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Momentum Magazine – propell yourself into urban cycling culture

by Tao Oliveto, Carrboro, NC

Now that I can’t ride my bike (because of my injured thigh muscle), all I can think about is – RIDING MY BIKE! I guess you could say I have a severe case of pedal-envy!

It’s even harder since I discovered and devoured my first issue of Momentum Magazine, North America’s Urban Cycling Culture, published in Vancouver, BC. In their own words, “Momentum magazine reflects the lives of people who ride bikes and provides urban cyclists with the inspiration, information, and resources to fully enjoy their riding experience and connect with local and global cycling communities.” That’s a nice bottom line, but what comes in-between the news on riding is exciting and fun, feeding a new collective consciousness.

I happen to catch the “Style Issue” (#35) which was super-fun and inspiring. It shed new light on bike commuting without limiting your self-expression through style. In fact, there’s a whole new world of creative fashion available if you can simply get out of the cultural box. Though some adjustments in wardrobe may be necessary for safety and comfort -and of course, a helmet completes every outfit – there is more room than you think to be yourself while you green around town on two wheels. After all, founding editor, Carmen, says, “I’ve never seen an ugly person on a bicycle.”

I was a recreational cyclist before a commuter, meaning I had my store of spandex, fleece and those ugly polyester shirts with the big back pockets. It was Summer when began my commuting and, at first, I was packing and changing clothes a lot – something that is still somewhat practical if I have an especially long distance to travel. But for my frequent shorter rides, I quickly learned I could be comfortable in my street clothes. At first I felt restricted to pants and shorts, but as Summer heat moved in, I realized that skirts/dresses of most any length were even more rider-friendly. In especially short skirts, I sometimes wear cotton knickers underneath, while my long skirts can be cinched or tied to one side to avoid the gears. I even got used to riding in sandals, though for safety reasons, do so only on casual, non-challenging routes. Most of the time, I just stuff the flip-flops in my pannier.

Along with regular features such as: letters, books, food, gleanings and The Ecstatic Mechanic, this issue had articles on Austin’s cycling culture, bike fitting and “what women want”. The photos were fantastic and plentiful — a new kind of fashion spread! I even scoured every advertisement, which told me about how much I don’t know about the gear side of riding – this stuff is irresistibly cool and ridiculously practical. Check out Momentum online at I can’t wait to get the next issue….AND to get back in the saddle!

2 Responses to “Momentum Magazine – propell yourself into urban cycling culture”

  1. ck Says:

    This is great. Unfortunately, here in Atlanta, it is not easy to walk or ride when running errands or moving around town. So different from Japan. In Japan, I rode my bike everywhere – dinner, subway, grocery store, drycleaner, etc. Tokyo is a very bike friendly city. Although, twice my bike was “towed” and locked up with all the other bikers who parked illegally. Do you think bike “parking” lots would work in the U.S.

  2. tao Says:

    Sorry for your situation in Atlanta – hopefully more cities will be catching on to the good news about bicycle commutes – especially where the weather conditions are especially conducive, as in the South!
    Wow – towed?? I didn’t realize bikes could even be “illegal”! I’ve locked to trees and posts with abandon ?!

    I would love to see not only more bike racks everywhere, but even a covered area functioning more like a lot would be ideal! Cyclists should be rewarded for their environmental efforts, not treated like fringe dwellers. You’re onto something, CK!
    Thanks for commenting!

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