Cycle chic and pedal pushers

Maryon Van Gilder coined the term "pedal pushers".

The Out and About section of the April Advocate spotlights Dallas Cycle Chic, a citywide event to highlight the Dallas Bike Plan.

The week-long event includes a model search for the face of Dallas cycling. As event organizer Amanda Popken told editor Emily Toman, “We want everyone — little kids and old grandmas,” to submit their mugs for the model search.

That comment inspired us to illustrate the spot with the picture at left. It is a portrait of Maryon Van Gilder, which photo editor Turk shot for a Feb. 2008 Advocate story.

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In 1951, Van Gilder was a fashion designer in Dallas. Due to a paper maker’s mistake, her shop wound up with 100,000 pairs of pants that were hemmed too short. To solve the problem, she figured out a way to market the pants.

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“Thankfully, it occurred to me the pants would be excellent for bike riding because they wouldn’t get caught in the spokes,” Van Gilder told the Advocate in 2008. “I told one of my assistants to go ahead and put in a hem, and we’d call them ‘pedal pushers.'”

I don’t know if she’s the face of Dallas cycling, but we think she’s pretty cute.

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