MonthFebruary 2017

Impressions on Critical Mass

With only two student, one of which is myself , and the professor, the journey to see Critical Mass on Friday February 25, 2017 was in my view underwhelming. There was a small turnout of people whom congregated in front of the ferry building. Professor Hunt informed me that sometimes there are crowds of cyclists, but this time was very small. I did not participate in the Mass nor anyone else in the group. We went to get coffee instead and talk about life. After coffee we all went away. The professor estimated that the cyclists would venture off around 6 pm, however coming out from getting coffee at around 6:30 the people at the “Mass” were still there. They hadn’t left. I did not stay to see them sent-off.

Overall, I believe that this event of Critical Mass could have been much more exciting. But, I suppose there is next month. And hopefully there will be a larger turn-out.

Speech 1 Reflection

I think my speech went well overall. I am very sure I need to work on my timing when presenting because it was difficult keeping within the time constraint. I was planning to add a lot more details and information. So I rushed through most of what I wanted to say and summarized most of the other topics. People probably saw that I was very shaky and I am not sure how am I going to prevent it. I sadly did not rehearse as much as I wanted too. But I hope the next speech will be better. Overall, the speech was decent in my view; I just hope I could engage you all better because I was not sure if you liked my speech or not.

Speech 1 Sources

Works Cited

Cycling News. “Giro d’Italia unveils 2013 leaders’ jerseys.” Cycling News (2013).

This article is on the Giro D’Italia where Paul Smith unveils a new set of cycling jerseys for the race. It also speaks a little about Smith’s influence on cycling racing fashion.

Modzelewska, Maria. “Making women’s casual wear cycling friendly: New method for merging styles in fashion.” Linneuniversitetet Kalmar Vaxjo 2015: 1-104. Independent Student Dissertation.

This very long and heavily researched article is a student dissertation of fashion and cycling, specifically with women. However, there is much information that is applicable to both men and women such as the balance of sport and fashion styled clothes.

Teasdale, Charlie. “Changing gear; A serious accident propelled the aspiring pro cyclist Paul Smith into fashion. Now, a new collection of cyclewear has brought him full circle.” The Times (2014): 4. Newpaper Article.

This article is on the history and background of World-renowned designer Paul Smith and is a summary of his journey to where he is today.

Wunsch, Susi. “Bike Fashion: Lose the Spandex with These Casual Cycling Clothes.” Bicycing (2013). Magazine Article.

This article is one some of the many sub-styles of city/casual cyclist. It includes Minimalism, Sustainability, Enterprising and Classics.


Speech 1 Write-out


Salut, monsieur et mademoiselle. Je Suis Vincent. Aujourd’hui, je vais parler de vêtements.

Good Day, men and women. My name is Vincent. Today, I will be speaking about clothing;

Specifically about the fashion and contemporary culture of cyclists.


History of Cycling Fashion

To begin, let me enlighten you on the roots of cycling fashion.

At the dawn to cycling as sport, most clothing was made of wool. For the time, it was the best fabric available. It was more comfortable than cotton, wicked moisture away (at least to an extent). The benefit of wool is that it absorbed perspiration very well, the problem with wool is it absorbed perspiration very well and often could get soggy and heavy.

Then in the 1940s, Italian tailor Armando Castelli introduced silk jerseys to the cycling fashion. It was lighter and much more effective for racing cyclists.

Post WW2 we have the chemical fabrics introduced like Polyester, Nylon, and Spandex.

In the 1970s Lycra became the best fabric, a combination of spandex and elastics.

And today, the majority of the athletic cycling fashions are made with Lycra and Spandex, however there is still a large supply or wool and cotton cycling wares.


Racing/Athletic Cycling Fashion

For many heavily active cyclist, professional and athletic cyclists, their choice of clothing tend to fall into the form-fitting, Lycra and Spandex garments.

These include cycling shorts, Bib Shorts, and Baggy Shorts (Shy Shorts).

