I think these lines from Helen Lee's fashion blog reveal a lot.
"Personally, I think Blair Waldorf (played by Leighton Meister) has adorable taste, so when she was riding about the Hamptons in the first few episodes of Gossip Girl this season, I wanted a retro style bike too. Even though I had not ridden a bike in at least 10 years."This may not be just about a television show (because I fail to see how a few episodes of a vapid "teen" drama could sell anything to an adult so well); this could be about the writer's fantasy of being fashionable, airbrushed-to-perfection, and privileged. Such a fantasy isn't uniquely hers. I've often leafed through the pages of the newest Anthropologie catalog and thought, "My gawd, I want to live in this world!" This soft-focus world of pitch-perfect retro style and beautiful locales has included European utility bikes for years. The first bike I ever saw in the catalog evoked the fantasy satirized here--it had a huge basket on the front along with all the proper accoutrement and even a double kickstand. I believe it was called "The Market Bicycle." Now they sell this Italian beauty and even though a gal isn't riding through Tuscany she can still shop at her local farmer's market and find the ingredients for a great meal. Unlike car commercials, I think fantastic bike commercials would sell a fantasy that women could achieve to some degree (men too). One makes her own leisure time riding a bike to work or on errands in whatever clothes she likes--no need to wait for a vacation or a huge decrease in traffic. And when cycling, one can actually enjoy the gorgeous green countryside and the company of one's friends unlike a person driving a car. Don't let the British narrator tell you any different.