BEIJING | In a buzzing city like Beijing there's room for all kind of communities and cultures. Its society is in a state of permanent transformation ready to explore new frontiers. Chinese youth are creating new trends and unique lifestyles giving birth to so many interesting projects and platforms. The elegant riders who cycled from the Beijing Worker's Gymnasium to the Art District are a good proof of this effervescent society. With the Beijing First Vintage Ride the organisers, 700 Bike and Serk, wanted to bring together the British vintage culture with the Chinese vintage culture.
Shannon Bufton, one of the bicycle advocates in the city and also behind the organisation of the ride, says this is the first time any city has done an event that celebrates it own cycling culture. Whereas the tweet ride celebrated in cities like Sydney, Budapest, Vienna or Tokyo is just a copy of the popular London Tweet Ride, Beijing's Vintage Ride wanted to celebrate China's very unique cycling culture. "We wanted to do something different and special", Shannon adds. The event was a success! With an original limit of 100 people, the organisers finally accepted 140 registrations. But it could have been a ride of more than 200 if this wasn't a too big number for Beijing's traffic.
Beijing is witnessing a transformation of its society. Bicycles were the traditional mode of transport in this mega city. However, development and an increasing purchasing power resulted in more and more people abandoning this mode of transport. Taxis and cars became the popular and convenient modes of transport. Many of the participants at the Beijing Vintage ride acknowledge the fact that for them it's impossible to cycle to their work places due to the too big distances. Still they are big supporters of this trendy, healthy and sustainable lifestyle. As Mo Mo, one of the stylish riders, puts it "this is more than a trendy or fashionable event. I hope it will help raise awareness for bike riding. It shows that riding a bicycle can be a fashionable lifestyle that can help save the environment".
This is just starting! As Shanon explains, within the next 10 to 15 years we'll see very interesting things with the bike coming out of this cycling culture. To keep us up to date with the new trends, 700 Bike is planning one more ride before the end of the year.
The origin of their elegant outfits speak for themselves: shirts bought in Taobao (China's leading C2C e-commerce site) matching shoes, accessories and jackets they carefully picked in vintage markets from cities like London and Paris.
From left to right (below): James, Zhang Wang, Sha Sha, Ke Bi and Mo Mo.They carefully picked some of their most precious vintage pieces and combined them to create the perfect vintage outfit for the occasion. Discover the outfits of the most stylish participants of Beijing's Vintage ride.
Click the pictures below to enlarge the image gallery and enjoy the vintage ride in full.
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