Who is Kurshid? I wish I could answer that in depth for you. I’ve run into him about four times now in the past year. He always has a smile on his face. He is always dressed in women’s clothing or a combination of men’s and women’s clothing. His ride is always a little girl’s bike.
The first time I ‘met’ Kurshid, I was waiting out a light at 8th Ave & 34th. He pedaled past me and the sight of him was such an anomaly. It was one of those NY moments were you just had to smile. I pulled out my camera to snap a pic and not missing a beat, Kurshid backpedaled and posed for me.
The second time I met Kurshid, I was doing outreach for Transportation Alternatives in Kip’s Bay and he pedaled by. I excitedly waved to him. Smile on his face, he came over to join us, and we had a ‘conversation’. This is when I learned his name and that he was from Pakistan originally. I also learned that he was mute. He tried to teach me how to spell his name in ASL.
The third time I met him, I was pedaling up Wayne’s walk in Central Park and caught sight of him. Once I got his attention, he stopped and gave me a huge hug. We sat and communicated on a park bench. Most people who passed by us (especially those with young children) gave us wide berth.
The last time I ran into Kurshid was again in Central Park, at the 72nd street crossing just before 5th Ave on the East side
I’ve yet to see Kurshid in heels, but he certainly rocks the short skirt here.
In a light-hearted response to the most recent twitter debate, I want to say that Kurshid is for me, the ultimate in “Cycle Chic”. This is in no way meant to be an insult to either Mikael Colville-Anderson, who coined the phrase “Cycle Chic“. Nor is it meant to insult Elly Blue, who wrote a thoughtful blog post in response to the debate that was flying back and forth.
I wholeheartedly ‘embrace’ the Cycle Chic movement. I agree with Mikael’s efforts to promote people on bikes dressed ‘normally’. Maybe Kurshid isn’t dressed ‘normally’ to every single person’s personal comfort zone, but I am pretty sure that Kurshid is dressed ‘normally’ for himself.
As for Elly’s thoughts on why certain aspects of Cycle Chic bother her…I respect that. In regards to the some of the gender, race and age issues that were being discussed, I think Kurshid is doing a good job at touching all of them by just being himself. (He’s not young, he’s a ‘minority’ in the US and I’ve yet to get him to explain to me why he is a man who likes to wear women’s clothing.)
I could write a much more in depth post on my thoughts on “Cycle Chic”, but that’s not my intention today. Sometimes we take things too seriously and we need to lighten up.
I hope Kurshid brings the same smile to your face that he does to mine. And if you’re ever in #bikenyc, I hope you have the pleasure of running into him. He really is one of the most delightful human beings I have ever had the pleasure to meet.