. I say thankyou.
    SKiDmark, love this too- “If you want pictures of hipsters wearing helmets and all kinds of safety gear you should go to Zoobomb. Ah… the irony…except that the safety gear is not some lame ironic statement, it is just necessary.”

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  • Serge March 30, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    I rarely wear a helmet, mostly because I am stupid.

    I have seen an experienced daily cyclist take a fall in an empty parking lot while climbing on the bike and just starting to pedal.

    He lost 5 teeth, sustained a concussion and fractured his ocular cavity. Helmet might not have saved his teeth but absolutely would have prevented the other two.

    A courier friend of mine in Eugene went down on the bike path along the river. Slow speed on her cruiser. A dog decided it needed to attack her front wheel. Concussion, hospital for a week and 40 or so stitches on her noggin(her head bounced a few times).

    I don’t think we need a law requiring helmets and I am all for our collective rights to be morons, but please save the crap about low risk riding. Sh!t happens and not just while touring, racing or mtn biking.

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  • Jacque March 30, 2007 at 5:59 pm

    Oh, and here’s a good question, what comes first the chicken or the egg?
    I’ve been admonished more than once “this isn’t Amsterdam! They have far more cyclists there, so they are safer w/out helmets”. Well, I notice that they dress in normal street attire while riding a bike there too. Helmets and lycra never quite caught on in good old Europe. And compared to here, lots more people there seem comfortable using a bike to get to where they’re going. Is it just coincidence?

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  • Cecil March 30, 2007 at 7:46 pm

    “So I guess y’all are going to start lobbying in Salem for a mandatory adult motorist, ped and cyclist helmet laws?”

    Nope, I’ll just stick with letting each helmetless rider know on an individual basis that he or she should really consider the consequences of his or her decision to go lid-less.

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  • pdxrunner March 31, 2007 at 7:34 am

    I’m not wearing a helmet, period! I want my brain to look good splattered all over the road when that next car cuts me off. I also only wear really baggy clothes, so I look good when my pants get caught in the chain. Greese stains baby!

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  • Sasha March 31, 2007 at 2:34 pm

    And I as a helmetless rider will look back at those espousing their own beliefs to me and say in the immortal words of one Mr. B Simpson “bite me”. Seriously. Your opinion is valid but so is mine. At the end of the day it is my choice alone.

    I happen to believe that this country is absolutely pre-occupied with safety, to its own detriment. So much so that we get caught up on airbags and helmets, kids in front seats versus back. Oh don’t eat that it could kill you. You best not travel there you could get sick. Oh we better make that illegal!

    You know what? Live a little. If you want to gear up, go for it. But if I don’t, let me be. I will go out on a limb and guess that the end of the day bottom line actual impact of helmet free injury costs to the common good is pretty insignificant. It probably doesn’t even rate against say, oh, the fees people pay the FCC via their phone line without question.

    If you care, and I’m sure you do, just engage the people you know in conversation about it. But if I ride past you and you say “where’s your helmet?” you might as well be saying “jesus is your savior” because it’s the same thing. I think I lost my helmet in hell a long time ago.


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  • Richard Wilson March 31, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    It’s somehow comforting to see that even BikePortland is not exempt from Godwin’s law…


    Where are all the photos of dudes like this in spiffy suits? When I see this sort of thing in Portland I’ll know we’ve reached platinum…


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  • Coyote April 1, 2007 at 8:04 pm

    **comment deleted for inappropriate language and insults**

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  • Elly April 2, 2007 at 9:39 am

    Helmets aside, I love that P + H are promoting velocouture. One of the biggest barriers to cycling for me always has been the question of how to look good, not just on the bike but once you arrive at your destination. All you critics can call me shallow, but I’ve always prefered to look sharp for things like job interviews, business meetings, dates, costume parties, at office jobs, and really any old day. So often it’s just easier to drive or take the bus, even more so if it’s rainy or hot. So yes, what you wear while cycling matters, especially if you plan to get off your bike at your destination. Learning how to dress for biking doesn’t just come naturally. Some kinds of skirts work, some don’t, ditto with shoes, pants, hats, fabric types etc. So it’s key to have places to share ideas, and this is a pretty good one.

    Patrick and Holly always take the constraints imposed on wardrobe by bikeability, and turn them into classy virtues. I aspire to do half as well.

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  • J-On-Bike April 2, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    The two accidents I’ve had on my bike involved me and my stupidity. So personally, I will wear a helmet to protect me from me. 😉

    As for stylish helmets…maybe equestrian helmets might be a place to start? Some are velvet-covered if you want some sartorial flair!

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  • Attornatus_Oregonensis April 2, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    “And I as a helmetless rider will look back at those espousing their own beliefs to me and say in the immortal words of one Mr. B Simpson “bite me”. Seriously.”

    Until you hit your head. Then you’ll just stare off into the distance, unable to form the words for even the most inane two-word responses. Seriously.

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