Thursday morning, Hermès discretely unveiled its new bicycle, « Le Flâneur », and I was invited to test it at the La maison des étudiants – the beautiful Parisian campus which hosts students from all corners of the globe in its cute houses modeled on the architecture of the host countries.
Once I received the invitation, I refrained from saying I had not been on a bicycle in, say, 20 years. When I was little, I fell from a bicycle like most people, and it hurt, but, you see, I didn’t get back on right away. Instead, I never got on a bicycle again.
Starting to cycle again on « Le Flâneur » by Hermès was an offer I couldn’t refuse. So here I am in the beautiful park which surrounds every one of the singular houses on the campus.
I am a big girl, I will succeed. And, as its name indicated, the idea is to stroll (in french “flâner”). I am not here to participate in the Tour de France in my Manoush skirt and mirror glasses.
How to chose the bicycle? Being petite, the small was the right size for me. But there was also the color to consider: Spanish White, Carbon, or Red… Red HAYOUJ*, of course.
I took the time to examine my bicycle and made it my own before hopping onto the beautiful saddle in water repelling leather – let’s not forget we are dealing with the master saddler. This greatly amused the photographer Tom Clay who wanted me to go ahead and ride. He had even suggested I come peddle in high heels!
I launch myself, hair in the wind, and the sensation is incredible. I feel like a
liberated woman**, on a bicycle with no heels. There was also no risk of dirtying my legs with splashes of bicycle grease since Hermès thought of everything by opting for a belt-driven transmission, the only technical point that retained my attention as a future “flâneuse”.
The « Flâneur » by Hermes is not meant to be exposed in an apartment, it is meant to be hoped on and elegantly ridden.* seductive red, a Lebanese expression * the right to pedal was difficultly won by women Photos Contributor: Thomas Cay