Think biking clothes mean spandex and clip-in shoes? Zara and Michelle of cycle-chic blog Ottawa Velo Vogue prove that you can bike in anything — even a tutu! Heels? Why not?
In advance of the Ottawa Velo Vogue Fashion Show happening this weekend, KAILA MOREAU talks with the two ladies injecting a ton of inspiration into the city’s cycling scene.
OTTAWA MAG: What made you decide to start Ottawa Velo Vogue two years ago?
MICHELLE: I had started biking to work, and was paying attention to others on bikes. I noticed more and more fashionable people. People weren’t all in boring spandex, and we started talking about that.
OM:Friends since high school, you’re both born and raised in Ottawa, 31 years young and working for the federal government. Have you always ridden bikes?
M: As a kid, but I stopped for a while because…
ZARA: You start to learn how to drive!
M: Yeah, it’s weird when you think of it. I went everywhere on a bike and then sort of fell off. I fell back in love with it when I lived within a range of work that seemed feasible. Why wouldn’t I bike to work?
OM: What’s your personal cycling style?
M: Without a chain guard, I go with skinny jeans or leggings, and a light, flowy top. I’m pregnant, so this summer I plan on wearing a lot of jersey dresses. Whatever will work with me!
Z: Similar. Anything brightly coloured, flowing, and strange looking, like my tutus! I also wear heels. You don’t have to wear cycling shoes.
OM: How can you jazz up a helmet?
Z: There are tons of companies making stylish helmets, like Bern and Yakkay.
OM: What are your roles with regards to the blog?
Z: I’m in charge of photography, which I take on my Canon 7D. I love taking pictures of happy riders!
M: I write product reviews. In the past, North American companies have reached out to us for reviews, but now we’re aiming to review accessories from local companies like Tall Trees and Joe Mamas.
OM: Have others reached out to you after finding the blog?
M: Absolutely. In one case a designer from Iceland found us online by Google-ing Bobbin bicycles. Since Zara has a Bobbin Birdy, her search led her back to Ottawa Velo Vogue. She was excited about our blog and is making the trip to Ottawa for our fashion show!
OM: What can followers look forward to in the future?
Z: A lot! We’re working on an accessory line, launching a website that’s easier to navigate, and of course the fashion show this weekend at Kichesippi Brewery will showcase clothing stores and bike accessories.
~ Kaila Moreau