Charleston lends itself to a biking culture. With limited public transport but a relatively small geographic circumference, a bike ride is often the best way to get around in the Holy City. When the difficulty of finding a decent parking space and the increasing cost of citations are added into the equation, it can make pedaling seem like a luxury.
But bikes aren’t just a way to get around — they’re often a reflection of the owner’s personality. Whether it’s stereotyping or some form of vehicular horoscope, specific types of bicycles are often accurate indicators of their owner’s overall style preferences. We’ve compiled a list of style statements most frequently spotted on the streets of the Peninsula.
The Road Bike
Riders of these trendy bikes favor skinny jeans and colored framed sunglasses. The shoe of choice for these pedalers is the retro sneaker en vogue at any given time. Road bikes frequently can be seen chained up outside artsy coffee houses and dive bars.
The Beach Cruiser
These cyclists are most concerned with comfort, which is why they opt for extra large seats and wide tires. Male riders can be seen in worn-out khaki shorts and polos, board shorts straight from the beach, or that favorite pair of jeans. Female cruisers opt for flowy cotton dresses in bright hues, accompanied by the perfect pair of flip-flops (Rainbows 95 percent of the time) or gladiator sandals.
High-end fashion designers have caught on to the biking trend, creating beautiful vehicles with exceptionally high price tags. Owners of these cycles, similar to the bikes themselves, are sometimes high maintenance. Sporting designer duds, these riders don’t typically leave their prized possessions chained up to streetlights. They can be seen circling the park a time or two in Citizen jeans (both men and women) with Chanel bags matching their Chanel framed cycle with hand-crafted leather basket.
The Mountain Bike
Owners of these brutes are a tough bunch. Flying down rocky terrain at speeds exceeding 40 miles per hour is no problem for this crowd. Or so they would have you believe. But when breaking from the “steep” inclines found throughout Charleston and Dorchester counties, you’ll see these cyclists cruising around town in mesh shorts and a baseball cap. If the Camelbak is not in tow, no worries; it’s stored safely at home, or was used at last night’s keg party. Oakley’s are a mountain biking staple, but, thank the fashion gods, most of the reflective mirror varieties died off in the late ’90s.