A few weeks ago, I went grocery shopping for sangria ingredients with a good friend, and within the space of two hours, she got something like six compliments on her T-shirt. At Walgreen's, at Trader Joe's, at the wine shop, on the subway--everyone loved her Decemberists bike shirt! The version she had was a great cranberry red, but the Decemberists are only selling this blue Cycle T, $20.00, is almost as nice. But why so wrinkly? Does the Decemberists merch team not have a steamer?
Anyway, a few weeks after The Bicycle Tee Compliment Fest of '09, I saw this photo of Zachary Quinto. It was then I knew that bicycle t-shirts are undoubtedly going to be the next big thing of Summer '09:
Ferris wheels will also hopefully be a big trend. (Sidenote to ONTD_StarTrek readers: Look at this ZQ motherfucker!)
When I started thinking about bike shirts, I knew there was only one place to search: Etsy. While I usually browse jewelry or purses on Etsy, I knew that the eco-conconscious, yuppie-friendly sellers of Etsy would be all over something as cute and simple as the bike t-shirt. Another note before I start: if you click on a link for a specific shirt and it says it's sold out, check out the seller's store, because they often make multiple versions of the same thing if it's popular enough.
Seller Iscreamseams has loads of fun bike-related merchandise, and my favorite is the Flying Bike tee for ladies, $15, or men, $15. The light blue color looks great against the bright red bike, and the flying birds are sweetly whimsical (and make me think of Up!, the new Pixar movie that looks pretty awesome). This seller seems to be good about customizing orders for size and color, so don't be shy about shooting them an email with the specifics on your dream bike t-shirt.
Happyfamily also has a huge selection of t-shirts and messenger bags with an illustration of a vintage Schwinn bicycle. This Old School Bike T-shirt, $16, is a little bit badass, right? You can't go wrong with white on black, and you can't go wrong with a Schwinn.
As a former English major, I harbor a love for a well-chosen quote. So much so that, in my ceramics class this past semester, I spent hours painstakingly painting a quote from Fitzgerald's "Winter Dreams" onto a pair of bookends I made (my handwriting isn't great when I'm using a pencil, so the painted version is pretty messy. But readable!). So, needless to say, I'm a little bit in love with Loftymorning's Bike Quote shirt, $22. Underneath a simple drawing of an old-fashioned bicycle, it reads, "Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride. -John F. Kennedy." Not to taint the lovely, straightforward wisdom of JFK or anything, but: Ladies, I imagine you'd get hit on a lot when wearing this shirt, because guys would have no choice but to stare at your boobs. But hey, these would be sensitive, tree-hugging types ogling your chest!
Vital Industries does something a bit different with its bike t-shirts: it turns it on its side and blows it up big, so it looks like a bicycle is riding up your body. The Fixie shirt, $25, comes in so many great colors and styles that I had a hard time choosing a favorite, but this lime green/light blue version felt just right for spring. Doesn't it just scream, "What a beautiful day! Who wants to go to a bike ride?"
The "Way to Go" t-shirt, $20, by Deadworry, is the sort of shirt you probably shouldn't wear unless you actually ride a bike. In case you haven't figured it out, I love the way bikes look and the way attractive people look on cute, old-fashioned bikes, but I am way too chickenshit to actually get a bike and ride it in Manhattan. I haven't been on a bike for years, and I think it's very possible that I've forgotten how to ride one. I know what you're thinking, but hear me out: when I was a kid, my grandparents had these three-wheeled bikes that my sister and I would ride all over their retirement community in Florida whenever we visited. It was so easy to balance on these oversized tricycles that, when I got back home, I couldn't remember how to stay upright on a regular bike. I really can't remember if I ever picked it back up again, but I'm just saying: there's a precedent to my forgetting how to bike. But back to the shirt: it's cute, nice colors, good message.
From the same seller, there's this Bicycle Built for Two tote bag, $12. This print also comes on a t-shirt and dress, but I'm not crazy about the colors, and about having people on my body. On clothes, this old-fashioned couple might seem a little creepy, but it's just right for a playful canvas bag. And who doesn't love the romance of a giant, silly-looking bike as a date activity?
This t-shirt is specifically for Madelyn, the friend who was wearing the Decemberists bike shirt that sparked my quest. It's a robot! On a bike! In Japanese! You're welcome. From Botodesign, the Mama Bike shirt is $28.
Are you a little sick of bikes? Well, I'm going to bring this post full circle with another Decemberists t-shirt, featuring the only two-wheeled vehicle cuter than a bike: a Vespa! The Girly Vespa Tee is just $14.99, and will prove you have great taste in both indie music and motor vehicles. Who can resist that?