However, there is one British designer who has been constantly shaping the athletic cycling fashion world. He is world-renowned fashion icon Paul Smith.

To provide some background, Paul Smith as a teenager dropped out of school in his teens to pursue a career as a professional cyclist. It was cut short when he got into a car accident at the age of 17 where he was hospitalized for 3 months. During his recovery, his friends whom were attending an arts college in Nottingham introduced Smith to clothing and fashion, the rest is history.

His collections have reintegrated the artificial with natural fabrics with clothing made with both Lycra and wool. And in Cyclist Racing fashion he has changed it. In the Giro D’Italia, a cycling race around Italy, Smith unveiled a new set of cycling jerseys. They were made with wool and Lycra and they weren’t too form fitting. But they had bright colors or at least highly reflective fabrics and textures.

A perfect garment for when you are on the final stretch of a race and your bright, reflective clothing draws the attention of the viewers when you cross that finish line.

Now, let us not forget the most important aspect of Cycling fashion and that is the Bike itself. For many of the active, athletic riders there is a certain design I have noticed in their cycles. They tend to be taller, with a larger triangular frame in the middle and often it is designed where the rider must lean forward and down. The wheels tend to always have exclusively metal spokes for the tires. And often many look similar to each other in design and color scheme.


City/Casual Cyclists

Now if we take a look at the casual city cyclists, we see that they tend to have more diversely designed bikes. They don’t necessarily have a triangular frame, or the rider must be leaning forward at a large degree and the wheels, they can speak for themselves not thin multiple spokes but sometimes larger pieces and the bikes have vibrant or neutral color schemes. Unique for how the rider makes their fashion.

The casual, city cyclists constitutes a large majority of cyclists in general. I would think if most of us rode bikes we would fall into this category.

Unlike athletic and racing cyclists, casual city cyclists focus more on aesthetics than the physical activity. There are countless sub-fashions on these cyclists such as minimalism and enterprising fashions.

With Minimalism, you don’t have the bright colors or necessarily the brand logos as seen in athletic cycling clothes, but rather neutral solid colors.

Or with Enterprising style, there is the look of business with suits and dress shirts designed to relieve perspiration or in some cases protect your business wear.

You can find some of these styles at Raphas, a specialty cyclist clothing Boutique with a location here in San Francisco in the Marina District. Or BetaBrand’s Bike to Work Collection.



To conclude this talk, I must admit that I cannot go into more details on the complexities of fashion and cycling like sustainability with fast-fashions vs. slow/eco fashions or the importance of accessories like hats, scarfs, shades or bike helmets.

However, I do hope I have sparked your curiosity. Perhaps you will begin to view cyclists in a different lens or perhaps you’ve become motivated to explore and mend your own fashion style.

Whether you are active, an athlete, a casual or city cyclists, I think that we all should look and feel fabulous while riding the street.

I thank you for your time.

Speech 1 Outline

If you can read my handwriting, I will be very impressed.

3 Ideas for Speech

1. My first idea for my speech is a credibility assessment on Kathryn Bertine. I know that Kathryn Bertine has accomplished much in her life in advocating for more women in cling and has achieved a lot, but I’m thinking of critiquing her credentials, by questioning her over ambition and limitations.

2. My second idea for my academic or professional goals is a speech about the effects of bicycling and injury rates. I’ve studied medicine for many years with the idea that I’d become a doctor, but not anymore. However, I still am interested in medicine. I know that many cyclists are injured or even killed by other vehicles, accidents with factors like weather, visibility or poor safety measure like not wearing helmets.

3. My personal speech idea is on my interest in culture and fashion. I’m thinking of the doing research and presentation of cycling in the fashion and cultural sense. Like that photo we were shown in class with the guy with an eleborate and colorful bike. I want to study why is that a ‘thing’ and is it ‘in’? There are also sub-cultures of cycling with racing, mountain biking, casual biking, transportation (to work or for work), etc.

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