Budapest cycle chic?

Lessons started today at Corvinus, too (although it is nighttime now, so actually they started yesterday), and I cycled  to the university. It’s been a while since I rode in the Monday morning traffic, and also, I haven’t felt for long that my day has a structure, so today felt good. But this post was inspired by the miniskirt I wore today – it reminded me of many earlier experiences and some other things, but keep reading and you’ll see.
Cycling in a miniskirt is not a problem (okay, if it’s windy you might need some tips and tricks, but today the weather was gorgeous), and neither is in tights. Tights are especially good as they don’t get tangled with any part of the bike. Despite all this, I felt uncomfortable today: people were staring, some of them leaned out of the car after they passed me, or even commented. In fact I could react positively to this, but what I read into it is the following: “what the **** is this chick doing, cycling in such clothes?!” I always think that if I lived in Amsterdam or Copenhagen, this would never ever happen.
There would be no guy leaning out from his taxi on Üllői street asking if I have any underwear on (and not just because there’s no Üllői street in Amsterdam), and no guys would slap my ass when I pass them on my bike.
And this is because in Amsterdam and in Copenhagen they know that cycling in stylish clothes is just natural, because both dressing in stylish clothes and cylcing are natural. Some people know that in Hungary too, but there’s still a long way to go.

Let’s see where I’d like that long way to go. I’m going to use girly examples just because I’m looking at this from a girl’s point of view, but of course guys can be just as chic.

cyclechicIn this picture you can see a really nice city bike with a skirt guard and a chain guard, to prevent tangling. So a nice long dress like this doesn’t cause problems to the wearer. The fenders are long which is great when there’s rain or slush.

white skirtThe next picture is slightly blurry, but you can still see what’s important: white skirt, high heels and net tights. Of course there’s a chain guard and a bag on the rear rack, which is great because a backpack can cause sweating (but bags with shoulder straps like this work, too).

And there’s no limit to creativadorableity. Everybody can find their own cycle chic style. Colourful or simply stylish? Anything goes.






I hope that this next picture will convince even the most sceptic – you must love her. I give you – Audrey Hepburn!Audrey Hepburn riding her bike

I’m soo looking forward to the time when everybody in Budapest will cycle in skirts, suits or anything else they like, with wide smiles on their faces like Audrey.

When you won’t have to say “hello” twice in order to get my attention if you’d like to get directions from me, because I won’t think you’re molesting me at the first hello either.



On a final note, I’d like to say that I’m very happy because recently one person has started cycling because of my influence. I dedicate this post to her (too).

(Orginally published in Hungarian here.)

Budapest cycle chic?” bejegyzéshez ozzászólás

  1. The photos here, and the way you describe your own riding style are all very alluring. People will notice you and remember you, and talk about you in a good way – in their cars, when they get to their work, and when they return home. Smile at them and you could cause a disaster or two in the busier times – so take it easy there in Budapest 🙂

    • Thanks for your comments and your email!

      In reply to the email: actually I know the girl I mention at the end of this post IRL, so it wasn’t just the blog that influenced her. 🙂 But I’m still happy.
      I kind of do really feel revolutionary when writing and riding. Not that I’m all alone in Budapest with my love for urban cycling – but we’re still a minority 🙂 And I get all these questions from people, like “What happens if it rains?” etc. I wrote about this in my posts titled “Közlekedős sorozat” 1-2-3.
      (But actually not all my blog is about cycling, I’d say that’s only one third of the posts, or maybe less.)

      In reply to your comment: when I’m in a good mood, I do smile at strangers. 🙂 I love the part of the Copenhagen Cyclechic Manifesto where they say that you contribute to the urban landscape with your style. I think that’s very true.

  2. Sophie! This blog out a smile to my face because I recently started cycling in Karachi! I joined this group Critical Mass Karachi and we cycle every morning on Sundays mostly. Ive just been twice so far, but it was such a refreshing and new experience. If you were feeling revolutionary about urban cycling in Budapest, I’m sure you can imagine how I felt when i cycled on the roads here in my jeans! Even though we were a group of twenty people (with quite a balanced ratio of males to females I must add :p) we got a couple of stares here and there, but I felt so comfortable and free!

    Here’s to cycling!

    • Thanks for reading & commenting Amal 🙂 Yes I can totally imagine what it must be like for you! Also, I imagine that the traffic must be much heavier and more hectic in Karachi than what it is like here. So it’s cool that you still do it!!
      The situation in Budapest has become much better in the two years that have passed since I wrote this post – more people have started cycling and there is more infrastructure for cylists everywhere. So now I don’t feel so revolutionary any more, it has become more of a routine. The other thing that’s changed though is that I love it even more 🙂

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