This year’s Velo-city congress was the biggest and grandest ever with 1,400 attendees from 40 countries. They take bikes seriously but it couldn’t have been more fun and engaging. Vienna was our living laboratory. We all had bikes. And we met here, in the stately Rathaus, Vienna’s Gothic city hall.
The conference addressed the usual topics such as mobility, economy, health and social policies. But it also included a new thread: Cycling Cultures. The theme was “The Sound of Cycling” and the streets were alive with bikes.
As you might expect, a Velo-city like this, in a place like Vienna, would put on a kick-ass fashion show for people who ride bikes. Particularly when the audience was from cities around the world, including mayors, designers and activists. Still, you might underestimate the impact of this particular VeloStyle show.
The VeloStyle fashion show was staged on a 60 meter catwalk over the Karlsplatz fountain in front of the elegant Karlskirche. The music was vibrant and the narration was German. This was Fahrrad Kulture. Simple graphics made the point: city bikers have ways to express themselves that passengers contained in cars just can’t.
VeloStyle Vienna featured international and local designers. It was Cleverhood’s distinct pleasure and honor to have our US-made rain capes selected for Velo Style Vienna.
There were practical styles and conceptual fashion, too. Other designers included Alan Paine, Bizzikletten, Brompton, Gegeuregen, Georgia In Dublin, Kontiki, Maloja, Mot Mot Shop, Paul Iby, Pedaled, Pia Mia, and Rain Combi.
The Vienna Cycling Summit statement calls for actions to promote inspiration, participation and interaction of all citizens in issues of sustainable urban development. Bikes are a big part of intelligent cities. They help make good places for people to live in. It’s clear a new culture has emerged.
“Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.” – H. G. Wells