Tuesday, October 19, 2010

European Style - Bikes

Today I make my first contribution to The Inspired Occasion with the admission that I do not have children of my own. Whilst I do enjoy being an indulgent aunt and older sister, it is likely to be some years before I welcome my own little joys into the world.

However, whilst I would by no means call myself a mother guru, I like to think that I have my finger on the pulse, that I am down with the kids. And that if I had my own children I am sure they would be about as stylish Heidi Klum's little babes. 

I have seen what the hippest of the hip are wearing this autumn (for autumn it is here). I have lived in London and done a stint in France. I thought that I was on top of the trends.

Apparently not.

 I have very recently moved to Copenhagen, Denmark. Scandinavian fashion is on an entirely different playing field. Everyone here is so eye-wateringly stylish that the primary school children I encounter in our street could actually be mistaken for one of Heidi's own tots.

But it's not about being flashy and expensive. It's about being classic. As anyone who has taken a quick look at Our Princess Mary lately would be able to tell you, Danish style is about embracing tried and tested colours and lines and then putting a small modern twist on the picture. Week by week  we will get a look at the world of European style.

This week: Bikes. They are not the transport of choice in Australia for reasons largely to do with long distances and practicality. But I believe that they have their place in any city or local neighbourhood and certainly with trends of sustainability taking off in Australian metropolises you will be seeing more of them.

 In Copenhagen owning and using a bike is not a trend, it is a necessity. With parking virtually non existent, and road infrastructure designed to support a mobile city with wide, separated cycling lanes – biking is second nature for adults and children alike.

Naturally the style that permeates the fashion scene here carries through to the chosen mode of transport. Bikes are invariably classic models. Some are sleek and black (pictured) and others are fabulously coloured in bright pink or pastel blue. With a beautiful machine like that to ride, how could you want to drive?

There is also a certain sense of utility to these creations. Locals have modified their bikes to create carriages on the front to carry everything from the groceries, to deliveries by the local florist (pictured) and even the kids (pictured). 

The kiddy bike carriages are perfect for an age where the kids are too tiny for a bike seat or too small to use their own pedal power. The kids inside are snug and warm and the parents can get from A to B without the burdens of a car. Like any car seat they come in a range of models at all sorts of different expense, but the pure simplicity of the idea with the modern twist makes them blog worthy.

What do you think? Would you consider a bike carriage for small distances with the kids?

Signing off from Copenhagen

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