In the jaded, post party atmosphere of the Christmas/New Year period and needing a new buzz, most of the country is heading to the January sales. I usually hate shopping, but demur a little when it’s for cycle clothing. However, for the discerning yet amateur cyclist, does clothing really have to be limited to lycra?
I’m not against performance clothing, it certainly has it’s place i.e. when you want to perform.
When you want to shave seconds off of your best time trial time, when every bit of aero-dynamic support helps, or when you want to pretend you are Victoria Pendleton. But for most of us, however, when not pretending to be Victoria or Bradley [Wiggins], why not have some fun, loosen up a little and let go of the lycra.
And who says stylish doesn’t have to be practical…for example never underestimate the multiple functions of neon accessories such as leg warmers, scarves or gloves, the y make you more visible, they add an extra layer of warmth and just look fun! Advantageously too, most items in this category can be purchased very reasonably from £1 stores and thrift shops
Cycling in a skirt
Cycling in a skirt started out as a bit of a joke, a gentle poking of fun at the more serious riders with whom I occasionally went out. I knew that, even if I were to train for the whole of this lifetime and into the next I would never achieve the speed, performance and sheer power of my (predominantly male) cycling friends. In that case, what I lacked in talent I decided to make up for in style.
The concept was a developing one. The first additions to my cycling get-up were a pair of luminous green leg warmers (see above), this was followed by a Halloween-themed pair of green and black arm warmers bedecked with little spiders and bats. This was enjoyable.
Charity (thrift) shops are the ideal places to acquire anti-pro cycling gear as I have dubbed it. Out cycling in winter leggings on an unseasonably hot spring day I pulled into a local town for a rest and an ice cream. Scouring the local charity shop for shorts I found none, but there was a skirt…….
It felt great, easy to wear over my bib shorts but less restrictive than longer trousers, I rode away that day, skirt fluttering in the wind, a cool breeze around my legs and I was hooked.
I’ve certainly had my fair share of odd stares over the years as well as smiles, whistles and a few comments!
But the skirt really comes into it’s own when hopping off the bike. Especially when touring or out for a day ride and stopping for a coffee break, lunch, directional enquiry, cyclists clad top to toe in lycra really tend to stand out…..
Suddenly what looks ‘cool’ on the bike, has a tendency to look, erm, odd as soon as you step away from it. Not so in a skirt, the canny cyclist is transformed from chic rider, to pedestrian in a seamless transition.
But what about the boys….? Admittedly a skirt would look slightly more odd initially but I still hold that the appearance of the cycling kilt (or sarong) would be advantageous to any man adventurous enough to wear it. Unlike traditional dress kilts though, I would definitely advocate the inclusion of undergarments for use on the bike!
Happy New Year all