A strapless dress in the bike lane is a sure sign of summer

The sun is out and Portland’s streets are full of signs that summer is fast approaching — including this fantastically flowerly dress I spotted on my way to a meeting today…

A very good sign-1-2.jpg

Great to see for many reasons.

This woman and her dress are so great to see for a lot of reasons: It’s finally warm enough to go strapless, it’s a sign that she feels comfortable riding through the city in heels and a dress, it shows that biking fashion can go far beyond lycra and gore-tex, and it just reminds folks that anyone — even someone who’s all dressed up — can hop on a bike.

I tried to catch up with her to introduce myself, snap a few more photos, and try to explain I’m not a freaky-bike-lane-lurker, but I could barely keep up! She must have been late for a very important date.

One last comment…if biking in a dress is your thing, don’t miss the Pretty Dress Ride/Art Hop Bike Parade on Alberta tomorrow!


[By the way, if you’re waiting for my Sho Dozono interview and mayoral race analysis I’m sorry to say I haven’t been able to put it together yet. I need a larger block of time for it than I’ve had in the past couple of days. I plan to work on it tonight for publication tomorrow.]

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nahbois
14 years ago

just a teeny weensy bit creepy of you, jonathan….

πŸ™‚

girl on a bike
girl on a bike
14 years ago

And so it begins … I sorta like riding in the winter because the amount of clothing and gear keeps the cat-calls and ogling to a minimum. But I agree that there are few things more charming than cute skirts and dresses in close proximity to bikes. Funny how I have a much easier time getting cars to give me my right of way when the short skirts come out for the summer. And white knee socks can have the same traffic-slowing effect as a road flare, apparently.

halle
halle
14 years ago

\”even a pretty lady, can hop on a bike\” wow, biking must be pretty easy if even a pretty lady lady can do it. they usually aren\’t good at too much besides looking pretty. i wonder if the ugly chicks can do it too. wtf?

april
april
14 years ago

People who like that shot should definitely visit Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

Noel
14 years ago

\”even a pretty lady, can hop on a bike\” I agree, that wasn\’t the best way to put it =D

But yeah, most of the pretty ladies are afraid to get dirty …

girl on a bike
girl on a bike
14 years ago

Halle — I don\’t think Jonathan meant his comment to come off sounding quite the way you took it. I didn\’t put much feminist thought into my first comment either, but part of my point was that it\’s a little stupid that people who will impede on my right of way on a cold day when I\’m wearing pants will suddenly yield if doing so gives them the opportunity to check out a decent pair of legs. I think Jonathan\’s optimistically \”yay! pretty girl!\” point was meant to be encouraging, as in, \”even if you need to dress up to be someplace fancy, there\’s no reason you can\’t ride your bike there.\”

anonymous
anonymous
14 years ago

I am in love.

Patrickz
Patrickz
14 years ago

I second girl-on-a-bike; a mix of sunny garments, dressy shoes and a bike are a welcome sign after the wet and grey tunnel we\’ve been through.

Pete
Pete
14 years ago

Halle, I don\’t think Jonathan\’s comment was meant to be sexist. I know two girls who won\’t bike commute because they have to wear dresses and one \”wants to stay pretty\” (her comment, not mine). isamu\’s comment I interpret as sexist.

g.o.a.b. – now, when I wear a dress on a bike I don\’t seem to get the same respect! πŸ˜‰

patrik
patrik
14 years ago

Maybe he just meant: \”A strapless dress is a sure sign of summer\”

Seriously people let\’s not psychoanalyze EVERY thing.

~Freud

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
14 years ago

my \”pretty lady\” comment was more a characterization of a woman\’s spirit and style.. not physical appearance.

i figured that would be obvious but I see how it could have been misinterpreted.

i added \”all doled up\” to help clarify that sentence. Actually, on second thought I just edited it again and removed the pretty lady part.

cdotbois
cdotbois
14 years ago

All \”doled\” or all \”dolled\”?

[**Neither. I just changed that sentence again. Took out the pretty lady part. — Jonathan]

Michael R
14 years ago

Jonathan, you couldn\’t catch up? You\’re getting old my friend. Very old.

Eric Dolan
Eric Dolan
14 years ago

Good work Jonathan. Creepy…?!? Not the least bit…..rather casually elegant and full of beauty in our lifestyle, city and subject matter. Nice work!

Duncan
Duncan
14 years ago

Call me old school, but I see nothing wrong with appreciating a woman\’s looks (w/o drooling or cat calling, mind you), and I appreciate it when a woman takes a second look at me.

I have been on the west coast nearly half my life now, and I have never understood two things about the NW: one, why they cannot seem to use turn signals appropriately, and two why men feel the need act guilty about doing what men from time before measure have done- look at women. Just don\’t be rude about it, have a look, smile, move on… Jesus what is it 5th grade or something?

