|Bicycle fashions from the 1900's|
So we are back! No long weekend can deter my collaborator Thomas Griffin, of the Bicycling Gryphon, or I from sharing essential safety and fashion tips when you are riding your bike. In Part 2 of the Fashion Forward Cycling series (say that five times, fast) we will discuss the importance of proper attire while riding your bike.
A big mistake that a lot of people make is not considering how their apparel will impact their ability to ride or the bike's ability to function. A friend at work recently relayed a story of how he had to rescue a woman whose maxi skirt ( really) became ensnared in the gears of her bike shortly after take off. The end result was the woman was fine, but her skirt was a little shorter than it used to be.
Often people feel that you can forget about fashion when cycling. Bike shorts are usually tight and padded, which leave you looking like you are wearing a diaper. The material of bike apparel is made for function over form, designed to keep you warm or keep you cool. When I am riding I usually wear bike shorts with a jersey or broken in jeans. When wearing jeans I prefer skinny or narrow leg jeans because they are less likely to get caught in the chain wheel. I learned this the hard way, one incident was while wearing a pair of baggy jeans. I had rolled up the hem of the jeans to keep them clear of the chain wheel, but they ended up catching anyway and the bike basically ate my pants. I barely had enough threads to cover my honor.
That brings us to Tom's rule 2:
2) Making sure you do not have any loose articles of clothing that could get caught or torn in
In the practical sense bike apparel is perfect for riding for sport, but what if you just want to ride to a friends house or commute to work, then what? If you want to look stylish and be able to ride without losing your pants, keep two things in mind. One, breathability, you are going to sweat, but choose to wear natural fibers, which breathe better or synthetics designed to wick away moisture. Two, choose clothes that are closer to the body but allow maximum mobility. Below is a selection of apparel for work and for play.
For Work: Lightweight and breathable are the optimal words here. I choose sleeveless tops and paired with shorts and pants with stretch. The comfy footwear can be swapped and the jacket added once you get to the office, just remember you will need a backpack to stash them in.
Look 1: Casual Dress Code
Look 2: Conservative Workplace
For Play: Again lightweight and breathable are important here, make sure items have some stretch to allow for maximum movement. Also make sure that your clothing pieces will stay in place while cycling, this is not the time to wear skirts, dresses or tube tops. Not unless you want the neighborhood kids chanting "I see London, I see France...".
Look 1: American Girl on a Bike
Look 2: The Romper Cycles
That's all for this edition of Fashion Forward Cycling, hope this helps you to stay calm, cool and stylishly collected atop your bike.