The Saturday Style Ride – Stylish on two wheels with Jeroen van Rooijen
If you’re to believe the popular saying, the clothes make the person. And that’s what bike lover and style guru Jeroen van Rooijen thinks, too. On 23rd August, he will for the fourth time host a special “good weather, two-wheel tour” through Zurich city centre: the Saturday Style Ride, a “two-wheel extravaganza for well-dressed people with a sense of aesthetics, style and class”. The best-dressed participants will be awarded with prizes. We went behind the scenes with Jeroen van Rooijen:
What is the idea behind the Saturday Style Ride?
It is about bringing together like-minded people who love style and bikes, for an enjoyable and inspirational afternoon that presents this beautiful, international little city in its best light. It is nothing more than a display of the joy of life and individual artistic expression. We don’t have any political aims, and are also not after world domination of bikes.
Where did you find the inspiration for this idea?
London has been hosting similar events for a long time – the Tweed Run (unmatched in its field), or, in Paris, the so-called ‘Beret & Baguette’. We loved this natural expression of happiness and modern mobility, and four years ago initiated something similar in Zurich. We attracted 75 people right away, then in 2012 around 100, and last year 130.
Why are bikes and fashion well suited?
The bike has become an important expression of modern urbanity worldwide. It has replaced cars as a status symbol – and for good reason. If, nowadays, cars are burdensome objects that have to be parked somewhere and create noise and expense, bikes are smart, fast, flexible and quiet. This contributes to our and fellow human beings’ quality of life. Fashion is also there for your own enjoyment and for other people to enjoy. There is really a direct parallel.
Why did you choose Zurich as the venue?
Because Zurich is our home, and is a city well suited to bikes. It boasts amazing panoramas for bike rides, and the bike routes – despite all the complaints from the Velo-Lobby – are really quite diverse.
How should we picture the participants?
We won’t only see elegant retro fans riding vintage bikes and styled in 20s, 30s or 40s looks, but also modern dandies, attractive divas and freaky individualists with self-styled Steampunk wheels. We don’t set a particular trend because we want to encourage individual stylistic expression.
What styling tips would you give to the participants?
Dress your best – be extraordinary!
What are the worst styling/ fashion faux-pas?
Being boring. Anyone who just sports a necktie or bow tie, and expects that to be enough, has underestimated the fashionable zeal of our participants. Some contestants start putting together ideas weeks in advance.
What did last year’s winners look like? Which ideas have stayed in your memory?
We had an elegant young man who wore a three-piece tweed suit – despite the high temperatures – and impressed us all with his composure. There was also a retro queen in 1920s style on a Dutch bike, a crazy Helvetic Torero on a wild US- cruiser and a creative dandy who builds amazing bikes. And of course, as always, a great number of fans of Danish Pederson bikes.
Who decides on the winners, and according to which criteria?
On the jury are delegates of each of our premium partners, and they have to judge the originality, individuality and fashionable zeal of our participants. This year, Samsung, Hendrick’s, Gant and Victorinox are giving the Style Ride substantial support. We give prizes for best vintage styling, best bikes, best couple, most innovative technology, loveliest riding style and most fashionable impact.
What do you hope for the Saturday Style Ride?
That people have fun, that the sun shines, that other traffic is tolerant, and that nobody hurts themselves.
How will you be dressed?
I would finally like to be able to ride in shorts. But of course worn with a tie!
Discover it yourself
The participants, who have pre-registered on www.styleride.ch, will gather on 23rd August 2014 from 12:30 in front of the Zürcher Museum für Gestaltung. They will get their start numbers, be photographed in the mobile photo studio, and at 14:00 set off on the tour. The ride takes around two hours. It will take place – in corso – alongside the normal traffic. This means that the normal highway code applies. Halfway there is a pit stop with refreshments and entertainment, and then participants will continue to the finishing line at Quai 61. Drinks will be waiting, and the announcement of the winners will take place.
About Jeroen van Rooijen
Style guru and fashion journalist Jeroen van Rooijen answers style questions on DRS3 and in his NZZ column. The grandson of a tailor, he has fashion “in his blood” and has “always been interested in nice clothes and beautiful fabrics.” Bike riding makes him “feel happy” and allows him to experience the city “intensively and in new ways.” During the Saturday Style Ride, the initiator will “keep everything together, give start and stop signals, and head the jury.”