In conversation with Áron, Hungarian Cycle Chic


The Hungarian Cycle Chic is part of the global Cycle Chic movement that started in Copenhagen in 2007 when journalist, film director and photographer Mikael Colville-Andersen started posting pictures of people in Copenhagen on their bikes. All over the world people found his blog and were inspired by the Danish bicycle culture. It seemed that a lot of people linked cycling to sport, lycra, speed and sweat. Mikael Colville-Andersen showed the world that cycling can be very stylish and part of a daily life.

Photo courtesy: Hungarian Cycle Chic Blog

Áron, can you tell us what inspired you to become part of the cycle chic movement, and how long have you been running the Hungarian Cycle Chic blog?

It was 2008 when my bicycle activist friends and I got involved in the Hungarian Critical Mass movement and was introduced to the Copenhagen Cycle Chic movement. Mikael Colville-Andersen's great photos of people cycling in suits, skirts, heels, etc., it was huge "whoa, is that possible?" Those were the times when people started to cycle in bigger numbers in Budapest thanks to the success of our movement. At the same time we realized that many people started to cycle in their regular clothes with no special cycling gear. Citizen cyclists, as Mikael would say. So my friends and I got together and launched the Hungarian Cycle Chic blog in March 2009. Since then we've worked together with many Hungarian and international groups, companies, contributions in campaigns as well as organize huge events. We also had the honour to host the Cycle Chic Republic members in Budapest in 2012.

 Photo courtesy: Hungarian Cycle Chic Blog | Mikael Colville-Anderson in the middle | Cycle Chic Republic members in Budapest 2012

 

Photo courtesy: Hungarian Cycle Chic Blog

Tell us about some of the projects you have on the horizon for the Hungarian Cycle Chic blog?

We want to show the public that cycling is a possible solution for anyone. Considering this as our main goal we are working on repositioning urban cycling to a higher level. Actually to the place where it deserves to be. We are pleased to work together with InStyle Hungary, the leading Hungarian fashion magazine. We are working on a big event for the spring, but I can't tell you anymore about it yet. Only that it will be a kind of thing like the big bicycle fashion show we organized together last year.

Video courtesy: Hungarian Cycle Chic Blog

Is running the Hungarian Cycle Chic blog a full-time occupation for you? 


No, I work at completely different kind of online newspaper. It's called atlatszo.hu, and it is the leading independent investigative journalist site in Hungary. But I'm also the member of board of the Hungarian Cyclists' Club, the biggest bicycle advocacy group in the country. I'm doing this bicycle thing voluntary.

 

Photo courtesy: Hungarian Cycle Chic Blog

Can you tell us what is on the horizon for the Global Cycle Chic Republic?

I am sure we will be working on strengthening our international connections in many ways and come out with some next level urban cycling goodness.

 Photo courtesy: Hungarian Cycle Chic Blog

Is the bicycle your main mode of transportation? If yes, can you tell us what inspired you to live a lifestyle by bike?

It is my no 1 mode, yes. I started cycling every day after finishing high school. Before that I was cycling on the hills and forests around Budapest, we were doing our teenager hooligan kind of things with my friends. Then around 2005 I got involved in the cycling movement and I discovered that cycling in the city is a possible solution. I don't think I have a "cycling lifestyle", I'm just a regular guy who goes from A to B in a much convenient way.

 

Photo Courtesy: Hungarian Cycle Chic Blog

Some of our readers drive cars; can you give any tips to help our readers take the leap to driving less and cycling more?

Think about "do I really need a car for that trip?" and I am sure they will find the possibilities they have to live a better life on a bike.

 

Photo courtesy: Hungarian Cycle Chic Blog

Where is your favourite place to ride your bicycle?

Along the Danube I'd say, it is a beautiful place in the heart of Budapest. I also think there are many places in a city you can discover by bike if you let yourself get lost a bit - fascinating places you would never find or things you would never see from a car or public transport. I really like these kind of rides.

 

Áron cycling along the Danube

Do you have any cycling tips for anyone who wants to start cycling but hasn't made it on to two wheels yet?


The most important thing is to get a simple Dutch-style bike with a basket or racks. You can jump on it in any kind of clothes and it's perfect to do your everyday errands. Just think it is possible and try shorter routes, smaller streets. Limits are much farther than one would think at first.

Photo Courtesy Áron Hungarian Cycle Chic Blog: Miss Hollandia

What’s your secret for cycling in rainy weather and keeping your personal street style?

If I'm riding in a low traffic zone, I take my umbrella. If not, a rainproof jacket. We don't really have the kind of harsh weather like the Dutch or the Danes, but they pose some strong evidence that some rain is not a big thing. Also my experience of standing and waiting for a bus in winter-time or travelling on the jam-packed subway is much worse than jumping on my bike and being there on time is a better option.

Photo courtesy: Hungarian Cycle Chic Blog

What's the one bicycle accessory you can't ride without?

I think a back rack is extra useful to carry stuff and I love my bell with its huge sound.

Photo courtesy: Hungarian Cycle Chic Blog

Áron lives in Budapest, Hungary. When not cycling around the city taking great street style photographs of stylish people on bikes, Áron can be found cycling along the Danube.

Some other great ways you can reach Áron.

Hungarian cyclechic.hu blog. Main social media is their Facebook page. Áron can also be found on Instagram, where he regularly posts cycle chic related photographs. http://kerekparosklub.hu and on-line Newspaper: atlatszo.hu 

Thanks so much for the great chat Áron, we're really looking forward to hearing more about your work with InStyle Hungary. We'll chat again soon!

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