Post 104: Bikes

As I mentioned in Post 103: Hats and Hair, people riding bikes almost always have the best hats, as well as other interesting accessories like gloves, sunglasses, Darth Vader masks, and capes(!) in the summer. But sometimes the bike itself is accessory enough to render its rider cooler than you.

I mean, even without an amazing bike, this guy is probably cooler than you, no?

I love the color palette… He looks so classy, clean, and cool between the hat, blazer, pale blue pants, and shoes. What a true gentleman!

The biggest, best hat I’ve seen on a woman lately has definitely been this one:

And not only does she have a large, floppy pink hat, but she’s also sporting those elastic forearm protector thingies… I don’t know what to call them because I’ve never seen them in America before, but these things are actually super functional because they keep the lower sleeve area clean when people are working. I think we can just call them EFPs for the moment, but I’ll take any suggestions for names of this unique accessory of the Chinese wardrobe (they are the blue things with light blue polka dots in the picture below).

Anyway, here’s another women who was totally decked out for her bike ride around Xin Tian Di:

She had the full look going on with a hat + leopard print bow combo, black gloves, sunglasses, and heels! She was quite the site…

… But I can’t decide whether I like her bike look more or this lady’s:

This lady has typical white gloves and large sunglasses, and a great hairdo can sometimes be better than a hat I think. She looks a little aggressive, but definitely cool.

And speaking of aggressive bikers, I still haven’t completely gotten over those Darth Vader mask-like things that Chinese people wear on bikes. I understand they are like sunglasses that also protect your face from Shanghai street debris, but they still look a bit intense to me… It’s growing on me though, maybe I’ll even buy one for myself.

I’ve also recently discovered that capes are a biking staple in China. Maybe functionally it keeps bikers cooler somehow, but I love this accessory for the great flowing effect you get with the wind:

But sometimes the bikes are so cool themselves that the rider doesn’t even have to bother with accessorizing himself:

The colors of the bike are great, and it’s actually cool that it contrasts so much with his monochromatic outfit. I think the overall composition would be too much if he was wearing something super complicated and colorful.

This guy also dressed simply to compensate a bit for the bike:

But not everyone gets all accessorized with hats, sunglasses, masks, or capes before they ride their bike. Some Chinese people, of course, just roll out of their bed and get on their bike with their slippers and pajamas. I don’t think anyone can beat this lady’s bike style:

But overall, China has a diverse sartorial culture based around biking. There are lots of great accessories, and you can see all kinds of things on bikes. Speaking of, do you remember the Box Lady? Well, I spotted my local Box Lady (the Xin Tian Di Box Lady), and this is something cool that Chinese people do on bikes:

No, it’s not performance art Clotilde, she’s just recycling!! Thanks Box Lady for making Shanghai “Better City, Better Life” 🙂