Friday, July 24, 2009

Why To Dress Up For Urban Cycling

To my post about my new urban cycling wear naturgesetz commented:

When I was a boy, the purpose of riding a bike was to get from point A to point B, and it was possible to do this wearing everyday clothing. I suspect that even if the purpose is exercise, one could ride a bicycle in normal clothes.

Well naturgesetz, of course you still can, but...
  1. normal clothes are cut for the upright position. If you bend as cyclists do, you easily expose your lower back. This can be quite sexy (I had a delicious sighting yesterday when I was tailing a hot lad), however your kidneys do not really like it. Cycling tops are thus cut lower at the back. Boys don't have this problem but when you are getting older...
  2. there is a lot of sweat and you cannot change after every ride. If you wear cotton, it never dries. If you wear synthetics, you kill your fellow beings with bad odour (sweat looses its aphrodisiac qualities after about half an hour). Merino keeps you warm, it dries fast and does not smell when the sweat dries.
  3. cars have only blind spots. Car drivers don't see anything. They are as blind as a mole. But to see and being seen is essential for surviving as a cyclist. Bright, bold and showy clothes, reflecting elements, and switching on the damn light when dark really help. I once caught a broken skull and foot because a car driver did not see me and thus denied me my right of way (though the police wrote in their report I was speeding... :O).
  4. never even try to subordinate fashion to reason.
Getting from A to B is still the purpose. Using one of my bikes (there are 4) is just the fasted way of doing so in an urban environment (I don't take prisoners when cycling). For recreational or exercising purposes I prefer a less car cluttered environment. There I don't have to be that showy. It only has to be functional.


Mickle in NZ said...

Merino is so lovely to wear. I've currently got two knitting projects on the go - one in a merino/kid mohair blend, the other in a blend of merino and possum.

(Have only just noticed that you're an INTJ. I'm an INFJ)

Have a glorious weekend, Mickle xxx

naturgesetz said...

Waistlines are considerably lower than when I rode bicycles. We never had the problem of exposed lower back skin.

The point about sweat seems valid — a good reason to wear merino.

Certainly in an urban setting it is wise to wear something that is highly visible. said...

@Mickle... I heard, sorry read, the first time of merino in the Financial Times. I immediately mail ordered a pile of shirts from Wales (I know, a strange source) and never looked back. Btw, we definitely have to get you a digital camera. We have to see those knitting products.

@naturgesetz... And I bet, the shirts were tucked in as well.
I haven't got a car. My bikes are my basic means of transport. It makes sense for me to invest in appropriate clothing. If you don't use it on a daily basis and in all weather conditions, this is not really necessary.