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Most of the time you only need a bike.

September 6, 2011

I spotted this Zipcar ad while on the subway this morning.  It’s one of a series from the car sharing company depicting people in situations where a car would definitely come in handy: a band schlepping its gear on the subway, two pals trying to bring a canoe on Boston’s T, and a guy whose girlfriend is in the process of throwing all his stuff out of an apartment window.  This one has its charm, but considering how many people actually manage to bike in suits or “work” clothes — and how many of Zipcar’s customers must also be regular bike commuters — it misses the mark by a bit.  From the Capital Bikeshare program to the streets of Copenhagen to Midtown Manhattan, you’ll find plenty of people biking to work meetings in a jacket and tie, even when it’s hot.  While I don’t have to get too dressed up at my office, on one of the hottest days last summer I biked from Soho to midtown Manhattan wearing a suit and tie in order to attend a fundraising gala.  The combination of my upright bike and a slow pace prevented me from getting too sweaty.

As others have noted, “as long as the bike is right, any clothes will do.”

  1. September 6, 2011 10:27 pm

    He’s not even wearing a necktie, the dirty hippie. And I am not even sure what the lady is carrying. Is it one of those English princess hats?

    They do not look anything like the people I see ensconced in “zip” and other cars, in any respect. Mostly they are too thin.

  2. summer permalink
    September 7, 2011 10:01 am

    I saw these ads too and didn’t think that the above image was a very compelling example of the necessity of car use. My interpretation had less to do with commentary on attire than with the (implied) impracticality of hauling things like architectural models and paper drafting plans (does any firm still use those?!) on a bike. Clearly these people’s bikes are just ill-equipped. I carry things on my bike far more cumbersome than rolls of paper and a briefcase and manage just fine with a pannier/rear rack/basket combo. (A gigantic birthday cake from Fortunato Brothers was my latest cargo.)

  3. Holly permalink
    September 7, 2011 12:21 pm

    It should read, “Sometimes you just need a panier.”

  4. kotomoto permalink
    September 14, 2011 3:26 pm

    where did you see this Ad? which city ?

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