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PARIS — Introduced five years ago, the French capital’s popular bike sharing system, Vélib’, is only the tip of a very chic iceberg. A number of trendy bicycle shops recently sprouted in the city — notably Cyclope and En Selle Marcel — further fanning a popular pastime that is also a vehicle for fashion statements.
That was certainly the case on a recent sunny weekend, when cycling enthusiasts were invited for a “Beret Baguette” ride and encouraged to dress in Thirties style to celebrate the French flair for fashion and gastronomy. Some riders tucked the long loaves in special carrier bags by Freitag, among sponsors of an event designed to put the spotlight on specialty products like Breton shirts and Pétanque balls.
Participants proudly displayed their individual takes on retro Gallic style, ranging from the natty and classic — nautical stripes, rolled-up pants and trim blazers — to the quirky, from drawn-on moustaches to a tricolor bodysuit. Accoutrements included bow ties, suspenders, boaters and — bien sur! — berets.