Cycling Style

Biking in High Heels at Cycle Chic

(photo from Cycle Chic — Copenhagen Girls on Bikes)

If non-cyclists could get past the “cycling gear” barrier – do you think more people would use bikes as a mode of transportation? Maybe that’s the Tipping Point.


We had friends over for dinner last night. All of them are occasional cyclists but none are daily riders. And because getting around on bikes is our new mode of transportation – the topic of conversation turned to bikes and clothing. My life-long friend – whom I met when I was 6 – was in town for the weekend. She has teased us (mainly Tim) for wearing “revealing” cycling gear. The tight shiny stuff just isn’t for her and is the main reason she isn’t into biking. I’ve tried to convince her to try cycling because I really think she would love it. But she just can’t get past the tight shorts and isn’t at all interested. Hearing that you don’t have to wear the gear peaked her interest. I think she’s ready to give urban cycling a try. Hopefully we will soon hear about her rides to the grocery store or taking her kids to school on bikes.

Since Tim is such a big fan of fancy chicks on bikes, I’ve taken to riding in my new black boots. When I picked my son up from preschool last week his teacher looked at my footwear with a long pause and said – are you riding in those boots? I just laughed and said why not?

I think a lot of non-cyclist people feel that way. Most people know how to ride a bike. And it’s a great way to get around town for quick errands. Much easier than driving, sitting in traffic and parking and more fun too. But if you only see spandex clad folks racing around on bikes – it’s easier to say – that’s not for me. If more people rode around town in regular clothes – I think more non- cyclists would be willing to give it a try. That’s the main comment I get from people when I’m out riding the Xtracycle. You wear that? You ride in jeans? those shoes? …I could probably do that. Hopefully they will. Style-conscious dwell magazine has jumped on board the urban cycling craze. Are you next?

-Anne

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6 responses to “Cycling Style

  1. Maybe it’s the clothes. For sure seeing others ride in regular clothes is a positive, but I’ve decided that almost always when someone has an excuse for not riding, it’s because they really just don’t want to.

    I think the best way to convert others is to portray it as fun that only requires a working bike. Take them out for a short ride to somewhere cool and they’ll either like it and want more or not like it and have at least given it an honest try.

  2. Good point. We’re doing our best to show others that cycling is fun. Kids are good for that. They sit on the Xtracycle snapdeck looking really cute with ear to ear grins – who would not want to travel that way? They also tell all their friends how much fun it is – and kids tell their parents. So maybe we’ll see some converts.

  3. this summer, I needed to go to the grocery store, I just ran out in my cargo shorts and a baggy old t-shirt, taking my city bike, instead of my road bike. To my amazement, drivers gave me a hugh berth. this doesn’t happen on my commute, when I am dressed in lyrca on my road bike.

  4. When I lived in New Mexico, I actually went on a couple of organized (Lung Assn. sponsored) rides, where everyone but me was covered in lycra. Seeing my boots and jeans, the sport riders were frequently moved to ask “Don’t you get hot wearing that?” It was too good a line to resist; I invariably answered “Shucks, I’m hot no matter what I wear.”

  5. Val – That’s hilarious….. I would have loved to have seen the looks on their faces.

  6. Pingback: Do you really need a shower? « Car Free Days

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