I myself have intentionally taken extra laps around the esplanade because of the fine view that a sunny day in Portland brings… and I feel now shame about it.

And Johnathan, that is a fine picture of a cutie with some… well it rhymes with cutie…

I am in Arcata today and the scenery is just as pleasing here- got off the boat and biked around, got some coffee and not only looked at, but *GASP* talked to some pretty bike girls I didn\’t know.

I know I should hang my head in Emo shame.

true
true
14 years ago

If she has a wardrobe of helmets to match her dresses, I will be well impressed. I should look so fancy.

Perhaps a red helmet to match the sunburn?

ralph
ralph
14 years ago

\”It\’s not the intent, it\’s the impression\”.

A lot of people got worked up about the user of the word \”bitter\” a few weeks ago. A pretty good example of intent vs impression.

beefa
beefa
14 years ago

I love all women on bikes. Regardless of the time of year. I\’m not creepy. just a big fan! πŸ™‚

mmann
14 years ago

I think it was Billy Graham who said in an interview that there was nothing wrong with looking at beautiful women, but it\’s often the second look that leads to trouble πŸ˜‰

Keith
Keith
14 years ago

Beefa

I hear a Flight of the Conchords song starting to play in my head.

Caroline
Caroline
14 years ago

Mega wattage hottage!

Jonathan, good spottage!

bosworth
bosworth
14 years ago

The \”pretty lady riding a bike\” issue is a classic \”misspeak\” We all know what Jonathan meant: that a woman in \”pretty mode\” – not a pretty woman who would otherwise be incompetent to ride a bike (I thought we were over that) – felt she could ride a bike in her dress because the weather was beautiful.

I have that pleasure when the temperature here turns the corner and I realize I can ride to my meeting in… what I\’m wearing; or what I need to be wearing when I arrive. (OK – I don\’t get cat-calls because I\’m riding in dockers and have a tie on … but I like getting a smile and a hello now and then! Thanks!)

C\’est Bon!

Michael Oman-Reagan
14 years ago

I love that two of the first three comments are totally absurd attempts to make this simple act of photography and appreciation of bike culture into something lecherous and sexist.

Yo Portland, chill out! : )

And as someone mentioned – this is in the grand tradition of Copenhagen Cycle Chic.

Opus the Poet
14 years ago

When I first read the headline I wasn\’t expecting someone to be wearing the dress in question. I honestly expected an article about finding a lost dress. I know, I\’m a literalist.

Noel
14 years ago

Nice re-edit of the post. We all know you meant to say did not come off properly. And about the eralier comments, that\’s what make Portland so sweet ^^

Male Allie and feminist
Male Allie and feminist
14 years ago

Of course I don\’t think Jonathan meant to be sexist in any way.

However, to assert that someone has to have intent to act in a sexist manner is about the stupidest thing I have ever heard. It\’s the collusion in sexist thinking – knowing or not knowing – that is the problem. That is why I think it is totally cool and awesome that folks cared enough to let Jonathan know how they felt about the characterization of the women in the picture.

I think almost everyone\’s comments has been totally reasonable. The only comment\’s I find problematic are the one\’s that portray objectification of women by men as some type of innate \”guy thing\”. That leads down a bad path, for which this forum is not the place to discuss. Yet.

Here is an idea… Jonathan, get a picture of my beautiful pasty, chain ring knarled, bmx pedal chewed, mtb scrapped legs when I am going over the Hawthorne this week you can objectify me, and project all the assumptions you want want.

Robin
Robin
14 years ago

it\’s true; all the pretty ladies are out in force. Maybe some of us ride all year but the weather is great for pretty dresses now. I can tell you as a biking fatty my wardrobe is getting much better now that I\’m less likely to get rained on. I have also seen a lot more bike ninjas (no lights, etc.) since the weather has gotten better (too bad most of them aren\’t black belts).

Graham
Graham
14 years ago

OK, I have to admit I\’m swooning over that picture. There\’s something about the sight of a woman in a dress on a bike on a warm day that sends me over the moon. It\’s this magic combination of old-fashioned girliness with the vigor, adventurousness, and athleticism of a bike rider. Possibly my favorite sign of summer in Portland.

I just checked that link for the Pretty Dress ride and, it seems, that the sight of a guy in a pretty dress has not nearly the same effect on me.

nobleviola
14 years ago

What about fat guys in Hawaiian shirts? I rode to work tonight and no one gave me props for wearing a cute outfit! πŸ™‚

Cpingenot
Cpingenot
14 years ago

I made a point of riding to work every day this week in a dress for bike week. Hope that a few people who are sick of $4 gas see me and think, \”maybe I could bike to work in my work clothes.\”
Having a dutch style \”city bike\” makes all the difference.

