Beret Baguette: Bike Pretty, French Style
What began as a real fête de saucisse** in 2009 of like 50 dudes and a few chicks in borrowed plus-fours, myself included, has swelled to attract some 1,000+ cyclists on its annual jaunt through Paris, usually in late May or June each year.
Accessorized with bérets. And baguettes:
Yes, you read that right: 1,000+ cyclists.
If that sounds unmanageable, it's because it is: the 2013 edition was an exercise in start 'n' stopping.
Which was fine with me, because then you can take more photos!
Photos of beloved French bloggers,
rear-rack-mounted, wine-box picnic baskets of the so-charming-it's-obscene variety,
Bike Pretty friend trios,
& anachronistic looks that err on the '30s-'40s side.
The dress code is "Congés 1936" in reference to a law passed in France that year that set the historic precedent for Gallic paid vacations. So you know: vacation-y, picnic-y looks, circa late '30s.
My above dress is actually '40s, but one of the charms of Béret Baguette is its lack of enforced rules and laissez-faire attitude to numbers, a different experience next to the well-oiled machine that is the Tweed Run.
You can't really compare the two however - even if they both have Penny Farthings,
girls cycling in heels,
a few Eccentrics (kilt-wearing unicyclist, anyone?)
fetching couples (Ed. note: they won Best-dressed!),
expert modeling of houndstooth,
and borrowed bikeshare steeds:
Despite those similarities, there is also something quintessentially French about the whole thing.
Like an unerring ability to make the simplest scarf look impeccably chic:
an unrivaled ease in Breton stripes,
an uncanny ability to accessorize:
and garçonne looks so on-point it's possible the already-inflated sales of boater hats around Béret Baguette time just jumped tenfold:
This year, the event looks poised to start at the recently-pedestrianized Place de la République, loop west along the right bank to Place de la Concorde, cross the river and amble through Saint-Germain, and end in that most bucolic of Parisian picnic locales: the Bois de Vincennes.
Because if Béret Baguette is about anything, it's the pique-nique:
If you're in Paris on Sunday morning at 9:30, head over to République & gawk at what is sure to be a super-successfully-Bike Pretty event. If you can't make it this year (like me), surf the hashtags on IG - if last year was any indication, the official HT should be #rbb2014.
Can't wait to see what the Paris crew brings to the BP table!
*Anachronistic Cycling Event
**Not in the French sense of "Hey, let's all eat some sausage! SAUSAGE PAR-TAY!" but more like, sooo many dudes
Affiche at the top - Copyright Benjamin Donadieu, http://www.givetogod.fr