Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cycling Clothing for Commuters

Citizen Rider has a new article available that discusses the clothing used by the author for cycle-commuting. I've thought about this subject a bit, and in terms of advocacy, I think that more cycle commuters wearing "street-clothes" might lower the bar a bit for attracting people to consider using a bicycle instead of a motor vehicle.

I've used non-cycle specific clothing for rides up to about 16 miles where I'm riding to a local organic foods store, mostly for the reason that, while I'm not uncomfortable wandering around in skin tight clothing, not everyone around me is comfortable with that. I've also ridden to friends houses up to 6 miles each way in normal clothing, but I have to remember to moderate how fast and hard I go, as they just don't ventilate as well. If I know that I'm going to be going out in public after a longer ride and won't have an opportunity to change clothing, I'll wear a pair of REI Novara shorts that have a padded cycle short liner and baggy shorts over the top.

I address the pants leg issue by using either a reflective velcro strap around my right ankle/calf, or more recently, since I can't find the straps, just a piece of string. It also helps that I don't own any blue jeans and all of my pants are reasonably loose fitting, so don't interfere with pedaling.