Robin
Robin
14 years ago

Even on a road bike you can wear a dress. I just pull on a pair of bike shorts of pretty leggins and I don\’t have to worry about showing off too much.

k.
k.
14 years ago

Viva la difference, I say! I look at women on (and off) bikes all the time, in an admiring, not lecherous way. I\’m sorry if that\’s inappropriate but it\’s hard to imagine I\’d have ever gotten married if I didn\’t notice them.

bahueh
bahueh
14 years ago

Jonathan..its your website, post what you want, and don\’t try to appease EVERYONE\’s sensibility and lack of humor or freespirit…

keep doin\’ what you\’re doing.

BikeBillboards dot blogspot dot com

Why do you ASSUME that\’s a lady?

Be the CHANGE you want YOUR world to be!

Jerrod
Jerrod
14 years ago

Good job, bro! Good job! Thanks for the posting.

Erik
14 years ago

Jonathan: I love the post. Listen to your heart. We are all human.

Julie P.
Julie P.
14 years ago

Great picture! A true sign of summer.

Props Jonathan to being sensitive to comment #3. Your first write up was well-intentioned, at least my reading of it. But I know some people that would interpret it that way. Women are (almost) always being judged by their beauty. On a scale that\’s different from men. Isn\’t biking suppose to be empowering and we want more people on a bike?? Well, it\’s baby steps like these that will help make the difference.

jamie
jamie
14 years ago

\”I’m not a freaky-bike-lane-lurker…\”

Riiiiiiggggghhhhhhhhhttttttt.

Brad
Brad
14 years ago

Portland – where ANYTHING said or written is certain to offend someone!

steve
steve
14 years ago

Oh the patriarchy just wont loosen its grip! The horror!

Gender is just in our imagination. We are all identical. Same thing with hair color and height. We are actually all 4\’8\’\’ and have brown hair.

girl on a bike
girl on a bike
14 years ago

For the record, I think men riding bikes in suits has this same basic effect on people who are attracted to men. I married my sweetheart in late March, and it was such a treat to ride our bikes downtown after the ceremony to our fancy hotel room … we were both in our wedding finery, and pedaling next to my handsome new husband in his dapper suit was a lovely way to kick-start the honeymoon mood. Yum! Looking your best on a bike can\’t be anything but beneficial to the cause.

Tasha
Tasha
14 years ago

I LOVE summer riding! I wore shorts and a tank top today and it felt so good! I don’t even care about the cat calls, if they happen. I could ride and ride and ride in weather like this. So glad my knee healed in time for this beautiful weather. Riding is more comfortable than walking for me right now, so I love my bike even more.

Elisasbeth
Elisasbeth
14 years ago

There is actually an entire Flickr group dedicated to cute people on bikes! Makes me want to dig out my camera so bad. Check it out…

http://www.flickr.com/groups/velocouture/pool/page9/

Ringo Star
14 years ago

FemNazi\’s go home! And please take your San Fransico values with you. The Horror of Men(and Women) appreciating beauty or beautiful Women! I think this prevailing mentality is why there are so many single beatches in Portland. Where are all the real Women at these days? When being Manly is outlawed only outlaws…

Deb
Deb
14 years ago

Important question – where did she find that lovely dress with taffata slip?

Zaphod
14 years ago

It\’s super cool when someone exhibits high fashion on a bike. Nice post.

deathtongue
deathtongue
14 years ago

\”get a picture of my beautiful pasty, chain ring knarled, bmx pedal chewed, mtb scrapped legs when I am going over the Hawthorne this week you can objectify me, and project all the assumptions you want want.\”

i cannot wait for this either, as it will allow mw to vent my frustrations at hipsters.

how do you all feel about Obama calling a reporter \”Sweetie\”?

april
april
14 years ago

Hey…while you\’re at it…could you post some pictures of cute guys on bikes?

With the weather warming up…good lord. I\’ve almost tripped over my feet or crashed my bike because I\’ve been checking out people on bikes. Male or female, everyone\’s on their bikes and showing more skin. My eyes are going to fall out of my head.

Bike Bat - Carye Bye
Bike Bat - Carye Bye
14 years ago

See you out for the parade with your hottest bikes tomorrow, and wear a pretty dress if you dare!

We are meeting at 2 pm at the King school parking lot at 6th and NE alberta. woo hoo.

bosworth
bosworth
14 years ago

Thank you April (#48) for what I believe should be the last word on the subject.

Although I must admit that I occasionally miss checking out a beautiful woman on a bike because I\’m distracted by her beautiful BIKE! That\’s why we are all here on BikePortland.org right? Because BIKES are sexy!