|Participants of the first Shanghai Vintage Ride dress up the century-old Shiliupu Dock like a film set of the 1920s. (China Daily/Gao Erqiang)|
Dressing up in retro style, bicycle enthusiasts ride their two wheels to show their support for Car-Free Day. Xu Junqian joins the fun event in Shanghai.
On a breezy September Shanghai dusk, Elvis Presley, Charlie Chaplin, Audrey Hepburn and a bunch of bow-tied gentlemen and qipao-wrapped ladies grabbed their bicycles, or tricycles, and set out from the city's century-old Shiliupu Dock to join their first Shanghai Vintage Ride.
Of course, these legendary figures are long gone. Those seen in September were housewives, businessmen, engineers and not surprisingly, fashion designers, who dressed up like the famous stars. They share a common interest in two-wheels amid the nation's general craze for automobiles, and decide to "take some real action" days before the World Car-Free Day on Sept 22.
The event was inspired by London Tweed Run, a stylish bike ride that started in 2009, in which participants dressed up in tweeds in Britain.
Shanghai Vintage Ride is a copycat of the London version except for the looser dress code: cyclists can put on anything that is considered retro. The Shanghai version includes an 8-kilometer ride through the city's most historical parts and a catwalk show prior to the ride. The "best-dressed cyclist", based on votes by all participants, receives an Italian hand-made bicycle worth 10,000-yuan ($1,634).