This fabulous, fabulous documentary has been making major headlines on the internet recently. Released last month to critical acclaim, Beauty and the Bike asks why teenaged girls in Darlington, England no longer ride bicycles, yet their German contemporaries in the city of Bremen still do by the thousands. Apparently, it all comes down to two factors -
1) Safety - Wow, no big surprise there. Girls interviewed said they felt nervous and threatened by England's very auto-dependent and car-centric culture, which in turn made them reluctant to try bicycling (alas, as a girl who grew up in England, I can understand their hesitation...).
2) Fashion - The girls were in strong unison here. Suuuure, they would consider giving bicycling a go, if only they saw more chic, fashionable girls out on bicycles to inspire them first. Apparently, lightning-bolt-Lance-Armstrong-wannabe-dudes careening around in ugly neon spandex just isn't that inspiring to teenage girls. Gosh. Fancy that!
It just goes to show that the more people out there who just be themselves and express their individuality by cycling in their regular, gorgeous clothes, the more of the next generation we might just happen to encourage to give bicycling a try!