Fashion Meets Cycling

Bike-In Movie and Fashion Event, June 16

"Greener is better" is a popular motto these days. There are hundreds of different changes people can make to save energy, from solar panels to low-energy light bulbs to low-flow toilets to re-using grocery bags—to riding a bike instead of driving.

So what could be better than riding your bike on a summer evening—perhaps while wearing your favorite outfit?

Fashion and bicycling will come together on June 16 for the Bike-In Movie and Fashion Event, which features an outdoor screening of Bill Cunningham New York.

Bill Cunningham is known for his unique fashion photography on the streets of New York and for his two columns in The New York Times' Style section, "On the Street" and "Evening Hours." The film follows Cunningham as he hits the streets of the Big Apple with his famous Schwinn bicycle and his camera.

This is not the first time fashion and cycling have come together in Tucson. The Living Streets Alliance held a similar, and highly popular, event last year in which people rode their bikes to see the premiere of Bill Cunningham New York at the Loft Cinema.

Attendees are encouraged to come in their best outfits. Emily Yetman, president of the Living Streets Alliance, said fashion and bicycles make a nice pairing.

"This event helps show people you can still dress up and ride a bike, and have it be fun and fashionable, and you can integrate bicycling into everyday settings," Yetman said. "It is not as difficult as one may think to get to the destination. ... This event makes it attractive to ride a bike, and makes it less intimidating."

Living Streets is putting on the event in collaboration with the Downtown Tucson Partnership, the Ordinary Bike Shop and Pima County's Clean Air Program.

"We have been around a year and a half as an organization, and we came about as a result of people in the community wanting to see more opportunities for walking, biking and public transportation," Yetman said.

Kylie Walzak, vice president of Living Streets, hopes the Bike-In will help show the community that biking is one of many safe forms of transportation.

"We are at a very crucial moment in the future of our city," Walzak said. "Do we want to keep investing in bigger roads that require costly maintenance, or do we want to make our community more bike-friendly?"

This event is intended to show the public the simplicity of riding a bike around town while also bringing people downtown to help support businesses struggling with streetcar-line construction.

"We wanted to make it a fun, fashionable, bike-centric event while simultaneously encouraging folks to come spend some time with our local businesses downtown," Walzak said. "Combining an outdoor movie and bike event seemed like a fun way to make this happen."

Beth Gorman, senior program manager for the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality, describes herself as a timid bicyclist, and hopes this event will get her out of her comfort zone.

"My biggest hope is that people will realize the benefits of riding their bikes and incorporate bike-riding into their lives more. It's going to happen with me. ... With more time, I will feel more comfortable," Gorman said.

Prizes will be awarded for "best dressed," and attendees can enter a free raffle to win items from the Ordinary Bike Shop and Bike Bling. They include bells, reflectors, helmets and messenger bags donated by the Clean Air Program. In addition, Cinema La Placita will provide popcorn to munch on, and Cyclopsicle Bicycle Powered Gourmet Popsicles will be on hand.

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